Friday, October 14, 2011

Rome: Da Baffeto II

I return to Serious Eats after a sabbatical with a review of Da Baffeto II pizzeria at Slice.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Serious Eats: The Book

The official title is Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are. It will be released on November 1st and features some of my photography and some excerpts from my hamburger reviews as well as ton of content from the Serious Eats crew. You can pre-order the book through Amazon or your favorite book seller.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ed Levine on Bill's and my return to Serious Eats

Bill's Sliders from this years Burger Bash
Serious Eats overlord Ed Levine tries the sliders at Bill's after he and I had lunch and I waxed poetic about them. Turns out he loves them. I can't blame him, they are superb. He also reveals that I will be soon returning to Serious Eats which was actually the reason we were eating - to discuss some exciting projects that I will be working on. No details yet but I will let you know ASAP. And fear not, there will still be a lot going on here at Beef Aficionado.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Introducing Real Cheap Eats

The sliders from Mark, my Real Cheap Eats pick 2011
I am honored to be have been asked to contribute to Real Cheap Eats which features a consortium of some of NYC's top food bloggers. RCE is the brainchild of my Serious Eats colleague James Boo (he also publishes The Eaten Path) RCE has two simple criteria: The selections must be delicious and cost under $10. RCE is minimally designed and contains no advertising, it looks particularly good on handheld devices and makes the perfect on-the-go resource.You can find my picks below:

Nick Solares at Real Cheap Eats

This Little Piggy....Had Roast Beef

This Little Piggy... is the brainchild of Francis Garcia and Sal Basille of Artichoke Pizza fame. Artichoke is an obvious homage to DiFara Pizza and with This Little Piggy they have brought another taste of Brooklyn to Manhattan - the signature sandwich here - dubbed "This Way" is a splitting image of the one sold at Brennan and Carr in Sheapshead Bay.

Slow roasted beef round is sliced paper thin and served on fresh baked rolls from Cammareri Bros. bakery in Brooklyn. The cheez-whiz that is ladled on is anything but a random brand, Garcia claims that he tried almost every option on the market before coming up with the right one. He claims it is more expensive than the mozzarella he uses.

But what really make the sandwich is the hearty au jus that the sandwich is soaked in before being handed to you. I recommend eating this one at the location. Getting it wrapped to go will inevitably lead to a sandwich that will completely fall apart. Either way though the sandwich make for good eating. Order the beef as rare as possible and you will be rewarded with tender, flavorful beef. The cheese adds a tangy punch and the bread, even in a soaked state, acts as the perfect canvas.

There are other options on the menu - a credible pastrami and the option of substituting mozzarella for the whiz and a hero for the roll. But to me the This Way on a roll is the crowning achievement and the one I would eat all the way home.

This Little Piggy 149 1st Avenue New York, NY 10003

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Saxon + Parole

Saxon + Parole - Click image for slide show by Nick Solares
I had dinner at Saxon + Parole the other night. I have to admit I was rather drunk by the time I got to the restaurant, even more so by the end of the meal. Consequently my recollection of the food and photography are both a little hazy.

I do remember looking up at the large halo of Edison bulbs above me and thinking that the critics are going to hate this place. I hadn't eaten anything at this point its just that the restaurant subscribes to many of the current trends that tend to turn off the old guard - a loud, boisterous bar scene, a general "olde timey" motif, a nod to locavorism (S+P produce their own Rye and whiskey finds its way in to all sorts of menu items) A generally young, hip crowd. Think Bored to Death meets Boardwalk Empire.

None of this particularly appeals to me but stacks of seafood followed up by dry aged prime steaks and a burger thrown in for good measure sure do. Given my inebriated state I was rather hungry and devoured all that was laid before me. As far as I can recall it was all very good.

We started with a tower of fresh seafood and a creamy chicken mousse spiked with port. The brawny steaks that followed had a decent char and a bold dry aged funk, especially the ribsteak. A velvety bone marrow Bearnaise (daintily served in a bone marrow pipe) was a nice flourish but ultimately superfluous - the steaks pack enough flavor on their own.

I will have to go back for the burger, it all sort of fell apart on me when we divided it in to quarters for sharing and I didn't really get to try it in all its glory. None of the food lasted long on the table, although I may have eaten most of it, including the desserts.

I need to return to S+P for a proper evaluation. And not just because I was rather drunk on my last visit. There is a Guinness & five spice glazed short rib for two that I am most interested in trying.

Saxon + Parole 316 Bowery New York, NY 10079

Monday, October 3, 2011

Decadence and Gluttony at il Mulino

Two of my best mates took me out for my birthday to il Mulino a few weeks back. Let's call them Larry and Mr. Relentless. Not their real names. Larry is an art dealer who traffics multimillion dollar modern masterpieces but perhaps contrary to stereotype spends all of his lucre on guns, compounds in the woods and a variety of all terrain vehicles customized to withstand an assault on Fallujah.  He grew up in Texas and despite forays into the subcultures of skateboarding, punk rock and heavy metal, not to mention a career in fine art, he is pretty much a red blooded/state/neck (take your pick, or combine) American carnivore masquerading in metrosexual clothing. He organizes a yearly pilgrimage to Texas Hill Country to eat barbecue that both Mr. Relentless and I attend. Eating at eight different barbecues a day for days on end is good practice for eating at il Mulino.