If you are looking for a city enjoying a renaissance, where there is music everywhere and the bar and dining scene rising, look no further than Nashville, Tennessee.
Over 100 people are moving to Nashville every day, average age of 29 years old, according to the locals I met in many bars while sipping Tennessee whiskey.
And you can feel the youthful, millennial energy in the air. Pedi-taverns parading up and down Broadway, honky tonks like Tootsies, Robert’s and Layla, Acme feed and seed, and legions of bachelorette parties snaking in like a party train into every bar with a musical pulse.
You can experience and sense the pride in the cocktail parlors like Old Glory, a converted laundry factory, or Patterson House, and old standby.
Continue reading A Little Bit Country and a Little Bit Rock-n-Roll
On February 8th 2017, Pata Negra turns nine Years old.
Due to the ever changing Real Estate Market of New York City, specifically the East Village, I have been reflecting over the last near decade of restaurant landscape volatility.
If I were to throw a dart in the air, I would guess that over 100 businesses have come and gone since 2008, the year I opened Pata Negra. I assure you this is an under estimation. There are still over 50 closed storefronts with “for rent” signs and I am only referring to a ten block radius around 12th street and 1st avenue.
The question is why? Continue reading Happy Anniversary Pata Negra, the little Jamon bar that could…
Pata Negra is entering into its ninth year, and traveling to Spain to research the food and wine trends is one of the best parts of the job. I visit the wineries and producers, and in turn am able to relay to the Pata Negra public the products, the people and their distinctive stories.
This trip would prove different then all others because I finally decided to bring my fiancée, Michelle, who despite all her European and worldly travels had never set foot on Spanish soil. Now was as good a time as any.
May is a wise choice for travel to Spain, way before the legions of tourists arrive in June, way before it becomes insufferable in July, and capitalizing on the fact that most great chefs close in August for holiday.
Continue reading Temps de Flors
New York is renowned as a premier destination for a classic steakhouse. Whenever foreign winemakers come to visit the Big Apple on wine business, I usually field requests for the best beef restaurants. While it is true that the home cook now has access to a variety of top pedigree beef, ranging from naturally grass fed to dry aged, the options at restaurants are much more problematic. Aside from the exorbitant costs, especially comparing what you can get for the home kitchen versus what you are actually paying for at a steakhouse, there are other pitfalls to consider as well.
Wine lists are generally unimaginative and rocket juice oriented. If there are gems on the list, they are too far and few between, creating a dilemma of agony over the correct wine pairings and strategy. Stylistically there is little imagination or variation, often a who’s who of cult cabernets or expensive super Tuscans, Burgundy or Bordeaux wines that are nowhere near ready to drink.
Continue reading The $1,000. Steak
The summer has been very busy for me into fall, what with a complete staff overhaul. Gone are all the familiar faces at Pata Negra. They are on to greener pastures and I wish them the best. Things have finally stabilized, and I have been able to sneak out once or twice a week. Not enough intel for full reviews, but here’s a sneak peak of the work in progress.
What a gorgeous space inside the revamped hotel where the thin crust pizzas are heavenly topped and the people watching is fun too. So many great choices for wine and excellent apps make for a blockbuster hard to get into Danny Meyer winner.
Montrachet 3.0 is a comfortable restaurant with all the trimmings, with food that is made with finesse and a wine list that is very reasonable. Octopus terrine is inspirational. Testa is the best I’ve had in a very long time. Lamb for two brings it home. Tribeca is back on the map again.
Alphabet City defies the real estate market once again with a small nondescript space on fifth street serving as a canvas some some good cooking, solid technique with Asian inflections. Don’t miss the chicken liver mousse or deviled eggs.
Continue reading While I am in the kitchen…