Wednesday, January 30, 2013

FOREVER DUSTY A DRAG



This just in! Forever Dusty will host a one-night-only Sing-A-Long performance on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 7:00 PM.  Audience members at this special performance will be invited to participate and sing along to Dusty’s greatest hits, including “Son of a Preacher Man,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “I Only Want to Be With You,” along with other classics included in the show, like “Wishin’ and Hopin,” “Tell Him,” and many more. The evening will be co-hosted by comedian Seth Herzog (often seen on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) and Drag Diva Sherry Vine (Here TV’s “She’s Living For This”), and fans are encouraged to dress in their best Dusty blonde beehive wigs and 1960s garb. It was also announced today that a new block of tickets for the show is currently on sale through Sunday, April 7

Monday, January 28, 2013

IT'S "THE CLAW"

After seeing Forever Dusty at the New World Stages, it was time to grab a bite.  Well, it was more than a bite with the three of us at this restaurant called Claw, located on 9th Avenue between 50th and 51st Street. They specialize is dishes with fresh steamed lobster although I did not see having a whole lobster on their menu.

It was a bit late and they were out of a few items such as the lobster mac and cheese as well as the lobster quesadilla.  Oh well, next time.

What did we eat?  Lobster Roll with butter and mayo.  Shrimp Roll.  Crab Beignets.  Lobster Bisque. Corn Chowder with spicy sausage.  Coconut Shrimp. French Fries. Chopped Salad with lobster.  







We each had a different beer. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

FOREVER DUSTY AGAIN

Went to see FOREVER DUSTY again.  This time with another bunch of friends including Sarah Rice.  She's doing shows in Teaneck, New Jersey.  I guess I'll have to wait until she has one here...it's pretty soon, though.  I took photos of those who joined me.

This first one is of FOREVER DUSTY star Kirsten Holly Smith with Sarah Rice.  Next is....oops, I forgot their names.  The last is a group that was around when Dusty was doing here thing. 


Check out this thing going with Off-Broadway shows.  Go directly to the theatres and hang on a line.  Twenty minutes before a show and the ticket will cost you twenty dollars.  World Stages is a good one for this as they are showing Bare, Forever Dusty, and Avenue Q. Go to the website of www.20at20.com. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"STEAKOUT" OF QUEENSITE CHEF CRAIG JERMIN


Bobby Van was a musical actor most probably known for his Broadway career in the 1950s and 1970s.  People in show biz love to have their own restaurants.  He opened his first one in Bridgehampton, Long Island where he tended bar and played the piano.  The restaurant’s focus was prime USDA meats and fresh seafood. Although he died in 1980, his legend lived on in the form of what is now a chain of restaurants to include a steakhouse located at 135 W. 50th Street, the heart of the theatre district. 

Not all Bobby Van’s are alike and at this steakhouse location Craig Jermin, the Executive Chef, prides himself on obtaining the best cuts of meat and from different purveyors and a few of his own signatures non-meat signatures and sides. 

I noticed one most pleasant change in steakhouses…there were two female persons on the wait staff!   General Manager Paul Modica and I talked about this since I have constantly seen only the male gender doing this work.   It doesn’t matter here since the amount of space allows for carts, rather than arms filled with heavy plates.   Years ago steakhouses were geared towards the male population and cigars.   My how the years have gone, bye!  

Lately my taste in wine has been a white Pinot Grigio to go perfect with my choices.  Paul suggested Duo Torre…thanks, Paul.   Ah, yes…I did a tasting…of food.   Out comes the basket of bread, which I usually pass up.  They were artisan breads one of which had cranberries and nuts.   

Appetizers to begin.  Lobster Cocktail.  A chick (one pound) lobster served with a cocktail sauce and mustard remoulade.   For those who want to spice it up, a small plate with horseradish and a teeny bottle of Tabasco sauce is there, as well.   The lobster was not of the frozen ilk. 



A flavor bouncing Crab Cake appeared.   It was a combination of fresh lump crab meat, eggs, mayo, heavy cream, and other goodie including fresh chives and bread crumbs.   The amount of ingredients did not overpower the amount of crab meat in any way.  It was served with a mustard remoulade, micro greens and lemon wedge. 


What is a Harry Salad?  Paul tells me that steakhouses tend to have salads named after someone that may or may not pertain to the restaurant itself but tend to have similar ingredients.   Now get this one!  It’s a combo of chopped shrimp, string beans, chopped tomatoes, red onions, roasted red peppers, and chopped bacon tossed in a shallot vinaigrette.   Harry is topped with a non-chopped shrimp and the vinaigrette enhanced the salad.   Hint, hint…this would make for an excellent lunch in itself.  Photo shows only half a portion.  



I have found that an accomplished test of the chef’s talent is not necessarily a steak, but seafood that has not come out of a shell, especially when Chilean Sea Bass on is on the menu.   Craig must have done a lot of experimenting to get this obviously perfected dish.    It cannot be overcooked nor have a “fish” flavor.  In fact, I tend to recommend Chilean Sea Bass for people who “don’t like fish”.   



What was done with this made it even more savory.   This 10-oz cut was glazed with Tamari, over a mix of asparagus, shitake mushrooms, baby bok choy in a truffle broth.    For those who are not familiar with Tamari…it is a Japanese soy sauce that is brewed with wheat to enhance the flavor and color.  Tends to be stronger than soy sauce but not as salty.  When they prepare the glaze the tamari is cut with miso paste in order to adhere to the fish.  Spoon was nearby to enjoy the broth.

Now it’s time for the steak, a prime NY Sirloin.   I requested it to be “medium” and it was.   The center was a bit on the rare side (which is what I like) while it spread out to pink to well done on the outside.   I have to admit that one of the reasons that I chose this temperature is for leftovers.   I can heat it up and the center will simply turn pink.   Salt and pepper on the steak along with a side of steak sauce (made by the now famous chef).  Our waitress, Keri, another Queensite, presented this delish dish.   Here, you can get a glimpse of the restaurant’s d├ęcor that screams mahogany, glass, mirrors and high ceilings.  



I had to check on the sides; two more “tests”.   Creamed spinach is one.   I hate that after taste of cooked spinach…if you know what I mean.   None here.  Probably because the recipe called for fresh baby spinach, diced onions, chicken broth, heavy cream and nutmeg.   The other is Mac and Cheese.   Chef Craig gave a combo of English white cheddar and grana padada cheese along with heavy cream and some seasonings. 

Yes, I did indulge in some of the desserts.   They don’t employ a pastry chef so except for a few, they are handpicked from different sources.   One of the most interesting  in both presentation and taste is a 21-layer crepe with pastry cream in between each layer.  The top appears to be caramelized.  Enjoy an extra appetizer or side dish rather than hold out for a dessert.  

Fresh berries in a chocolate "cup" can never be bad and I did sample the gelato.   Unfortunately it did not live up to the one at I Dream of Gelato in Provincetown.  Oh well.  



Me and the chef are now buddies. :) 

 

It’s Restaurant Week up until February 8th and Bobby Van’s is participating.   A three-course lunch costs $25, dinner, $35.  Check out their menu on www.bobbyvans.com







Sunday, January 13, 2013

FRESH START FOR A FLU SHOT



I had been searching for some health food places in Queens where I can not only buy organic products but have something that’s already prepared to munch on.   I ventured to Astoria for a store called Fresh Start Organic Eatery and Market.  When the weather is warm, you can sit outside in the garden and dine.  I had food to go.







With a wide variety of freshly made juices, I noticed one called “Flu Shot”, 1 oz of cranberry, ginger, wheatgrass, lemon.   Sounded just like what I needed.  However, I wanted to do a heavy green one.   There was bok choy, parsley, celery, and broccoli with an additional added carrot, apple, orange and lemon for both health and flavor.   It was actually pretty yummy.  

Ellie Zoumberakis is the store Manager and chef who  gave me some instructions regarding my own juicing saying that items such as parsley and kale need to get juiced first as the rest going in would push more of the juice of these greens.   I’ll let you know the follow up.

Loads of great products on the shelves and will discuss at a later date.  Food.  Those who are vegetarians or vegans will be quite pleased.    Here are some of the items that I sampled.  Beet Carrot salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Seitan is a meat substitute. Made from wheat it takes on the flavors of the prepared seasoning.  In this case the seitan was prepared in a sweet and sour sauce using fresh juices from the juice bar; then cut up in nuggets.   Ellie tells me that she does not use any canned fruit or vegetables including garbanzo beans which are soaked overnight before cooking. 

The phyllo dough used in Ellie’s Spinach Pie is also freshly prepared using whole grain and white flour.  Even the goat cheese is made on the premises.   All of the meat comes from Canada as there seems to be a stricter organic regulation.  Bison burger is a bison patty of rice and meat seasoned with greens such as cilantro, mint, parsley, along onions and tomatoes.  It is served on a multigrain roll, with baby greens (mine had baby spinach…I hope it wasn’t taken away from its mother too soon), and shredded carrots.



Fresh Start Organic Eatery and Market is located at 29-13 23rd Street.  Check it out at www.fsorganic.com

Saturday, January 12, 2013

EASY DESSERT FOR CHOCOLATE LOVERS

I don't care for packaged chocolate pudding.  I will make it from scratch.  The ingredients are: cocoa, sugar, milk, vanilla extract, corn starch to thicken.  If you have chocolate chips or a chocolate bar, keep in mind that the contents of that is the same without the liquid.  Therefore, one way is to simply melt chocolate (this all depends upon your sweet taste as to whether you would be adding sugar) in a pot of milk and thicken it by combing corn starch with cold water (mixed to a paste) when the contents is very hot but boiling. 

That's not what I did, though.  I wanted something even easier.   I took some sour cream and placed it in a pot with semi-sweet chocolate chips.  After it melted I put it in a small ceramic cup (remember, this is for just me), added more sour cream and stirred.  Put it in the freezer (I want to eat it asap), otherwise I would place it in the refrigerator.  Freezer is even better as it gives the impression that you are eating some sort of "ice cream". 

The melting process took all of about a minute as I used my Precision Induction Cooktop and a great spatula to make sure that all contents went into the ceramic cup.  Otherwise it's simply fine to let the pot cool off and use your finger to get any leftovers. 

It is important to use the right chips.  Make sure that they are "real".  It means that the contents of the chocolate does not contain palm or coconut oil, which is a substitute for cocoa butter. 

This is quite a rich dessert and could also be used as to scoop on top of something like a Fairytale Brownie. OMG! www.brownies.com

BAD HOBBIT



According to sources.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever... Gollum (Andy Serkis). Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ...a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.”

It is necessary to say that I have nil when it comes to background on this movie or anything related to it.  Therefore I am simply going to tell you what I liked and didn’t like.   Being a bit on the positive side, let’s talk about what I liked.  

I saw this movie in 3D at the AMC theatre in Fresh Meadows (190th and the LIE).   So to begin with, seats are reserved and with an early showing before noon and during the week, I pretty much had my pick of spots.   Just in case you haven’t read, these seats are plush, leather recliners, making it quite easy to fall asleep and yes, I did at parts.  

The movie itself seemed excellent as far as cinematography, acting, and story.   Great special effects! Anyone who is into this ilk will most likely enjoy the characters as well as the “excitement” of the battles.   At one point when I thought there was a happy ending…oh that’s the negative.

A fine beginning as it appeared that I would be enjoying a pleasant and cute movie.  OMG! Most every scene was violent with swords and ugly or creepy creatures!   The Hobbit is being shown in both regular and 3-D and as with all the movie theatres, you pay extra.   No matter how many times I see a 3-D movie, I keep trying to grab the butterfly flying in front of me…if you know what I mean.