Share |

Articles

Proud Cypriots claim that their culture is the oldest in the world, boasting archeological evidence of human existence as early as 12,000 years ago. For them the practice of sourcing products locally is not a trend but a long-standing culinary tradition.

Today with the prevalence of social media, every single guest who walks into your restaurant should be considered a restaurant critic that will judge all aspects of their experience, from the food and service to the atmosphere of the restaurant. Worrying about the specialty menu or cocktail pairings can no longer be the main concern for restaurant owners. Instead, the entire dining experience should be carefully analyzed from the moment visitors walk in the door to the second they leave.

Añejo rums are smooth and luxurious. These aged rums have more in common with Cognac and Sherry than they do with their light rum, un-aged counterparts. They are elegant, sophisticated spirits best appreciated in a brandy snifter.

Bo Peep loses them in a nursery rhyme, insomniacs count them, and renegade family members are labeled as black ones. Sheep have been a cultural icon for millennia and their lamb a mainstay of menus around the globe for even longer. Grilled loin chops and roasted racks, crusted with herbs and garlic, can be found everywhere that Mary went, but some of the less frequently used cuts are the ones that are now creating the real buzz and bleats in professional kitchens.

While Chef Bahr is known for his winning appearance on the Food Network’s Chopped! as well as his command over ingredients such as oysters and duck, there is something else on the table at Restaurant Cotton and it’s no novelty.

As a restaurant group whose menu mix is predominantly seafood we often find ourselves encouraging diners to indulge their natural red wine preference, despite whatever myths they may have absorbed over the years about white wine being the exclusive appropriate selection for whatever swims.

Perhaps the most universal of ingredients, the tomato crosses nearly all restaurant cuisines and concepts. Once the product of the wilds of South America, the tomato has migrated more than most people, traversing all continents, cities large and small, and the gardens of professionals and home enthusiasts. But with the rapid growth of mass production came a homogenized, thick-skinned tomato largely devoid of the original fruit’s intense flavor and smooth texture. Fortunately, greater emphasis on healthful and organic foods has brought back to prominence full-flavored heirloom tomatoes.

Is your restaurant missing out on opportunities to profit from beer? Far too many operations offer a narrow range of beers that barely differ in flavor. Yet quality beer ranges as widely in style and is as food friendly as wine.

Over the course of my travels, I chat with restaurateurs and hear the latest hot industry topics. Recently, much of the talk has been about screw caps and how to deal with them. This column addresses the presentation of screw-capped wines on the list. We will also explore ways to present a screw-capped bottle of wine with as much integrity and ceremony as those closed with corks.

Since Danny Meyer’s announcement about his no-tipping policy, restaurateurs around the country have been sitting up and taking notice.

Though there is some industry in the vicinity of its largest city, Bari, a countryside patched together with vineyards, olive groves, and fields of wheat testifies to Apulia’s most important products.

Although chef and food service uniforms are steeped in tradition, today's chef uniforms are anything but customary. Gone are the 19th century chef whites, as they are replaced by looks that reflect modern needs, individual personality, and branding.

Everyone has a favorite coffee shop in Manhattan. We each like to think ours is somehow better than everyone else’s, as if we would not be seen in any other spot. I doubt there is a single best coffee shop; there are too many great coffee places in New York (think Eddie Murphy grinning while showing off the “world’s best coffee” in Coming To America). That said Irving Farm is my favorite shop on the Upper West Side and the company from which I buy all of my coffee; it has become a second home to me.

The latest Nebbiolo releases have arrived. Here’s an up close look at 2011 and 2012 Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero at historic and innovative wineries in the Alba area.

At once beguilingly sweet and juicy, with a kiss of tartness, cherries are seduction on a stem. And the fruit’s appeal is only enhanced by its limited availability within a season that lasts just a few weeks in most locales, and less than three months overall across the country. Although most other fruits are now predictable fixtures in the food supply, the cherry’s appearance marks a moment for restaurants to enjoy—and exploit—one of nature’s special treats.

Many spirits enthusiasts not only are embracing the classic brands and styles but also are seeking out new tastes, often presented in cocktails made from an ever-increasing and dazzling medley of ingredients. To capitalize on these trends, suppliers have concocted a genuinely innovative and exciting generation of original spirits.

It is no secret that business is bubbling for Italy’s Prosecco producers. Total Prosecco sales here in the U.S. now easily surpass Champagne sales and are still growing at a 25% clip.  With a friendly, fruit-forward profile, lower alcohol content and moderate price tag, more and more customers are choosing to forego traditional Champagne and order Prosecco instead. It seems that Prosecco has carved out its own niche, a bubbly with a more informal, sprezzatura image, bucking the conventional notion of formality, celebration and splurge. In fact, along with a smaller, but undeniable Cava resurgence, Proseccos have boosted sparkling wine consumption in the U.S. by nearly 50% in less than a decade.

At a handful of restaurant bars around the country, you’re likely to find the bartender in the kitchen—well before prime bar time—using a Vita-Prep or a Cryovac. He or she may be taring a laboratory scale to weigh out precise amounts of gelatin or xanthan. or maybe the bartender is rolling out a liquid-nitrogen tank to perform a spherification or clarification technique for a component of a libation in progress. What’s going on here?

Americans love lamb, but they rarely prepare it at home. Perhaps because it is more expensive than other red meats or because of its traditional reputation as a food reserved for holidays, Americans have left cooking lamb largely to the restaurant experts. It’s not surprising that 75 percent of white tablecloth restaurants feature some kind of lamb on the menu.

Kyle Branche

 et al.

If you are breaking into the bar business, you must recognize your weaknesses and seek expert advice. Hiring a professional bar consultant from the beginning can help your venue get off to a flying start and keep it soaring.

At its best, cocktail mixology is truly an art, engaging each of the human senses—for example, the feel of the proper weight of the glass and the thin rim, which delivers an elegant sensation to the lips; or the aromas of fresh mint and nutmeg, which transport the recipient of these scents to remote lands or memories of childhood. And just as sweet or pungent smells differ from each other by virtue of their different stimulation of the senses, so also do colors vary and evoke different emotions. A drink becomes impressive when it succeeds in touching the sensibility of the guest by finding the avenue to his or her brain and heart.

Winter means a return to hardy leafy greens that can stand up to frost in the garden as well as bold culinary treatment in the kitchen.