In January 2014, CITY GRIT launched our newest series entitled CITY SPOTLIGHT, where we featured four chefs from 4 up-and-coming food cities in the US. To kick off the series, we had Chef Mike Solomonov of Zahav, one of Philadelphia's best chefs. His family style dinner was out of this world and we can't wait to visit him again soon in Philadelphia!
November was NOLA month at CITY GRIT, and Chef Michael Stoltzfus of Coquette blew us all away. He takes farm fresh to the next level, creating a new menu nightly at Coquette, based on availability at the market. This dinner transported us right to New Orleans and we almost didn't want to come back!
Celebrating Oktoberfeast at CITY GRIT is always a blast, especially when our guests dress up in this lederhosen. But this year was off-the-schnitzle because we partnered with local Top Hops Beer Shop to execute the most perfect beer pairings with our dinner. Here's what we ate and drank:
Having Chef Craig Jones from The Cliff at Cap Maison hotel in St. Lucia was a breath of fresh air. His food was spectacular and it made us want to book a trip to St. Lucia right then and there, not that it required much convincing. Every diner was ecstatic with their meal and we welcome Chef Craig Jones, his team and his island music back in our kitchen anytime.
One warm afternoon, Claire Robinson was telling us about Ruby Ann Boxcar – who’s basically the Julia Child of the Trailer Park Dining Scene - and her series of books dedicated to the craft. As she described the dishes inspired by the food served at high Chaparral Trailer Park, we found inspiration of our own and decided we needed to host a dinner in her honor. This dinner, we gave our diners a tour of the Red Neck Riviera, as Claire and the CITY GRIT kitchen team served up a gourmet version of Ruby Ann’s “not so gourmet” dishes.
We can't think of a restaurant and wine bar that does quirky and fun wine like The Blue Room and Belly Wine bar. And what's even better, is that it wasn't only about the progressive wines that Wine Director Liz Vilardi poured, itw as also about the delectabel food that Executive Chef Robert Grant served. We loved that this dinner not only inspired our stomachs, but also inspired our wine minds!
We were thrilled to be part of Chef Edward Lee's cookbook tour. If you don't own a copy of Smoke&Pickles, it's an absolute must for any home cook. We are still dreaming of the tuna rice bowl. And, as you can probably tell, it was a lot of fun hanging out with Ed, as always!
We couldn't have been more excited for the "Prince of Pork" and “Providence’s Pied Piper of Cheese" to cook his farm-house styled and inspired menu at CITY GRIT. From Farmstead to CITY GRIT, his dishes have transformed our perspective of farmhouse food.
James Beard winner for Best Chef South, came up to NYC from Oxford, MS to cook at CITY GRIT with some of his friends such as Kelly English, Kate, Tod Pulsinelli and Jeremiah Bacon. With all of these outstanding chefs in the kitchen, each one took the reigns on one course to make a cohesive experience for our diners.
Chris Hastings, the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of Birmingham's Hot and Hot Fish Club, cooked an exclusive tasting menu featuring Alabama Gulf Seafood and the Southern, contemporary American dishes from his flagship restaurant, Hot and Hot Fish Club! He served:
We welcomed Kevin Nashan and Gerard Craft, two chefs who’ve transformed the St. Louis dining scene, to CITY GRIT to cook a special tasting menu featuring their best dishes.
Chef Kevin Nashan, four-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest, is the culinary powerhouse behind Sidney Street Café, where his seasonal, locally-sourced creations that incorporate his classic French training and innovative vision have become a gold standard. Chef Gerard Craft, named Best New Chef by Food & Wine and four-time James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef: Midwest, is behind some of St. Louis hottest restaurants. Craft, who opened Niche in 2005 at age 25, went on to open other renowned hot spots in the city (including Brasserie by Niche, Taste by Niche, and Pastaria).
At CITY GRIT, they served:
The second chef in our Next Big Thing series was Greg Baxtrom, an up-and-coming chef with a ridiculously impressive pedigree. Baxtrom, who’s worked at Blue Hill - Stone Barns, Per Se, Atera, Alinea, and North End Grill, has long been the behind-the-scenes man at some of the country’s best restaurants. Now he's branching out and working on his own project. He joined us at CITY GRIT to serve an exclusive tasting menu, featuring:
Sarah was everybody's Italian Nonna for the evening, as she prepared a Southern-inspired Italian feast! At this memorable Southern Hospitaliano CITY GRIT dinner, she cooked her delicious twists on beloved Italian classics. The menu included:
Sarah cooked a multi-course dinner featuring oysters - deep fried, stewed, baked, and more! The menu for the night was:
The first in our new series that brings rising star chefs to cook and develop their concept at CITY GRIT, Chef Jonah Miller cooked a four course tasting menu, previewing dishes from his soon-to-open restaurant Huertas. The dinner, inspired by his travels in Northern Spain, included:
If Sarah could be in two places at once, she'd be in the CITY GRIT kitchen in NYC AND running an Izakaya in Kyoto serving up an obanzai menu with a Southern twist. Since we're all about making dreams come true - even if only for a night - Sarah served a seven-course menu featuring Southern-inspired Japanese fare, including:
We hosted a four-course dinner featuring dishes inspired by the regional cuisines of Tianjin, Guangdong, and Sichuan! The meal was prepared by Toy’s Executive Chef Doron Wong, and the dishes were paired with wines selected by Jeannie Cho Lee, Master of Wine and author of Asian Palate. The meal included:
We took the idea of the Friday fish fry to the next level with a seafood feast featuring way more than just fried fish! We served:
West Texas-native Andrew Wiseheart is co-owner and Executive Chef at Contigo in Austin, Texas. Wiseheart's innovative, ranch-inspired cuisine earned him national acclaim, including being named a "Rising Star" by Star Chefs and one of the top culinary professionals under 30 by Eater.com. He cooked two nights at CITY GRIT, serving the following:
Ford Fry, Chef and founder of The Optimist and JCT Kitchen in Atlanta, cooked a preview of his soon-to-open, hotly-anticipated restaurant King + Duke! We served:
To celebrate the return of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's brainchild Portlandia (and poke fun at one of our favorite food cities), we threw a BRUNCH VILLAGE dinner, featuring dishes inspired by our favorite food-related Portlandia sketches. We served:
We threw a super special Southern comfort dinner. Why was it so special? Because we teamed up with amazing Chef Lynne Ryan of Chefs to Dine For to bring you a Southern comfort feast like we've never served! To celebrate Alabama's National Championship win, Lynne created a six-course menu of Southern favorites that best represent her home state (and region!), including hoppin' John stew, chicken and dumplings, and lemon meringue pie!
Sarah prepared a delicious (if untraditional), Southern-inspired Shabbat feast, featuring kofta meatballs, hummus soup, fattoush salad, and smoked brisket from our friends at Williamsburg's BrisketTown!
In 2005, Chef Anthony Lamas opened Seviche, a Latin restaurant that has received four-star reviews from both the Courier Journal and local food critic Robin Garr, and was also named one of the "ten great places for Latino flavor and flair" in the country by USA Today. We welcomed Chef Lamas into the CITY GRIT kitchen for an evening of “Southern Spice,” featuring six courses of Southern-inspired Latin dishes.
There are few who tell stories like Francis Lam tells stories. Two years ago, our fabulous, food writer friend told some stories about "Cajuns, Croats, Vietnamese: On Land and Sea in Biloxi," at the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) Symposium. CITY GRIT hosted an evening of storytelling as Francis recounted the inspiring stories of Biloxi's residents and Sarah prepared dishes inspired by them. Fifty percent of the evenings proceeds were donated to the SFA.
Chef Peter Dale, this year's Food and Wine People’s Best New Chef - Southeast and chef/owner of Athens, Georgia’s critically-acclaimed The National, a farm-to-table restaurant serving Southern fare with a Mediterranean twist – came to CITY GRIT for a two-night series.
A taste of the Lowcountry came to New York City for one night only! We gave a sneak preview of the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival® when acclaimed Charleston chef, Sean Brock of McCrady’s and Husk, and his McCrady’s Chef de Cuisine, Jeremiah Langhorne, joined forces with April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, and The John Dory Oyster Bar and Sarah serving this Southern-inspired dinner:
As Food & Wine's People's Choice Best New Chef 2011, Ricardo Zarate and his restaurants (Picca, Mo Chica) received so much praise that there was no way we wouldn't beg him to come here. He took over CITY GRIT's kitchen for two nights in September, bringing us his innovative (and delicious) Japanese-inflected Peruvian food.
Mike Gulotta and Kelly Fields of John Besh's New Orleans restaurant August cooked a benefit dinner for The John Besh Foundation's Chefs Move! initiative. Chefs Move! sends an at-risk New Orleans youth - all-expenses paid - to culinary school in NYC with the expectation that they'll come back to NOLA and spread the love.
Chef John Currence joined us at CITY GRIT for a three night seris featuring a selection of southern produce and Mississippi seafood. Born and raised in New Orleans, the James Beard award winner for Best Chef 2009 and Top Chef Masters alum is the chef/owner of City Grocery, Big Bad Breakfast, and Snackbar. Currence, along with City Grocery's chef de cuisine and Snackbar's executive chef, served up this delectable multi-course meal:
As a tribute to The Allman Brothers, Ron cooked an inspired dinner titled “Dreams” - Eat A Peach in The Big Apple. He stimulated our senses with dishes entiled "One Way Out" featuring baked clams, "Southbound" starring chicken from White Oak Farms, and "Eat a Peach" pop-tarts. It was a memorable evening that was music to our tastebuds featuring:
The seven-course tribute dinner was dedicated to the many chefs, friends and family who have influenced and inspired Top Chef contestant Leanne Wong during her culinary career. The meal featured: