Coney Island Brewery Celebrates Brooklyn History With New Beers

If there are 2 things we love around here, New York City history and alcohol that goes along with it are high on the list. Luckily, the Coney Island Brewing Company took it upon themselves to combine these awesome things.

The brewery was founded in a 2007 by Jeremy Cowen of Shmaltz Brewing Company. Jeremy brewed award-winning lagers under the Coney Island Craft Lager label, all designed with in-your-face artwork featuring iconic imagery and capturing the spirit and flavor of Coney Island.

Inspired by Brooklyn's history, Coney Island Brewing recently launched 2 new beers and we got to try them!

1609 Amber Ale pays tribute to those bold pioneers whose ventures laid the foundation to "The Playground of the World," as 1609 was the year that explorers first set foot on the massive dune along the Atlantic that eventually became Coney Island. They created a bold beer, which they describe as a deep amber ale with a full malt, slightly nutty character and strong citrus hop nose. 

Overpass IPA recognizes the artists, musicians and renaissance souls that staked claim and built DUMBO. Coney Island Brewing created this creative beer to embody by the juicy citrus and tropical hop aromas in a deep golden, richly aromatic IPA.

IPA's aren't usually our first choice, but Overpass is smooth and enjoyable. As for the 1609, it's comforting and perfect for a winter night in (or out!). We also loved the super fun, colorful artwork.

To try both of these beers yourself throughout New York City--on tap and bottled--click here and cheers to history!

Full Disclosure: Coney Island Brewery sent us complimentary beer, but all opinions are our own.


The Perfect Valentine's Day for Your Sugar Tooth

You may recall a sweet post from last May about Sugartooth Tours, but now that Valentine's Day (aka: You-Better-Give-Chocolate-To-Your-SO day) is fast approaching, listen up for a fabulous V-Day experience.

Starting tomorrow, Sugartooth will be offering its Sweeter than Sugar Valentine’s Tour! The tour will take you to 6 decadent shops throughout Chelsea and the West Village. Think half-pound cookies, artisan hot chocolate, and a final stop where you have the option of adding a wine or beer pairing with your final sweet treat for some extra one-on-one time with that special someone. In addition, the tour guides will feed your minds with the tasty and colorful culinary history of Chelsea and brush you up on your Valentines Day history and trivia.

Available tour dates include February 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th and 15th at 5:30pm and February 14th and 15th at 2pm. Tickets are $50/person and include all six tastings. Click here to purchase tickets.


Back in December, my Dad was in town from LA and we had a blast at the Union Square holiday market tour. We tried warm German gluehwein, gingerbread boys and girls, Liegewafels from Wafels & Dinges, cinnamon sugar donut holes from the Doughnuttery, mini canollis from Stuffed Artisan Cannolis, and chocolate dipped pretzels from Fatty Sundays. Here are some pictures from our tour:


My Oh Maille

I'd like to share something I learned this week: mustard is not just mustard. Sounds simple and kind of silly I know, but it's true!

We were invited to check out the newly opened UWS outpost of Maille (rhymes with fry), a Dijon-based mustard brand that has been producing the top-notch condiment since way back in 1747. With stores in Dijon, London and Paris, this is their first foray into the US market. We got a tour around the store with mustard sommelier (what a nifty title!) Pierette, who on top of letting us taste every single mustard they sell in the store, gave us some history on mustard making and some tips on how we can use it outside of the sandwich.

Maille is most famous for its mustard on tap. At any given time, they have 5 different flavors--white whine, chablis, sauternes, wholegrain chardonnay, and a seasonal option (currently it's black truffle and chablis)--available in 3 different sizes. These mustards are sold in reusable stoneware jars that can be refilled at a discount. After trying all of these, my favorite was the sauternes, though it is price prohibitive for me to advocate all of my readers going out and buying a jar unless you want to fork over a Benjamin. At a lightly lower price point, the whole grain chardonnay would make for an excellent steak crust (or for simply dipping cocktail wieners).

Next, we moved over to the pre-packaged jars that sell for $9-$13. Pierette said when Anton Maille, the founder of the company, first started he had upwards of 150 flavors. Now they produce 47 and stock about 20. Favorites out of this batch were the walnut and the honey dijon. I was also intrigued by the basil, which had a surprising kick, and the sundried tomato and espelette chili pepper, which Pierrette said would be great in scrambled eggs. She also talked of salad dressings and risotto, ice cream and cakes, all flavored with these mustards. Before meeting her I would have thought this talk crazy, but after my taste test, I was so intrigued!

The store features a wide variety of gift options including mustard gift packs, vinegars and oils, mustard bowls and tea towels.

And don't forget your mustard spoons! Apparently (who knew?), you're not supposed to put metal spoons in mustard as it changes the flavor. Serving with wood or plastic is best, but wood is so much prettier. Maille sells 3 different sizes of spoon and of course I had to buy one--too cute!

Also on display are some old mustard artifacts, heritage bowls, and a giant mustard tureen that Pierette said must have belonged to a very wealthy family way back when. You can also see old newspaper clippings and a portrait of Anton Maille.

When I got home, I was so inspired by my visit that I decided to try one of the recipes on Maille's website on my farmshare carrots. Delish! (There was also talk of perhaps hosting a mustard party--what fun!).

Looking for something to do with an out-of-town friend, mustard lover or date? Take them to Maille (185 Columbus Avenue)! We easily spent 45 minutes tasting and asking questions and (perhaps) making some purchases. The staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. Pierette said they are also planning a French-food themed event with some local vendors for March. Stay tuned!


AWESOME DEAL: 6 Months FREE Membership to Warehouse Shopping Site Jet

We just came across a killer shopping deal and wanted to let you know right away! Jet, a new Costco-esque online shopping portal is launching soon and wants you to sign up so badly, they are offering free membership for 3 months. However, if you sign up by February 6 at 11:59 am ET, you'll get an additional 3 free months (6 months total!) and the benefits continue if you refer any of your friends.

But why should you sign up? Jet was founded by the same guy (Marc Lore) as diapers.com, soap.com, and wag.com--all sites dedicated to providing specific products at low prices to a specific market in the most efficient manner. The company's Hoboken warehouse will be stocked with the goods you need and shipped to you at a moment's notice without the hassle of buying in bulk. Think of it as Amazon meets Costco meets Delivery.com.

From the founder's blog:
"At Jet we will make use of the latest advancements in technology to create a new shopping experience that will empower customers like never before. Jet will bring unprecedented transparency and efficiencies to the overall e-commerce market, and as a result, will transform the customer experience in a way that, until now, has not been possible."
After your trial period is up, members will be asked to pay $49.99 per year for membership (still cheaper than that Costco card, and for most New Yorkers, much more accessible). Check out this Bloomberg article for more.

Thanks to Laura from 89th and Broke for sharing this tip! Also, full disclosure, the URL above is my own referral link.

AWESOME RECAP: Broadway Sings P!nk

After seeing Broadway Sings Justin Timberlake back in July (oh how I miss you summer!),  I knew that I couldn't miss Broadway Sings P!nk. So I grabbed a friend and went back down to (Le) Poisson Rouge for a night we knew would be memorable.

I've been a fan of P!nk's music for many years now, but I admit, some of her songs are hit or miss for me. They often come across angry and I think that turns a lot of people off. One thing I really liked about this concert was how the arrangements were often drastically changed in order to suit the singer's voice. In doing that, the lyrics were able to shine and some of them are pretty spectacular.

It was also a fabulous concert in that I dined over 3 fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk ($5) while listening. I'd highly recommend this treat!

Here are some photos from the event:

Lena Hall sings "Sober"
Chelsea Packard and Colin Hanlon sing "Try"
Kate Rockwell
Mike Schwitter
Ciara Renée

And thanks to Broadway sings, here are some videos:

Broadway Sings is hosting a "Best of" concert in March that will include 14 songs from all 7 previous concerts. It's sure to be a fun one! Who even needs pop stars when you've got Broadway?


Take a Trip Around the World...With Grilled Cheese

There are two kinds of adults in this world--those that think board games are meh and those who could literally spend all day playing them. We think that those in the latter category are, well, awesome and we have found the perfect new bar for all these cool folks to congregate, play games to their hearts' content, and munch on the best damn grilled cheese in Brooklyn.

We recently attended the press preview night for HENRI on Fifth (279 5th Avenue, Park Slope), which recently opened with an eclectic menu (grilled cheeses of the world!), a cupboard of all your favorite board games from Operation! to Hungry Hippos and Cards Against Humanity, and a comprehensive list of bespoke cocktails.

First things first, I sampled the Dirty Henri with gin, cucumber, and moscato. This drink was a little sweet for me, but I loved the freshness of the cukes. Friends who tried the other 4 drinks on the menu (one bourbon, one whisky, and one house-infused rhubarb vodka) agreed with me on the sweetness pattern, but that could all be attributed to the opening night jitters of a heavy-handed bartender. 

The stars of the night were the grilled cheeses. The owner told us that the restaurant was named after his little son, Henri, who inherited German and French heritage from his mother and Pan-Asian genes from himself. Therefore, the menu includes a mix of all these influences. For example, you can order a grilled cheese sandwich in 3 different ways:
  • The Classic (American): Cheddar and fontina on pullman bread
  • Le Classique (French): Gruyere and caramelized shallots on garlic toast with sherry thyme au jus
  • Die Klassische (German): Muenster, sauerkraut and brautwurst on pretzel bread with beer mustard dip
All were amazing, but days after I still find myself craving the American version. Simple, cheesy goodness. The German, however, was definitely the most unique grilled cheese I've ever tried. All sandwiches come cut in fours (easier to share!) and with shooters of tomato bisque or butternut squash soup.

The Classic
Die Klassische

Other standouts of the night included the Sriracha Deviled Eggs and the Korean Bahn Mi Taco. 

Sriracha deviled eggs -- We could eat a tray of these
Bahn Mi Taco
Before heading out, we had to indulge in some board game action. I'd say we broke some sort of Jenga record...37 rows! Props to Dave from Barton's Bites for being an excellent player!

And just to make things even better, we found this on a shop near the bar. So it's a legit neighborhood :)

If we lived in the area, this would be a go-to spot. I can't imagine a better way to end a workday than with a Classic grilled cheese and a rousing game of Pac Man (they have the old school game tables!) followed by a epic round of Jenga.

Henri on Fifth on Urbanspoon


Snow or No Snow, Hot Chocolate is the Key

The end of January is near and that can only mean one thing: THE CITY BAKERY HOT CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL IS BACK!

Awesome favorites from the past have been the caramel and darkest dark hot chocolates. But the great thing about this festival is that you can technically go back every day and try them all! Don't forget to add a handmade marshmallow. If you're looking for something to nibble on as well, we highly recommend the peanut butter cookies and the pretzel croissants.

City Bakery is located at 3 W. 18th Street, near Union Square. The festival starts Sunday 2/1 and continues through the rest of February.