Cut 4 slits in the eggplant, then cut garlic into 4 pieces and stuff inside the eggplant. Place eggplant over open flame and grill. Keep turning eggplant, letting it char on the outside, and grill until softened. Peel charred skin off and place the eggplant into a blender. Add lemon juice, olive oil, and canola oil. Season with salt and pepper.
For the zucchini fricasse
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow squash,
1 green zucchini,
1 bulb onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp tomato juice
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil, add in the squash and zucchini, and sauté. Add onions, garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
1 cup quinoa, boiled in lightly seasoned water, like pasta
4 radishes, brunoise
1 cucumber, brunoise
5 mint leaves, sliced thin
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped basil
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss cooked quinoa with all ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
For the fritters
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup milk plus more
to thin, if necessary
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups or more corn kernels, fresh, frozen,
3 tsp chopped fresh chives
Canola oil, for frying
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything but the canola oil in a bowl, being sure not to overmix. Use a spoon and drop a tablespoon of the batter at a time into the frying oil. Fry until crispy, remove, and season with salt and pepper.
Cut 2 peaches in half and grill until slightly charred on both sides.
To plate, smear the eggplant puree on the plate. Place a mound of the quinoa salad next to the eggplant. Spoon the squash stew onto the eggplant puree. Top off with 3 slices of grilled peaches and 3 corn fritters.
Ten years Gotham’s senior, the Union Square Greenmarket has been a natural part of our R&D every day since we opened our doors. For the past three years, Gotham’s commitment to the greenmarket has deepened with the emergence of the Greenmarket to Gotham program, which we launched in the summer of 2010.
Since then, we have created an all-vegetarian prix fixe every summer, changing the menu and purveyor each week. Why? Because corn is at its prime in August and September (not June), and heirloom tomatoes are at their peak precisely mid-July. Having built a kinship with local purveyors, Gotham wanted to highlight all the hard work that goes into your plate before the ingredients even get to the kitchen.
This program would not be possible without Chef Alfred Portale’s two right hands, chefs Livio Velardo and Jacinto Guadarrama, who spend hours each week developing a vibrant menu for Greenmarket to Gotham. We followed them one week to see just how they come up with these weekly new menus.
Step 1. Go to the Greenmarket.
Every Monday, the chefs walk over to the Union Square Greenmarket to survey the produce and chat with purveyors about the progression of their crops. Here, Jacinto chats with Franca Tantillo of Berried Treasures, known for her very fine tomatoes, green beans, and potatoes, not to mention the berries. The chefs choose whom to work with based on what any given farm may be bringing to market and how it might be incorporated in the Gotham menu.
Steps 2 and 3. Develop a recipe around the ingredient. And test it!
For Livio and Jacinto, the biggest challenge is creating a menu that truly reflects Gotham’s multidimensional cuisine—layers of flavor, texture, and color—while bringing a simplicity and freshness to each dish, allowing the “hero” ingredient to shine. After extensive tweaking, they present the dish to Alfred, who settles on flavor and plating.
Once Alfred approves, it’s time to teach the kitchen how to execute the dish. Jacinto often tapes and texts his plating technique to the kitchen staff for their reference. (Gotta love smartphones!)
Step 4. Develop language for the menu.
The chefs enlist General Manager Bret Csencsitz to help best describe the multifaceted dishes in just a few words.
Step 5. Serve! And start thinking about next week . . .
This year, we decided to extend Greenmarket to Gotham to take advantage of the fall harvest—beautiful squashes, sweet peppers, just-picked apples, and more. Here we share the all-vegetarian recipe for a roasted squash and sweet pepper fricassee.
For the Chimichurri Sauce
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp minced shallots
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Make the Chimichurri Sauce
1. In a medium bowl, mix together the olive oil, parsley, cilantro, shallots, pepper flakes, garlic, and salt.
2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
3. Right before serving, add the sherry vinegar. (Vinegar, if allowed to rest too long, will ruin the bright, green color of the sauce.)
For the Tomahawk
One 40-oz dry-aged tomahawk chop, about
2 1/2-inches thick
Freshly ground black pepper
4 oz (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
1 head garlic, halved horizontally
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Make the Tomahawk
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and position rack in the middle of the oven. Pat the steak dry and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Let the steak come to room temperature before cooking.
2. In a large ovenproof sauté pan set over high heat, warm enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan just before it starts to smoke. Add the steak and sear for 1 minute.
3. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook the steak, without moving it, for about 4 minutes. Check the bottom of the steak to see if it is charred to your liking, and flip to the other side and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes for medium rare.
5. Return the steak to the pan, and over medium heat add the butter, garlic, and thyme. Increase heat to high and baste steak for about 2 minutes (if the butter starts to burn, lower the heat and add a bit of oil to the pan to reduce the overall temperature of the butter).
6. Transfer the steak to a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Reserve the brown steak butter in the pan. When ready to serve, slice the steak across the grain.
Assemble the Dish
1. Divide the sliced steak between 2 warmed plates and sprinkle flaky sea salt on top.
2. Spoon chimichurri on top of the steak, drizzle with reserved butter, and sprinkle with smoked salt and black pepper. Serve with more chimichurri on the side.
He’s a Michelin-starred Iron Chef, so it could have been easy to create a menu that would intimidate people with its bold flavors and unfamiliar ingredients. Instead, Marc Forgione has felt the welcoming, open arms of his customers as they embrace his creativity, which gives him something to muse over…
“Marc Forgione has an extraordinary ability to truly concentrate and drive flavor. We have never worked with a chef who has such a bold flavor profile. Technically, Marc is a very valid chef, but his whole approach really has chops to it. When you read the American Cut menu, you quickly realize that it speaks to everyone. It’s not fluffy or pretentious; it’s a good, straight-ahead, New American steakhouse where he is able to reinterpret these classics and give them real character—specifically Marc Forgione character—to deliver something other than the conventional heart-attack steak. It makes a real impact because he uses the best products in the country, has perfect technique, and does an extraordinary job of training his staff. At the end of the day, you have equally intense flavor delivered in a different fashion. And when you go through all the dishes, right down to the sides, the flavor is so bold that it resonates with the client base. I don’t think Atlantic City has ever seen a steakhouse that looks and feels quite like American Cut: dark and sexy with Led Zeppelin playing in the background. It has real personality.” —John
“All I can do as a chef is follow my gut. And as it happened, some of the menu items that could have gone either way ended up becoming our most popular. I attribute that to the uniqueness of the dish. Take our Seafood Tasting: the custom-made double tower is not only impressive in that it takes two servers to get to the table, but it’s a unique approach to the typical plateau de fruits de mer as there is both hot and cold seafood including chili lobster, bbq baked oysters, raw oysters, shrimp cocktail, yellowfin tuna, hiramasa, and jumbo lump crab. It’s badass! And our prime 28-day, dry-aged Tomahawk Rib Eye Chop, seasoned with smoked salts and cooked in a cast-iron pan at 600 degrees in a woodburning stove, is another favorite—I think in part because it adds an indulgence to something very familiar to all of us.
The first year of any opening is an unknown, but I really feel like we connected with the local clientele. When I talk to our guests, I find a lot of them have driven in for the night from Philly or the surrounding Jersey Shore areas, like Cherry Hill and Brigantine. It’s exciting because, while we’re not the first to do a steakhouse in Atlantic City, I really believe we are offering something that is a little different at a very competitive price, in a space that is definitely not your typical establishment. We wanted to create an environment conducive not only to guys with cigars but also girls who want to come in and have a great meal and some fun cocktails. And that’s exactly what we did. It’s rock ’n’ roll, man, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So I’m extremely grateful to all our customers for our initial success!” —Chef Marc Forgione
“Bringing the South of France to Atlantic City was by far our boldest move at Revel, and our guests have really appreciated it. Azure is all about that aspirational experience: it’s about the bright, vibrant room; the view of the sea; the sexy lounge music; and the great food. It’s an escape into another world, and that makes for a big night out. I think that’s what really resonates with a local community who might not want to be out until 1:00 a.m. at a nightclub but is still looking for a real dining-entertainment kind of experience. Alain’s food is simple, but he has a very precise technique and is a real stickler for sourcing fresh ingredients. It’s a relatively straightforward seafood program paired with lots of glasses of rosé, the right music, a unique room, and a sexy crowd.” —John Meadow
“Opening Azure has been a great experience because the customers really seem to be enjoying it. The location is just spectacular, with high ceilings, high windows, and the ocean view. There is a carefree St. Tropez/Capri ambiance, good music, and professional but never uptight service. There’s nothing over the top or crazy about it; it’s simply a fun day-to-day restaurant that allows you to come in the way you want to and have a good time.
While the idea and taste for each dish has remained the same, we have adapted our menu to fit our clientele. Everything served is relatable with full-bodied flavors that allow me to tell a story about the Riviera with my food. And while we do offer meat dishes, our seafood shines: salmon, scallops, Chilean sea bass, lobster, branzino, and our highly demanded seafood risotto. Our whole fish is deboned for the utmost convenience of our guests. We add a few tableside presentations because of the charm of the show, but that’s the extent of it.
What has been the most exciting part for me is to watch the diners take in and enjoy the entire experience. This restaurant is a big part of who I am. The Mediterranean coastal cuisine is what I grew up on. And so having a chance to not only showcase my roots but also see it succeed is fantastic.” —Chef Alain Allegretti
“We felt going in that Lugo Cucina e Vino at Revel was the one restaurant that would be very appealing to a critical mass of guests because if offers something for everyone. It has been well received because it became exactly what we wanted it to be: a place where you can come in and have a casual drink, and still have a dining experience in the back. Between the coffee and espresso bar and the fact that we are now open for lunch, we get a regular stream of people from 11 in the morning until midnight.” —Curt Huegel
“What makes Lugo so special is its personal, approachable experience for everyone. It’s the only LDV restaurant that was not ‘created’ in Atlantic City. Both our New York and Revel locations share the same level of heartfelt approach in terms of ambiance and service, and the food is real. Lugo personifies who we are and our values—so much so, it’s kind of the cornerstone of our business. The idea of Lugo is that this ambiance can be recreated anywhere: it can travel and be received in a lot of different cities, and Revel is a great example of this mobility.
The concept of a neighborhood restaurant in a casino is virtually impossible to achieve, and yet Lugo is becoming that kind of faithful staple. We always intended for Lugo to be that place of comfort where you can find those signature dishes that offer you a true Italian dining experience—the meatballs, the Neapolitan pizzas, the homemade pastas—and you can relate to it, and that’s exciting to you. We have a loyal repeat clientele at Lugo and that’s because we’ve found a way into the local community.
Lugo is a communal, accessible indulgence in the good life, as opposed to a privileged life—essentially, that’s LDV Hospitality. It’s a place that invites you to come back over and over again.” —John Meadow
Opening three new restaurants is no small feat. To seamlessly open them all at the same time might be only slightly short of a miracle. Recalling the effort puts smiles on the faces of LDV principals John Meadow and Curt Huegel, who see American Cut, Azure, and Lugo as successful on many levels since the April opening of Revel in Atlantic City. Here, they push past the early days and talk about the culture of longevity now that the beach towels have been folded and put away.
It was always important to us from the very beginning to create restaurants that cultivate an independent spirit. This has been our philosophy not only at Revel but also with every chef and partner we have and each concept we brand. It would have been easy to simply replicate the places we already had, but that wasn’t our goal. Of course, we were thrilled to be in Revel, we were thrilled to be in Atlantic City, and that’s why we wanted to tailor each experience so that our restaurants really become authentic resort destinations instead of just casino amenities.
You see it too often: New York restaurants opening in large Vegas casinos, but they just aren’t the same. You don’t feel the fit. A dining experience in an independent restaurant is worlds apart from food you get at most airports, hotels, and casinos—and I’m proud to say that’s what we achieved with three fantastic restaurants at Revel. It was extremely satisfying to see our vision for each place come to fruition and have guests recognize this, which is exactly what happened. American Cut is a new concept. We knew we had this fantastic chef in Marc Forgione, but the reality is: American Cut was built and brought to life, and it worked. And now we meet countless people who tell us that it is the best restaurant in New Jersey. We already had one restaurant with Alain Allegretti in New York, but the fact of the matter is that Azure is a totally different place, and a lot of locals find it to be a great destination spot for their Saturday nights out. They are getting dressed up and excited about having a piece of the South of France in their own backyard. Even Lugo, which was not created for Revel, has taken on a personality of its own that is locally driven.
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Toasted Spelt Tagliatelle
1 tsp sea salt
500 grams “00” flour
250 grams toasted spelt flour
100 grams semolina
9 each egg yolks
3 each whole eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water
1. Place salt, flours, and semolina in a bowl and mix well. Turn out onto a flat surface and make a well in the center.
2. Add egg yolks, eggs, olive oil, and water in a bowl and mix well.
3. Add wet ingredients into the center of the well and begin pulling the dry ingredients into the wet with a fork.
4. Once the dough begins to form a solid mass, begin to knead the dough by hand, pulling up all the residual flour on the board. Knead for 10 minutes, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
5. Cut the ball of dough into 4 with a knife and roll out to a number 1.5 on your pasta machine.
6. Cut the sheets of dough into 10-inch-long sheets.
7. Attach the tagliatelle cutter to the pasta machine and feed the dough through. Dust with semolina and store in freezer until ready to use.
WILD BOAR RAGU
Yields 3 pounds
It’s exciting to visualize: Chef Scott Conant and his team gathered around a table with a blank piece of paper and a roomful of ideas. And now it’s even easier to do thanks to the artfully inspiring Culinary Loft that serves a thousand uses and more. It’s not just an office that doubles as an event space—it’s bigger than that. It’s all the stages in between, making it a crucial part of the next steps in Chef Conant’s world.
Probably the most important consideration was the room itself. It’s open and bathed in light. It’s warm and yet elegant. As Chef Scott Conant points out, “Lighting and mood is very important here, just as it is in any restaurant setting.” And it’s inviting. “You come up the elevator and it’s very private; it’s like being in a home, and that really works for a lot of people,” explains Director of Corporate Events Brandon Lynn.
After that, it was important to discuss functionality and practicality. The Culinary Suite encourages both with its convenience. “Scott always has a ton of ideas and visions. He feeds them to me and I pick a time to work them out and get immediate feedback, since he is right here,” says Corporate Chef Nick Kennedy. “It’s great to be able to run through things and bounce ideas off each other, right at the table.” Nick admits he’s a morning person who likes to get in at 8 a.m. and enjoy the quiet. “Here, we can basically work all day and into the night without feeling the pressure of using up someone else’s precious space.”
Brandon Lynn knows how to throw a party. As the Director of Corporate Events for SCM, he handles all aspects of private dining for Scarpetta in New York, Beverly Hills, and Las Vegas, and now those at the Culinary Suite. Whether it’s creating an experience for a small group with cocktails and canapés or a five-course sit-down dinner, Brandon’s goal is always the same: to celebrate life through good food.
I always loved food and cooking as a child, and my grandmother was a big influence on me in that regard. After school, I worked as a general manager and a food and beverage director at various restaurants and small hotels before spending a few years as the director of production for a destination management company based in South Florida and the Bahamas. It rounded out my hospitality education, as I traveled a lot throughout the United States to conduct site visits. After that, I headed to New York, where I spent about four years at Gotham Bar and Grill as the assistant general manager and director of events before I came to SCM.
The first time I actually came to the Culinary Suite was for an event, and I was drawn by how comfortable the room was. I loved the original concept for the space and how versatile it could be. The table can go away and we can do a product launch; we can do a taping, make a film. Chef Scott Conant has grown a solid brand with Scarpetta that has a strong future. Realizing the true potential of the Culinary Suite is an exciting next step of which I’m glad to be a part.
Sometimes the best ideas are born out of sheer frustration, as in the case of the Culinary Suite. Chef Scott Conant’s idea took on a life of its own and became a reality. The suite has quickly become Conant’s creative wheelhouse—a multipurpose space to inspire, to create, to collaborate, and to sit back and savor in a unique destination.
Spending as much time as I do in different restaurants, I often find it hard to complete a thought with all that racket going on! Commercial kitchens are noisy and cluttered, and not at all conducive to testing and experimenting with recipes. Time and space simply do not exist inside a busy restaurant. So I got this idea years ago to have a place where I could do that—think out loud. To that I added the need for an office component with a library of cookbooks available to my entire team as a creative outlet. And that’s where the initial thought process started.
I took the idea a little further and thought: O.K., what if I created a space where I could do food photography, video shoots, and recipe development, with a big table as the focal point to gather around and allow for an interchange of free-thinking ideas? A platform where we could throw ideas at one another and then actually apply them. All of this was great in theory, but, let’s be honest, an office space in Manhattan is an expensive venture, and so I had to think outside of the box as to how I could make it work financially. That’s when the event-space angle came to mind.
What if we could make a space nice enough to create a whole different revenue stream while applying some of the original ideas? Scarpetta New York is great for entertaining large parties, but this idea has opened up a whole new option for private dining, not to mention cooking classes, cocktail parties, and much more. When I found this specific location, it all came together. There was a section for an office, ample room for a big table that encourages easygoing discourse but still keeps it serious on a workday, plus a space in the back for more private conversations. And the kitchen allows us to bring together all things culinary: from demos and cocktail parties to private luncheons and five-course tasting dinners.
There is something very warm and approachable about this space while still having an inherent elegance to it. It lends itself perfectly to many different situations. It inspires me and really allows my team to accomplish so much more in a relaxed yet energizing atmosphere. And I think the untapped opportunities are endless!
with Luke’s Lobster
When investment banker Luke Holden decided to get back to his roots, he never envisioned the success Luke’s Lobster enjoys today.
With a father who had been in the lobster business for four decades, and given his own experience lobstering in high school and during summers, Luke put together a business model for a Maine-style lobster shack. He asked his dad to source the highest-quality lobster, crab, and shrimp available. The original Luke’s Lobster launched in the East Village in 2009 and proved to be so successful that the concept grew rapidly to now include locations in New York on the Upper West Side, in the Financial District, and in The Plaza Food Hall.There are more stores in Washington D.C., Bethesda, and Georgetown. And of course Luke’s mobile with their very own food truck.
What sets Luke’s Lobster Roll apart? Definitely the ingredients. We use a Maine-made Country Kitchen, New England–style split-top bun. When buttered on the outside and griddled, it becomes crisp on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. It almost melts in your mouth, enveloping the lobster without distracting from it; it’s not too sweet, like most hot dog buns, and it’s not bulky and distracting like a brioche or sandwich roll.
Town and Country Living was founded by Denise Leventhal and Tina Nyman in 2012. The store offers the finest luxury home furnishings and everything you need for entertaining. Denise and Tina also specialize in interior design.
Setting the Table
with Denise Leventhal and Tina Nyman
What’s the overall design aesthetic of Town and Country Living? Our overall philosophy is focused around Old World elegance intermixed with elements of the new and contemporary. This eclectic combination creates dialogue and comfort in an atmosphere that is both warm and relaxed yet fresh and exciting. Combining traditions of the past with new design ideas helps maintain legacies while adding new memories to younger generations.
What is the perfect gift for the host of a party or parting gift for guests? Focus on what you know about each person, their hobbies or interests. Take a wine collector, for example: you can go in several directions—a high-end crystal decanter, a pewter wine funnel engraved with the Greek god Bacchus, or agate coasters in various colors to add life and texture to a coffee table. A parting gift should be an extension of the theme of the party. During the holidays, a personalized, hand-painted ornament shows how you pay attention to the details.
Name a few ways to spruce up a table for a dinner party? Place fresh flowers, candles, or a small gift box wrapped in coordinating paper with ribbon in front of each place setting. These can also serve as parting gifts for your guests. Use festive patterns on which to build a theme. Place cards are always worthy accessories that add color and texture—and, more important, stimulate conversation among guests who don’t know one another. For seating arrangements, alternating genders is another great way to get everyone talking. And luxurious table linens add a hint of generations past to any space.
Who is your favorite designer of the moment? We adore Jacqueline Cambata, an American designer who was born in India and grew up all over the world. Her exposure to international traditions has allowed her to develop a line of porcelain tableware inspired by the sumptuous style of the Mughal Empire. Made in Limoges, France, where craftsmen have been making porcelain for kings and queens for centuries, her dinnerware epitomizes elegance at the table.
The marketplace at The Plaza Food Hall is a haven for food enthusiasts. With a dizzying array of options, there is something for everyone who comes through our doors. You can savor everything on the spot or stock up and indulge later: from sweet to savory, finding a gift that perfectly represents flavors could not be any easier or more fun.
A MAISON DU CHOCOLAT
This winter, the master chocolatiers at La Maison du Chocolat have looked to the stars for their inspiration. Master Chef Nicolas Cloiseau imagined a shimmering, sparkling holiday, bringing a touch of the celestial to exceptional chocolate creations.
The Celestial Christmas Tree
Ornamented with a lacework of gold-flake stars and signature red ribbon, and standing at nearly three feet, the remarkable level of detail on this magnificently sculpted tree showcases the finesse of the craftsmanship. It is topped with a star of pure chocolate, frosted with glistening sugar crystals that evoke decorative lights, and adorned with 36 milk and dark chocolate stars of assorted sizes. Each star is cut by hand to ensure the precision of each line, filled with mediant, and topped with a smaller star dusted in 22-karat edible gold.
Limited Edition—Available Only in Boutiques
The Christmas Star Coffret
Five delectable confections and classic candied chestnuts reunite all the sensations reminiscent of the holidays in this beautiful tasting coffret.
32 chocolates (290g): $78
51 chocolates (465g): $125
105 chocolates (960g): $260
SUSHI OF GARI
The Sushi of Gari’s party platter showcases unique flavor combinations in a variety of textures and colors. The star of the platter is a Plaza Food Hall exclusive: a tuna avocado press that features layers of tuna, avocado, and rice topped with a special mango sauce. There are three cups of spicy tuna miso sushi that highlight the Japanese taste of miso as it complements the tuna. You also get a taste of a Gari original: three cups of salmon sushi topped with herb-sautéed tomatoes. And finally the rolls, using only the freshest ingredients, include two American-style spicy tuna, two California, and two shrimp tempura rolls.
The Plaza Unveiled
In 2007, The Plaza Hotel celebrated its centennial birthday with a meticulous restoration, returning it to its glorious past grandeur to endure for the 21st century. More than three painstaking years were spent bringing luster back to The Plaza. A team of hundreds of artists and international craftspeople polished marble, cut glass, restored walls, removed decades of tarnish, and engineered 21st-century technology into this 100-year-old gem.
The Plaza Unveiled captures in pictures and words the soul of this iconic structure: a photographic journey and memoir that chronicles the architectural restoration and social phenomenon of one of New York City’s most iconic landmarks. The book includes a collection of more than 100 original photographs. Printed on fine art paper, each copy is housed in a handcrafted binding with gold leaf, making it a treasure for all who recognize the singularity of The Plaza.
For sale in The Plaza Boutique
The Plaza Unveiled
$180 or $225 with an embossed case
ELOISE’S RAWTHER SWEET SHOP
Lollipops, licorice, Laffy Taffy, and more!
Skidder on into Eloise’s Rawther Sweet Shop, where there’s candy galore!
“Of course, my very own sweet shop will have only my most favorite colors:
pink, white, and black. Surely you will find some goodies and must hurry back!
Oh, I absolutely love candy!” Charge it please, thank you very much!
Haute Holidays at Three Tarts
Surprise your dinner-party host or treat yourself to an indulgence from the company that brought you gourmet marshmallows and a fresh take on s’mores. Fourteen hand-rolled chocolate truffles, made with 64 percent fine dark Spanish chocolate, have been placed in a princess bowl topped with Austrian cut crystals. Complete with a miniature crystal ball, this set makes an excellent New Year’s Eve party gift. It is made in New York City and available only at Three Tarts.
TODD ENGLISH GIFT BASKETS
Chef Todd English invites you to create your own artisanal gift basket or choose from one of his signature assortments.
The Entertaining Basket, featured here, is the ideal gift for your host or hostess this holiday season. Why would you gift anything else?
The Todd English Entertaining Basket includes:
Sabre serving set in pearl; Alain Milliat juice and preserve sampler; Les Trois Petit Cochons toasts; TEFH chocolate ginger, fig almond, and brickle trays; Société Original seashore honey; Rozendal jasmine vinegar; TEFH individual caramels, 4-ounce nut tubes, chunky chocolate bars, and chocolate tablets; Exquisitely Rich stout fruitcake
Founded in 1867 in St. Petersburg, Kusmi Tea was the supplier to the tsar’s court and has become one of Russia’s foremost teahouses. For more than 140 years, Kusmi Tea has offered high-quality tea blends and classic teas. Based in Paris and now with a flagship store at The Plaza Food Hall on Fifth Avenue, Kusmi also carries designer tea kettles and a wide range of colorful gift sets. Ideal gifts for any festive occasion!
The consumption of cake is not to be taken lightly, and neither is cake’s history. From a sweetened bread to a delicate dessert, cake has evolved over the centuries into decadence on a plate.
But it didn’t start out that way. Originating from the Norse word kaka, cake in its earliest form was a simple baked good sweetened with sugar or honey. Flour, sugar, eggs, and butter became common core ingredients only in the past 200 years. The invention of baking soda and temperature-controlled ovens made things easier but also raised the bar on the complexity of textures and flavors. The ability to bake a good cake has long been a prized skill and symbol of hospitality, and every country seems to have a version that blends tradition with culture. Marie Antoinette might have been more reticent to offer cake if she had sampled some of today’s creations.
Apple Spice Cake
from Billy’s Bakery
In 2003, Billy’s Bakery was founded to provide customers with classic American baked goods in a warm, friendly atmosphere. By baking all their products on-site, their 1940s-style stores are filled with the delicious smells of fresh cakes and pies that recall the delightful, warm feeling of Grandma’s kitchen. Their seasonal apple spice cake, the ultimate indulgence in fall flavors, is made with brown sugar–spice batter and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and caramel glaze.
from François Payard
After becoming an established pastry authority on the Upper East Side, Chef François Payard brings the flavors of his French heritage to The Plaza Food Hall. Inspired by logs that burn in the hearth during the winter holidays, Payard’s yule log—or bûche de Noël—takes on a decidedly chestnut theme. “Chestnuts are an integral part of the December holidays in France,” explains Payard. “Before rolling up the sponge cake with the chestnut-cream filling, I brush it with a ginger syrup that adds a slight tingle, which goes so well with chestnut. Pieces of whole candied chestnut in the cream make for a wonderful surprise when you bite into the cake.”
from William Greenberg
Opened in 1946 by William Greenberg Jr., William Greenberg Desserts today remains synonymous with quality. The Candy Cake, one of their most illustrious desserts, is created with decadent chocolate cake alternating with layers of luscious, fresh whipped cream. The cake is garnished with chocolate candy wafers and sprinkled with chocolate shavings for a rich, delicious, and elegant treat. It’s the perfect finish to any festivity.
from Lady M Confections
Lady M cakes are handmade following recipes refined over the years to provide the highest quality in taste and form. Combine the best elements of pumpkin pie and cheesecake, add a dose of Lady M’s sophisticated elegance, and the result is Pumpkin Nuage. Gently spiced with cinnamon and featuring a light hand of cream cheese atop a crushed graham-cracker base, it’s both ethereal and indulgent all at once. Great for any festive occasion.
PLAZA FOOD HALL
A table set for a holiday celebration is the perfect backdrop for the sharing of traditions, both old and new. From an oft-told story to the reveal of a newly tried recipe, ’tis the season to indulge in epicurean moments and create new memories.
Saucy, spicy and strong, Todd English knows how to bring great flavor to dishes. This holiday season, we wanted to share one of his signature pasta dishes. Whether you follow the Roman’s recipe below or adopt your own, we encourage you to try this robust and gutsy recipe. Your guests will be impressed!
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp sliced garlic
1 tbsp chopped anchovy
1 tbsp capers, rinsed
1/2 cup tomato fillet in sauce
6 oz fresh spaghettini
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp feta cheese
1 tbsp garlic bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
In a hot sauté pan, add oil, garlic, chopped anchovy, and capers. Sauté until garlic and anchovy are golden. Add tomato sauce and let the juice reduce by half. In a separate pot of boiling water, blanch pasta until al dente, then strain. Add the butter to the sauce while stirring gently. Toss pasta with the sauce in the sauté pan until the pasta is dressed, then add the chopped parsley. Place the pasta in a shallow bowl. Top with feta cheese and bread crumbs. Serve immediately.
Poulet Roti Tartine
Exposing a new approach to French cuisine by going back to the basics, Tartinery lets simple, fresh ingredients do the talking. Its concept revolves around the tartine: a gourmet open-faced sandwich served on a razor-thin slice of toasted sourdough bread from the renowned Poilâne bakery, located on Rue du Cherche-Midi in Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
1 farm chicken
2 fresh lemons
4 thin slices of country bread, preferably sourdough
1 large egg yolk
1/2 fresh lemon
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Fresh chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Stuff the chicken with 1 fresh lemon, thyme, and rosemary. Rub the skin with olive oil. Pour the juice of the second lemon over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 70 minutes, turning the chicken over after 40 minutes.
After the chicken is cooked, cover it with aluminum foil and leave it to rest for a few minutes on the kitchen table. During that time, prepare the mayonnaise and fennel garnish.
To Make Mayonnaise
Whisk the egg yolk in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Add the lemon juice and mustard, blending well. Add the oil drop by drop. This will take a few minutes; don’t rush it or the oil will separate from the egg. Once you’ve added the oil, add chives and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Shave the fennel very thin and season with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Shred the chicken by hand, placing all the juicy meat in a bowl. Gently toast the bread, spread on some mayonnaise, and add the shredded chicken. Top with the seasoned shaved fennel and you’re ready to eat. Bon appétit!