On Our Radar

Monday, August 31, 2015
Grape Stuff
Business/Location: The Remedy
Address: 124 Cleveland St
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: W1T 6PG
Phone: 020 3489 3800
Website: www.theremedylondon.com

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   The Remedy
I wish there was a branch of The Remedy on every street corner but then perhaps that's why it's so special--because it is so rare to find somewhere that is this passionate about what they serve and that delivers. Of course, wine is the speciality here but this is not the place to come if you want your regular serving of Cab Sav. You can ask the waiter for a safe option but he is likely to offer you something that will challenge your tastebuds (in a good way). I had seen a chilled red on the blackboard which I fancied but the waiter quickly turned me on to a different one from a small producer who uses biodynamic methods. "Eets a leetle beet...funky so maybe you like to try first," he helpfully explained before pouring me a good glug of Adonis from the Loire Valley. It was indeed funky but I liked it. He let me finish the taster before pouring a full new glass. This is what wine drinking should be about, trying new stuff and not having your pants bored off by someone who spouts off about 'minerality' and 'oakiness' etc. Having tried something new on the libation side of things I stuck to the tried and tested on the food front and had an incredibly satisfying Toulouse sausage and chips followed by a more than perfect panna cotta but the seafood oriented specials and oyster 'happy hour' demand another trip.

Saturday, August 15, 2015
Mi Casita su Casita
Business/Location: Casita
Address: 5 Ravey St
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: EC2A 4QW
Phone: 020 7729 7230
Website: www.casitabar.com

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
Do not come to Casita on a Sunday. I repeat, do not come to Casita on a Sunday. I'm kidding, you're a grown-up, you can make your own decisions. But seriously, you WILL get merry in this place and you might have a sore head on Monday to prove it (this is in no way based on what happened to me by the way). The cocktails are generous and the bar staff will keep you entertained, plus they're not joking when they describe themselves as a 'cocktail shed' so you will definitely be forced to speak to other drinkers--a perfect formula for fun. Casita's famous tequila con verdita must be sampled and may just make you change your mind about the much-maligned liquor. It's a tequila shot followed by a pineapple, coriander, mint and chilli shot, which will do a little dance in your mouth. And all this in Shoreditch! Who knew? I didn't because I gave up having to wade through people talking about being a model/DJ/writer/musician whilst checking their hairdo in the nearest reflective material some years ago, but apparently lots of people do know about Casita and love it. So I'm late to the party, so what? It's a bloody good party.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Amtrak House Phone (sponsored by the '80s)
Business/Location: Penn Station
Address: 8th Ave & W 32nd St
City: New York
State: NY
Zip Code: 10001

Posted by:  Craig Nelson
Photo:  Craig Nelson
   Penn Station

Ah, Penn Station. So many plans to rebuild, so few totally unrealistic dreams that come true. It looks like we're stuck with you and your completely insane system of announcing the tracks as thousands of people race to beat each other on board. Maybe it's time to celebrate the good (not just the bad and ugly like we usually do). If you're train is actually on time, then congratulations! If not, take a look around. Along with the classical music, weary travelers, popcorn vendors and plenty of New York characters, you just might come across this relic from the past. It's a real telephone that will supposedly connect you right to Amtrak. Who picked up on the other end? I didn't have time to find out, because they just called my track number, and I want to get a window seat...

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Drink Up at Brooklyn Pour
Business/Location: Brooklyn Expo Center
Address: 72 Noble
City: Brooklyn
State: NY
Zip Code: 11222
Phone: 718-775-3315
Website: www.brooklynexpocenter.com/

Posted by: 
Photo:  Laura June Kirsch
   Brooklyn Expo Center

Before you know it, the leaves will be falling from the trees, and you'll be wearing sweaters on a perfect autumn day sipping an IPA. Until then, enjoy summer but start planning for an epic beer afternoon on September 26 in Greenpoint during Village Voice's annual Brooklyn Pour. Bringing together over 100 breweries for a day-drinking session to end all day-drinking sessions, this beer-tastic event should be on your calendar. Enjoy samples from local favorites like Sixpoint and Singlecut Beersmiths to newcomers like Braven Brewers from Bushwick. There will also be a food court and entertainment if you need a break from all of the killer beer. Tickets are on sale now, so get them before the keg runs out.

Thursday, July 9, 2015
Not Too Tatty
Business/Location: Tatty Devine
Address: 236 Brick Ln
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: E2 7
Phone: 020 7739 9191
Website: www.tattydevine.com

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Tatty Devine
When I first moved to London, Tatty Devine jewellery seemed to symbolise everything that was attractive about the city: shiny, colourful and witty. Ten years on and I'm not sure I still think of London being those things (maybe something else rhyming with 'witty'? I'm kidding!) but Tatty Devine certainly still has it's allure. It's a wonder then that the Tatty Devine workshop is only just now offering jewellery-making parties as it seems an obvious choice for such a playful brand. This week I sampled the joys of making one of their bunting necklaces at a breakfast workshop and I can't tell you how cute and fun it was. Playing with the colours and coming up with my own design was almost meditative and the TD girls were on hand to give helpful tips and make sure we didn't bodge things up. Even better was the sense of achievement I felt when people said, "Love the necklace," and I could respond, "Yeah, made it this morning." The party package includes material for 8-12 people to make a necklace or charm bracelet, Fentimans drinks or prosecco (depending on which package you choose), popcorn, sweet treats, and 15% off jewellery on the day plus you can make your own playlist to groove along to. I'd get your mates on board and organise a party even if it's no-one's birthday or hen.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
No Reservations
Business/Location: The Palomar
Address: 34 Rupert St
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: W1D 6DN
Phone: 020 7439 8777
Website: thepalomar.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   The Palomar
"Shall we go in?" we looked at each other doubtfully. It was 6:15pm on a Thursday night and the dining bar at The Palomar was already rammed. I almost abandoned the idea because I hate this "stand-at-the-bar-while-you-wait" culture which is so common now (you can book tables at The Palomar but it takes months to get one). We stood scrunched up against the wall agreeing that if we got through the first drink and there were still no seats available, we would go somewhere else. But within about 20 minutes, we were shown to our places - a front row seat in the theatre that is the open kitchen at The Palomar. And honestly, listening to and watching the banter amongst the chefs is worth the wait alone, every so often, the head chef singing along with Elvis playing on the sound system, slightly discordantly, but with such chutzpah you can't not smile. You can't not smile when you taste the food either--the humble butternut squash risotto was elevated to another level, the octo-hummous was compelling, and the onglet steak (with latkes, fried egg and bone marrow) sublime. I was slightly disappointed by the shakshukit (deconstructed kebab) as it was quite oily and heavy but perhaps the bar had been raised too high as I also found the halva cream brownie relatively underwhelming. Dinner wasn't cheap at £57 each but that included two cocktails apiece and service. I will definitely return and wait patiently for my seat at the bar.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
June 10: NFT Guide Launch Event at Word!
Business/Location: WORD
Address: 126 Franklin St
City: Brooklyn
State: NY
Zip Code: 11222
Phone: 718-383-0096
Website: www.wordbrooklyn.com

Posted by:  Craig Nelson
Mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 10, because Not For Tourists is celebrating the release of its brand new guide -- The NFT Illustrated Guide to NYC. This new guidebook has gone where no NYC NFT has gone before with custom illustrations, bigger print, photos, and easy-to-use maps. New York has changed a lot since 1999 when NFT first launched to the masses, and we want to chat about the future, present, and past of NYC. Join co-founders Jane Pirone and Rob Tallia along with editor Craig Nelson for a lively discussion on all things New York and NFT at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint. The event takes place from 7 to 9 pm on June 10th so join in the fun, pick up your own copy of the book, and sip a complimentary drink to get you in the spirit. Check out the Facebook event page for more info.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Business/Location: La Pétanque
Address: 40 Rue Etienne Dolet
City: Paris
Zip Code: 75020
Phone: 46 36 49 36

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   La Pétanque
"Bonne chance!" shouted the barman as we left the hipster place on Rue Menilmontant where we had just asked the question, "Do you have any cider?" Well, we were in luck because we'd been to a bar a few nights before that did indeed serve cider, and we were going to return. I don't know if cider is seen as a hobo drink in Paris--not quite sophisticated or cosmopolitan enough--but it is hard to find. Certainly, the only place that you will find it on tap is in an Irish pub and it's probably going to be Magner's. But La Pétanque, thankfully had some very good Breton cider, albeit in 25cl bottles, which slaked our thirst. "Where are you from, my friend?" the kindly barman who had remembered us asked in French. "Angleterre, de Londres," I said. I also explained that cider is served in pints in England, hence the fact that my boyfriend and I had sunk three bottles apiece. "Everyone is welcome here," our new friend said, eyes shining, as if we were now part of the club. And it kind of does feel like a club, with a pinball machine in the corner, a few bar flies who never seem to leave, and great music on the speakers; we felt right at home.

Thursday, May 7, 2015
Picture This
Business/Location: Picture
Address: 110 Great Portland Street
City: London
Zip Code: W1W 6PG
Phone: 020 7637 7892
Website: www.picturerestaurant.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
I don't like restaurant critics. They're always snarky. Anger issues. Passive aggression. If I don't like somewhere, I just won't review it. So that's the first thing to get off my chest. The second thing: I'm not overly keen on 'small plates'. I don't like sharing which is what people tend to do with small plates. So Picture, because it's being reviewed here, must be at least good to outstanding, and also, must have converted me to this way of eating. Picture is that rare thing: a quietly confident eaterie in central London that has both style and substance, and it's also pretty damned reasonable for the quality of food and service you're receiving. The tasting menu is six courses (that's six small plates each) which may seem daunting but each dish is so carefully considered and the service timed so well that you never feel overwhelmed only excited about the next course. I couldn't say which was my favourite, everything was cooked to perfection; however, the sea bream elevated a dish which has become ubiquitous yet so often badly done. Closely followed by the pork cheeks. And the sublime chocolate mousse. An a la carte menu is available if you're after a quick bite but I highly recommend the Spring tasting menu. Simple food and flavours done perfectly.

Greenwood's Cozy Nut
Business/Location: The Cozy Nut Tavern
Address: 123 N 85th St
City: Seattle
State: WA
Zip Code: 98103
Phone: 206-784-2240

Posted by:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter
   The Cozy Nut Tavern
Greenwood's aptly named joint delightfully evokes Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. Thanks to the reclaimed wood interior and soft lamplight you'll feel like you are enjoying your cocktails or streamlined selection of local and imported brews inside the nicest damned tree trunk imaginable. Every minute spent there is a pure joy from their adorable anthropomorphic forest creature silhouettes to their build-your-own charcuterie plates. The delightfully toothsome texture of their warm, house made corn nuts (complimentary with every drink order) shatteringly transcend the commercial variety. Even the taxidermy seems pleased to be part of it all. Bring a deck of cards and settle in with friends.