Tea Sandwich // Goat and Mascarpone Cheese, Fig Jam, & Caramelized Pecans

Creamy, tangy and sweet, this open faced tea sandwich is a perfect two-bite. 

Just five ingredients are needed. 

Equal parts goat cheese and mascarpone cheese 
Fig jam with whole fruit cut in half (I used Nar Gourmet's Baby Fig Jam c/o)
Roughly chopped pecans
White bread cut into squares, then lightly toasted

I mixed goat cheese and mascarpone to create a spreadable cheese mixture and to make it a little less pungent.

Then it's all a matter of assembling. First spreading the cheese onto the toast, then topping with a fig and the chopped pecans. For an extra touch of sweetness, drizzle a bit of the liquid from the fig jam over the figs.

GOAT AND MASCARPONE CHEESE, FIG JAM, & CARAMELIZED PECANS

INGREDIENTS
Equal parts goat cheese and mascarpone cheese 
Fig jam with whole fruit cut in half (I used Nar Gourmet's Baby Fig Jam c/o)
Roughly chopped pecans
White bread cut into squares, then toasted

DIRECTIONS
1. Mix goat cheese and mascarpone cheese in a bowl.
2. Spread cheese mixture to lightly toasted white bread. 
3. Top with halved figs and chopped caramelized pecans.
4. Drizzle with liquid from fig jam.

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Posted on October 28, 2014 .

Afternoon Tea Review // Bosie Tea Parlor

Since the last time I had afternoon tea at Bosie, they changed the presentation to a three-tiered tray so I thought it was a good time for an updated review. I met up with Sara on a weekday afternoon and was shocked to see the place completely packed. We waited about 15 minutes for a table.

SETTING: ★★★☆☆
It's a casual cafe in the West Village where you can chat over tea and savories or sweets. It's a cute place with wooden tables and chairs but definitely not opulent like hotel afternoon tea spots.

SERVICE: ★★★☆☆
The service was friendly, but it was hard to get the attention of the servers since they were fairly busy. Water (hot and cold) was never refilled until asked and no one made the rounds to see if we needed anything.

TEA & TEA SERVICE: ★★★★★
Excellent selection of teas — which totally makes sense since they are a tea parlor — without the tea menu being overwhelming.

SAVORIES: ★★☆☆☆
We ordered the afternoon tea for two where we each got to pick three tea sandwiches each. Out of the six tea sandwich choices, we both picked the same three: Egg Salad on Whole Wheat, Cucumber with Cream Cheese on White, and Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese on Pumpernickel (extra $1 charge). 

ALL CAPS RANT: WHY THE EXTRA CHARGE FOR CERTAIN TEA SANDWICHES??? I HATE IT WHEN PLACES NICKLE AND DIME. 

Anyway, the tea sandwiches were nice and simple, but it was evident they were made hours earlier since the bread was not the freshest. It was a little stale and dry. The cream cheese was overly salty in both the cucumber tea sandwich and the salmon.

SCONES: ★★
Two scones each and nicely baked golden brown. We got one clotted cream and one jam for the two of us which was not enough. I had to ask for another set, but wished they had given a set each of these super cute jars to begin with.

SWEETS: ☆☆
Tea cakes and macarons make up the last course. We got to pick which two macarons we wanted. I would have preferred more variety since two tea cakes per person got to be a little much.

OVERALL: ☆☆
I would definitely go back for tea and sweets, but not for their full afternoon tea service since the savories were a disappointment.

INFO: Bosie Tea Parlor | 10 Morton Street | New York, NY 10014 | 212.352.9900
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: All day
COST: $29 for Afternoon tea for one, $55 for Afternoon tea for two

 

 

NYC Wine & Food Festival's Meatopia X

They are not kidding around with Meatopia. I ate so much pork, lamb, chicken, beef that all I wanted to eat the next day was salad.

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Held outside at on a rooftop at Pier 92 along West Side Highway, NYC Wine & Food Festival's Meatopia is a meat lover's paradise. 36 restaurants were there, plating up delicious cuts of meat.

Half the event was out in the open (and it was cold!) with chefs cooking meat over an open fire and the other half was held under a tent. The place was bustling!

Here are some of my favorites of the night:

The BEST pastrami sandwich EVER by Glen Oaks Club. Dr. Brown's Cream-Soda Brined Smoked Short Rib Pastrami with homemade rye, vegetable pickles, and mustard horseradish sauce. I don't think I even chewed with the buttery soft pastrami. 

Best lamb dish of the night for me was by Knife Dallas. Sous Vide Colorado Lamb Rack over Red Oak Fire. I was gnawing on that bone to get every little goodness.

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This Filipino-Style Snout-to-Tail Pork Sisig Tacos by Maharlika Filipino Moderno was my favorite one bite. Juicy pork with a little spicy kick at the end.

Grilled Vietnamese Country Pork Ribs with Tomatillo Salsa by The Little Beet was nicely charred and super tender all at once.

After a few plates of meat, I needed a little break, so I took a seat in one of the comfy couches in the JCPenney lounge displaying everything sold in their stores.

Decorated for Halloween, they had a dining room table loaded with halloween candy and chocolates. Brilliant decorating idea -- the the candy corn in the glass dome. 

In the lounge was Mr. Cheng, a master in the art of Chinese paper-cutting, who was busy snipping away to create free-form pieces of art out of paper.

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A little lively music to close out the night by the High and Mighty Brass Band.

My clothes still smell of smoke and cooked meat. Not that that's a bad thing.

//Tickets to attend Meatopia courtesy of JCPenney. All content and opinions expressed here are my own.//

Posted on October 22, 2014 .

Afternoon Tea Review // The St. Regis New York

I'm back at The St. Regis New York (see my last review from 2012) for afternoon tea with Georgia and Sara. Formerly Astor Court, tea service is now in the newly redesigned and renamed King Cole Bar & Salon.  

SETTING: ★★★☆☆
The redesigned space is now completely masculine with a dark color scheme. Gone are the plush sofas in warm tones and crisp white tablecloths; they were missed. The harpist was still there, which I liked, although I was thrown when a song from the movie Frozen was played on the harp. (The harpist is only there Wednesday - Sunday.)

SERVICE: ★★★★★
The service was excellent, as it usually is, although there was a tiny hiccup. After we were chatting for a bit, the server came over and placed the first course of savories in front of us. I didn't think anything of it, since we were there for afternoon tea, but Georgia doesn't eat meat and she didn't get a chance to let them know so that one of the tea sandwiches with roast beef could be replaced with something else.

TEA & TEA SELECTION: ★★★★★
I had previously given it 4 stars, due to the small selection of oolongs and white teas, but I'm going to now up it to 5 stars since looking at the tea menu again, it's a healthy selection, especially compared to other afternoon tea services. 

SAVORIES: ★★★★★
Before the three-tiered tray was carried out, the savories were served first, on a white plate. I didn't mind this, especially if it means the scones will arrive later, WARM, although they weren't very warm in this case.

Back to the savories -- they are excellent. Three traditional tea sandwiches, one roast beef on a bun, and a mini quiche. The variety was great and everything tasted freshly made.

Out came the three-tired tray with servings for all three of us. The top, scones (two each), and the bottom two were sweets (four each).

SCONES: ★★★★☆
Scones are served with Double Devonshire cream, preserves, and lemon curd on a separate plate in small pots. We were given two plates for the three of us, which meant two of us had to share one, and with two scones per person and with how much cream I like on my scones, we really needed a serving of jam and cream for each person. 

SWEETS: ★★★★★
A nice variety of sweets and they tasted great. The red fruit tart was my favorite since hidden in inside was a surprise matcha filling. 

OVERALL: ★★★★★
I'm sticking with keeping The St. Regis afternoon tea as the second best in New York City. (See my top 6 places for afternoon tea.) It lost some allure from the change in decor, but everything else about it is solidly good.

INFO: Astor Court at The St. Regis New York | 2 East 55th Street, at 5th Ave. | New York, NY 10022 | 212.339.6857
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Daily from 3PM - 5PM
COST: St. Regis Tea, $55 | Menu

 

MatchaBar

Finally made it to MatchaBar. After a fantastic Japanese set lunch at Okonomi in Brooklyn, my friends and I walked over to MatchaBar a few blocks away.

It's the very first cafe with a matcha focus in New York City, and since I LOVEEEE matcha, I had to make sure to go for a visit, even if it seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere in Brooklyn -- well, Williamsburg, but not too close to a subway station.

After looking over the menu posted on the wall above the counter, I went with an iced matcha watermelon. The watermelon sweetened the matcha perfectly and it was surprising how well the flavors went together. 

Counter is on the left when you walk in and there's seating up front, along the opposite side of the counter, and a communal table in the back. I wished the interior of the cafe had a more refined look to it. 

Baked goods are in a case by the register. There weren't a lot of choices (as in 4-5 baked goods) and not everything was made with matcha, but the matcha canelé caught my eye.

We sat along the wall on stools and sipped our matcha drinks and munched on our sweets.

INFO: MatchaBar | 93 Wythe Ave. | Brooklyn, NY 11249 | 718.599.0015

Posted on October 17, 2014 .