30 Jun 2009 03:34 pm

Summertime has me thinking about the beach foods I grew up with along the Rhode Island coast.  Lobster rolls, clam cakes, steamed little necks, and of course clam chowder.  At this moment I’m on line searching for the perfect clam chowder recipe for my 4th of July beach party.  Friends will be coming by to watch the fireworks, and the food theme will be strictly New England. 


Chowder is a sensitive issue for New Englanders.  Everyone has a favorite chowder house, and everyone is convinced there is only one “right” way to make clam chowder.  My personal favorite is the chowder at the Black Pearl, on Bannister’s Wharf in Newport Rhode Island.  The Black Pearl’s elegant Commodore Room serves a perfect New England clam chowder.  It’s chock full of fresh clams and creamy yellow with butter.  You can also enjoy executive chef, J. Daniel Knerr’s famous chowder at the Black Pearl’s Tavern, or al fresco at its Patio Bar, with its view of Newport Harbor and the comings and goings of Newport Society along Bannister’s Wharf.  The chowder is available on line too, which basically solves the problem of my first course for Saturday’s beach party.  Yes, it is canned soup, but it’s canned soup from an American Culinary Federation USA Chef of the Year, so I’ll take my chances and hide the cans before the guests arrive.



Chowder Prepared Lovingly By BLT Fish Shack 

If canned soup is not your cup of chowder, and if you simply can’t make it up to Newport this season for the fresh kind, fear not.  As a native New Englander I find this very hard to believe, but friends in New York tell me you can get an excellent bowl of clam chowder in The City.  My colleagues at Travels in Taste recommend the Grand Central Oyster Bar, a restaurant institution in (surprise, surprise) Grand Central Terminal. 


In New England, clam chowder is cream based.  You can get still New England style clam chowder at the Grand Central Oyster Bar.  But as they say, when in Rome do as the Romans do, and order your chowder Manhattan style.  Manhattan clam chowder is tomato based, and tends to have more of a kick to it than its more staid New England cousin.  You don’t have to be a commuter with time to kill before the 6:15 to Greenwich to dash in for a taste of the Oyster Bar’s famous chowder.  Even City dwellers with absolutely no interest in the Metro-North timetable will head down to the bowels of the terminal for a steaming hot bowl of the good stuff.  True, The Grand Central Oyster Bar doesn’t have a view of the yachts bobbing up and down in Newport Harbor, but their chowder comes with a full serving of all the hustle and bustle that makes New York one of the most energetic and exciting places on earth.  I’ll be heading up there myself a few weeks after my July 4th beach party, to give their chowder a try and do a comparison taste test of my own.



Does your favorite restaurant serve the perfect bowl of clam chowder?  Write in and let me know, and I’ll publish your suggestions in a future post on Travels in Taste. 

Bon Appétit

Rob Lubin

29 Jun 2009 03:39 pm

Prominent pastry chef François Payard closed his flagship café and bakery on the Upper East Side.  Payard opened to much fanfare 12 years ago on Lexington Avenue between East 73rd and East 74th Street in New York’s tony Upper East Side neighborhood.  He intended to close Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro in August and lay off all 74 employees due to a 62% rent increase.  “The maximum increase I can bear in this economy is 20%,” says Mr. Payard.  Additionally, although the economy has slowed, Payard claims they were doing OK.  “Right now, I’m looking for other locations,” says Mr. Payard, who also operates a chocolate factory and confectionery shop in Dumbo, Brooklyn, and bistros in Las Vegas, Brazil and Japan.   Let’s hope he finds one, and soon!

 To read an interview with Francois Payard, please click here.



29 Jun 2009 07:41 am

Check out the new summer value menus at the MGM Properties in Vegas.  New menus have been posted for Craftsteak, Diego, Fiamma Trattoria, Joel Robuchon (first time!), L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Nobhill, Pearl, Seablue, Shibuya, and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill!


Find these and many others in Vegas here!

27 Jun 2009 09:43 am

 Event to feature more than 20 eateries showcasing dishes found at two world-class resorts


The Venetian and The Palazzo spice it up this summer with their second annual food festival, Carnival of Cuisine. Tickets are on sale now for this event, scheduled Saturday, August 15, 2009 from 12:30pm-4:00pm in The Venetian Ballroom. Carnival of Cuisine will showcase the very best in gourmet, fine and casual cuisine available only at restaurants of The Venetian and The Palazzo. The food festival will feature cooking demonstrations, tastings from more than 20 eateries including nine James Beard Award winners and live entertainment. Ticket holders will have the chance to win prizes including signed cookbooks, restaurant gift certificates and show tickets. Carnival of Cuisine is presented by Club Grazie, the premier player reward program of The Venetian and The Palazzo.


Participating restaurants include: B&B Ristorante, Bouchon, Canaletto, Canyon Ranch Grill, Carnevino, CUT, Dal Toro, Dos Caminos, Double Helix Bar, Enoteca San Marco, Grand Lux Café, LAVO, Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro, Pinot Brasserie, Postrio, The Grill at Valentino, Valentino, Restaurant Charlie, SUSHISAMBA strip, Table 10, TAO, Woo, and Zine Noodles Dim Sum.


Confirmed chefs to participate in cooking demonstrations in The Venetian Ballroom and in the waterfall atrium of The Palazzo include:

  • James Beard Award Winner Chef Luciano Pellegrini of Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino at The Venetian
  • Executive Chef Zach Allen of Celebrity Chef Mario Batali’s Carnevino at The Palazzo and B&B Ristorante and Enoteca San Marco at The Venetian
  • Executive Chef James Boyer of Canyon Ranch Grill at The Palazzo
  • Chef de Cuisine Hiroo Nagahara of Bar Charlie by Charlie Trotter at The Palazzo
  • Executive Chef Peter Woo of Woo at The Palazzo


Ticket prices are $50 all inclusive and may be purchased in person at any Venetian or Palazzo box office, by phone at 702.414.7469 or online at www.venetian.com or www.palazzolasvegas.com. Guests must be 21 and over to attend Carnival of Cuisine. Club Grazie members may use Grazie points towards tickets to this one of a kind event. Please call Club Grazie at 877.314.1500 for more information.


26 Jun 2009 10:02 am

A Departure from Our Regular Posts — We Wanted to Provide A Cooling Alternative!

Daydream, The Pool Club at M Resort Spa Casino Announces Happy Hour Poolside



Daydream, the Pool Club at M Resort - the place for locals where everyday is industry day.



Daydream provides another great reason to get out of the house or office and hit the secluded pool club for some R&R.



Happy hour is now offered at Daydream featuring Buy One Get One specials on all drinks at the Daydream bar including the extensive list of specialty cocktails and mojitos.



Monday through Friday - 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.



Daydream, The Pool Club at M Resort

12300 Las Vegas Blvd. South

at St. Rose Parkway

To reserve a cabana, call 702-797-1808 or visit www.daydreamlv.com

25 Jun 2009 01:47 pm

Check out Klee’s Specials at the following two links –

Gay Pride Week Celebration, Free Glass of Sangria, Bike Event
Fourth of July Weekend Specials


25 Jun 2009 05:38 am

The Palazzo announces June date for quarterly wine stroll, Vineyards of Style, featuring 7 wineries and 28 wines from across the country on Thursday, June 25 from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. at The Shoppes at The Palazzo. All net proceeds from the event will benefit, Three SquareTM, the Las Vegas food bank that serves 250 agencies throughout Southern Nevada. For additional information please visit www.threesquare.org.


With The Shoppes at The Palazzo as the scene for the stylish event, guests will taste the wines and see the designs as they stroll throughout the luxurious venue enjoying live jazz music from local artist David Van Such and cuisine from ZINE, Restaurant Charlie, WOO and FIRST Food & Bar. Sip into Double Helix Wine Bar + Boutique where the featured wines from the stroll are available for purchase. The wineries presenting at Vineyards of Style include Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, Foster’s Wine Estates, Icon Estates, Lion Nathan USA, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Southern Wine & Spirits Sake.


  Toasting to prevent hunger, The Palazzo, through The Venetian Foundation, will donate all net proceeds of ticket sales from all four wine strolls to Three Square. Three Square is the valley’s food hub; a central location where donated and rescued food is collected and distributed to 250 agencies valley-wide. Three Square provides produce, dairy, non-perishable products, bakery items and ready-to-eat meals to non-profit and faith-based organizations. With their mission to provide wholesome food to hungry people, while passionately pursuing a hunger free community, Three Square is a place for community members to meet, serve and collaborate as part of the food solution.


Vineyards of Style will be held on Thursday, June 25 from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. at The Palazzo. Check-in will be located in front of Chloé and Piazza Sempione on the 2nd level of The Shoppes at The Palazzo. Ticket prices are $40 inclusive of taxes and fees and are on sale now. All net proceeds will benefit local charity Three Square, for additional information on Three Square please visit www.threesquare.org. To purchase tickets visit any Venetian or Palazzo Box Office, call 1-866-641-SHOW or visit www.venetian.com or www.palazzolasvegas.com.


Become a fan of The Venetian Las Vegas or The Palazzo Las Vegas Facebook Fan pages and you’ll receive a $5 discount on tickets. To redeem your discount, visit the events section of either Facebook page for the promotion code to enter when you go to purchase tickets online. As a fan of either property, you’ll be immediately updated on current events, property promotions, celebrity sightings and more! If up to the minute updates is what you crave, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/venetianvegas and twitter.com/palazzolasvegas.


Look for future quarterly wine strolls at The Palazzo coming in August and October, 2009.


Become a Fan of Travels in Taste on Facebook and get all the scoop on upcoming events or follow us on twitter.com/travelsintaste for timely tweats!

23 Jun 2009 07:49 am

DBGB Kitchen and Bar NOW OPEN FOR LUNCH!  Monday - Friday (Noon - 3pm).

DBGB Kitchen and Bar is located at 299 Bowery; New York, NY 10003. For reservations call 212 933 5300.


Lunch Menu:

Appetizers:  Oysters (market selection, east & west coast, $3 each); Tuna Crudo (harissa-sesame sauce, cucumber radish, crispy rice, $12); butter lettuce & chive (garlic-mustard dressing, $7); chop-chop salad (romaine, avocado, red pepper, carrot, watermelon & ginger-sesame dressing, $8 app/$13 mc, with grilled chicken add 7, with lobster, add 9). Asparagus & Fried Egg (duck prosciutto & cracklins, mustard-egg dressing, $13); Jim’s Matzoh Ball Soup, $8); Cucumber Soup (smoked salmon grissini, dill tapioca, $8); DB’s Smoked Salmon (crispy potato latkes, sour cream, $14); Spicy Crab Cake (pickled radish, avocado, vandouvan curry sauce, $16).


Charcuterie De Gilles Verot: Rillette De Jamboneau Provencal (pulled ham hock with tomato, zucchini, eggplant, basil &. olive oil, $9); Fromage De Tete (Gilles Verot’s award winning chilled pig’s head terrine, $12); Saucisson Sec de Lyon (DB’s artisanal dry sausage, $8); Pate Campagnard (country style pate with pork & chicken liver, $7).


Main Courses:  Handmade Tagliolini Pasta (summer squash, slow-roasted tomato, arugula pesto & taggiasca olives - vegetarian, $14); Red Curry Mussels (spicy coconut milk, tomato & Thai Herbs ($10 sm/$18 lg); Skate Au Pistou (artichokes, tarbais beans, tomato, nicoise olive & basil broth, $19); Chipolata Sausage with Egg (hash browns and frisee salad, $12); Lemon & Rosemary Roasted Chicken Breast (ratatouille provencale & baked garlic bread, $17); Steak Frites (10 oz ribeye, peppered butter, French fries & lollo biondi, $26).

Links/bangers/Saucisses/Wieners:  Boudin Basque (spicy blood & pigs head sausage, scallion mashed potatoes, $13); Parisienne (small veal links, glazed carrots ‘vichy’, $12); Tunisienne (spicy lamb & mint merguez, lemon braised spinach & chickpeas, $14); Espagnole (fresh chorizo sausage with piperade, basil oil, $12); Vermont (smoked pork & cheddar link, hash browns, red onion crème fraiche, $14); DBGB Dog (homemade beef wiener, sautéed onion, mustard, ketchup, ‘299′ relish & fries, $8).


Burgers:  The Yankee (6 oz beef patty with iceberg, tomato & vidalia onion on a sesame bun, essex st. pickle & fries, $11, add Vermont cheddar 2, add crispy bacon 2); The Piggie (6 oz beef patty topped with daisy may’s bbq pulled pork, jalapeno mayonnaise & Boston lettuce on a cheddar-cornbread bun with mustard vinegar slaw & fries, $19); The Frenchie (6 oz beef patty with grilled pork belly, arugula, tomato-onion compote & morbier cheese on a peppered brioche bun with cornichon, mustard & fries, $17).

Sides (all are $6): French Fries Pommes Mousseline; Ratatouille Provencale; Braised Spinach & Chickpeas.

Pre Fixe (three courses, $22):  Butter Lettuce & Chive (garlic-mustard dressing) or Cucumber Soup (smo9ked salmon grissini, dill tapioca); Red Curry Mussels (spicy coconut milk, tomato & Thai herbs) or Chipolata Sausage with Egg (hash browns and frisee salad); Gateau Russe (pistachio mousse, raspberry) or Coffee-Caramel Sundae (chocolate cookies, brownies, candied pecans, chocolate sauce & whipped cream).


Desserts: Baba Au Rhum (rum raisins, pineapple confit, $9); Coffee Chocolate Cake (almond biscuit, $8); Gateau Russe (pistachio mousse, raspberry, $8); Tarte au Fraise (strawberry & mascarpone, berry-ginger ice cream, $9);  Omelette  Norvegienne  (baked Alaska for two, vanilla, raspberry & verbena ice cream, fresh meringue flambee with chartreuse, $17).


Ice Cream Sundaes (Two Scoop Sundaes, $9): Coffee-Caramel Sundae (chocolate cookies, brownies, candied pecans chocolate sauce & whipped Cream); Kriek Beer-Cherry (speculoos cookie, rainbow meringue, cherries, anglaise sauce & whipped cream); Apricot-Pistachio (marshmallow, vanilla cookie, caramel sauce apricot coulis & whipped cream).


Cheese (three, $10, five, $16):  Brie de Meaux (cow, Ile de France, France); Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog (goat, Mckinleyville, California); Pyrenees Brebis (sheep, Pyrenees-Atlantique, Aquitaine, France); Tilsiter (raw cow, Vorarlberg, Austria); Bleu d’Auvergne (raw cow, puy-de-dome, Auvergne, France).


Executive Chef Jim Leiken; Chef Charcutier Sebastien Loyzance, Chef Boulanger Mark Fiorentino.

22 Jun 2009 05:10 am

When you eat figs, you’re eating more than fruit. You’re eating a very sweet piece of history, as fig trees are thought to be among the first plants domesticated by man. In fact, archaeologists have discovered fig fossils in the Middle East that date all the way back to 9400 BC. That was roughly the same time that rice was being domesticated in Asia, but at least 5,000 years before man began farming wheat.


Although people have been eating them for more than 11,000 years — even longer, according to some Bible scholars, who believe that Eve’s “forbidden fruit” was actually a fig instead of an apple — figs are hard to get tired of. So sweet that historically they were used instead of sugar as sweeteners, they’re just as versatile as they are old. They can be eaten fresh or dried, for instance, turned into jam, paired wonderfully with savory cheeses, breads and olives, or baked with nuts into sweet cakes, pies, tarts and pudding. They make fantastic cookies, too. Just ask Nabisco, which makes everyone’s favorite form of fig: the Fig Newton, which was named for the town of Newton, Mass., near the original Fig Newton factory.


Although they taste wonderful, fresh figs are hard to come by because they will not ripen off the tree and can therefore be picked only when they’re at their prime. Because they go bad quickly once they’re picked — they’ll only keep for two or three days in the refrigerator — fresh figs are typically only available from June until October near the farms where they’re harvested, most of which are located in the Middle East, the Mediterranean or, in the United States, California. Dried figs, on the other hand, are readily available and can be stored for up to a month at room temperature, or for as long as a year in the refrigerator.


Figs aren’t just delicious. They’re also interesting. Did you know, for example, that there are hundreds of different fig varieties, and that the fig is actually the fig tree’s flower, not its fruit? Did you know that fig tree sap is an irritant to human skin? Or that fig trees won’t grow unless a special insect, called a fig wasp, pollinates them?


Whether you’re a chef, a scientist or a historian, it’s fascinating stuff, and figs are fascinating food.

19 Jun 2009 09:52 am

Swedish Midsummer Specials
Friday, June 19, 2009

3-Course Prix Fixe Dinner $49
Comes with a complimentary cocktail



For the locations and the menu please click here

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