The Best Negroni

I used to think I made the best negronis, and so did #billyisthebest. But then we met Michael at Nico Osteria. Although my favorite gin is Hendricks, Michael prefers Letherbee Gin. We tasted them side by side, and it was a fun way to spend time determining all the flavor components and what we liked about each combination.

Michael takes us step by step on how to make a perfect negroni.

Load up a mixing glass with ice. The most important part is measuring responsibly. 1.5 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of Campari, 1 ounce of Punt E Mes vermouth. We have tried Cocchi Americano and Carpano Antica and now prefer the Punt E Mes. It’s a bit lighter and brighter in flavor and doesn’t overpower the other spirits. Stir vigorously yet gently. Strain and serve up or over ice, and of course garnish with a generous rind of orange.

Or just go visit the cool bartenders at Nico.

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Twenty Fourteen, Welcome …

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Looking back on 2013 – it was a great year, but we all are looking forward to what 2014 has in store for us, and here is what I’d like to see more of.

1. WINE: On a recent trip to New Orleans, my boyfriend and I fell in love with Chablis at Restaurant R’evolution, and just can’t get enough. I also want to learn more about Italian wines, especially big Brunellos, with the help of Vino Italiano.

2. BAGUETTE: In Paris with my besties, hot dogs on the Champs-Élysées in a baguette are a must-have obsession.  We are talking the thin ‘crunchy on the outside yet very soft and chewy on the inside’ kind.  More delicious things need to be put in a baguette, so chefs please take note. Pastoral does a great job at stuffing baguettes with Jamon Serrano, BLTS and Spanish style tuna on their sandwich menu.

3. SEAFOOD: This Dungeness Crab with fava bean puree, bottarga and radishes is not only a beautiful presentation, but a delicious appetizer served with thin crackers at Nico Osteria. Bacon and pork belly will always be in my heart, but lighter seafood extravaganzas are welcome. You’re welcome.

4. FANCY: Caviar, yes please.  And shaved truffles, please don’t stop. These crème fraîche and caviar numbers were served at the Brioni opening. Class. All the way.

5. ESCAROLE: Can it be the new kale? This salad at Pizza House 1647 is perfectly light yet robust with flavors with the addition of roasted string beans, grape tomatoes, garbanzo beans, a wedge of asiago, fennel and scallions. Chickory and Dandelion Greens are also on my list.  If you have any leads let me know.

6. ARTICHOKES: This is the one vegetable where I can never get enough. Steam them, grill them, stuff them. Just get out of my way when they are done. La Madia grills them with garlic and a creamy mustard sauce.

Well 2014, I can’t wait.