Category: Food & Wine

Dining Out In West Palm Beach: Table 26

Table 26: A Welcoming West Palm Beach Hotspot

When we opened our luxury showroom in West Palm Beach, we were so excited to experience the flavors of Florida. After many visits down to the sunshine state, we have found our favorite: Table 26.

The tagline for popular West Palm Beach restaurant Table 26 describes this eatery as a “neighborhood restaurant with global cuisine in a sophisticated, casual setting.” Indeed, the global offerings on the dinner menu (Ahi tuna poke or sea scallops in a champagne and corn cream) bring dining to a whole new level. Yet, New American dishes (lobster mac and cheese and a grilled pork chop with edamame succotash) are also well-represented. Celebrated restaurateurs Eddie Schmidt and Ozzie Medeiros, along with executive chef Amit Jain, are the leading reasons behind the success of Table 26.

The Creation of Table 26

Eddie Schmidt was the former Maitre d’ at Palm Beach Grille, while Ozzie Medeiros was a longstanding presence at Taboo on Worth Avenue. Together, they operated LoLa 41 and LoLa Burger, two of Nantucket’s most beloved dining spots. After selling their Nantucket locations, they are enjoying life back in the Palm Beach area. Joining with executive chef Amit Jain was another inspired choice; this chef is known for pairing the freshest ingredients with the best seasonings for delicious meals that have color, beauty and texture.

The Menu

The epicurean menu at Table 26 is divided into several categories. These categories including Field (salads), Hand (sandwiches), Water (fish) and Land (meat). Signature sides like charred cauliflower, truffle French fries or maple-glazed acorn squash can be added to dinner plates. Remember to save room for dessert, the dulce de leche ice cream and bananas brulée in caramel sauce is legendary.

A daily happy hour is another popular option for a glass of wine or one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails. Try a refreshing Clover Club combining Plymouth gin, raspberry syrup, lemon juice and an egg white. Experience a spiced pear Manhattan made with Angelʼs Envy bourbon, St. George spiced pear liqueur and Dolin Rouge vermouth.

The Location

Located in the heart of the historical Mango Promenade District where it is two blocks south of the Norton Museum of Art, Table 26 is open for lunch, Sunday brunch, happy hour and dinner. The proprietors consider their restaurant to be a home away from home, and a place where the doors are always open to friends old and new.

Visit Table 26

In conclusion, we love Table 26 , the atmosphere, fantastic food, and good company make this West Palm Beach restaurant one of our favorites.


Posted in Food & Wine

Dining Out In Brooklyn: Pates et Traditions

Pates et Traditions, Our Pick for French in Brooklyn!

By Francesca Messina

We have been serving Brooklyn for over 95 years. Over time, after many lunches,  we have become the experts on where to eat!  Brooklyn is a melting pot of flavors and cultures and our team knows all the hot spots. If you are looking for a small slice of southern France, look no further than Pates et Traditions, our pick for fantastic French cuisine in Brooklyn! 

Nicoise Chef Laurent Dantonio opened this Blackman favorite in 2008 and serves up a delicious menu of simple French fare.  The quaint restaurant located on a residential stretch of Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg not far from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Known for their friendly and accommodating service; the name Pates et Traditions actually refers to pasta, not pate as is commonly assumed.

What’s On the Menue?

Their authentic southern French menu offers a variety of pasta dishes, along with a remarkable Nicoise salad, and shareable plates of cheeses and pate.  The star of the show is their savory buckwheat crepes. These crepes are just as thin as the crepes most are familiar with, but are darker in color and feature savory fillings like goat cheese, olives, and curry.

La Maison Des Crêpes

Each crepe is prepared with skill and love. Fresh savory ingredients are placed in the center of the crepe. The sides of the crepes are folded in slightly leaving the beautiful ingredients visible. There are over 15 different choices on the menu with combinations like La Chevre, a mixture of goat cheese, tapenade, Provence herbs, walnuts and Swiss cheese and the popular La Normande with chicken, mushroom, cream, white wine, onions and Swiss cheese. Chef Laurent is always creating new combinations and special menu items.

Save room for dessert because there is also a selection of Le Crepes Sucres or sweet crepes on the menu, including the ever-popular La Nutella filled with creamy Nutella. They also serve tasty variations with homemade caramel and chocolate.

Visit Pates et Traditions Today!

Pates et Traditions serves lunch and dinner daily. Guests enjoy a comfortable oasis of southern France right off the L train.  In the warmer months, an outdoor seating area is available. Be advised, Pates et Traditions is cash only.

Pates Et Traditions
52 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
between 7th St & 6th St in Williamsburg’s’ North Side

Follow Chef Laurent on Facebook for your daily dose of delicious!

Posted in Food & Wine

Daily Harvest: The Perfect Blend of Taste and Nutrition

Rachel Drori’s Innovative New Subscription Service Delivers Healthy, Ready-to-Blend Frozen Smoothies, Soups and Breakfast Bowls

By Gwen Donovan

The philosophy of Daily Harvest can be summed up as “Nutrition on Demand.” This popular new subscription service is joining the home-delivered, pre-packaged food movement and is a stand out for several reasons: frozen soups and ready-to-blend smoothies are created from healthy, organic ingredients; each product features superfoods with no added sugar or preservatives; and each is perfectly portioned and ready to blend or heat in a freezer-ready Daily Harvest cup. New to the company’s line-up are Activated Breakfast Bowls. These protein-rich overnight oats and chia parfaits use the same all-natural and organic methods as the soups and smoothies.

Recipes have been co-created by Daily Harvest’s team of chefs and nutritionists using produce picked at peak nutrition and flash frozen on the farm, so each item is as fresh and nutritious as items from your local farmer’s market. Rachel Drori, founder and CEO of this booming New York-based company, explains how her products make good nutrition easy and delicious.

“Daily Harvest came from a personal need. I am an athlete who is well-versed in health and fitness. We all aspire to each a certain way, but life gets in the way,” Drori said. She used to spend a lot of time prepping smoothie ingredients for the week in her kitchen and stashing them in the freezer. When she noticed her husband (who she says “can’t butter toast”) preparing a smoothie for himself using her pre-packaged bags of frozen ingredients every morning, she figured the idea had real business potential.

Business potential is something Drori knows a lot about. Before officially launching Daily Harvest in 2016, she had a strong background in marketing and branding. This graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University business school started her career at the Four Seasons Hotel and also worked for American Express and Gilt Groupe. Her parents are both entrepreneurs who told her “If you have a good idea, do it,” so she used that same spirit to start her own company.

From humble beginnings, Drori saw the untapped potential of a health-oriented food delivery service. “I started in a commercial kitchen in Long Island City. I bagged up all the ingredients and started delivering them all over New York City in my car. I realized then that this was a real opportunity.” Today, Daily Harvest is headquartered in New York’s Flatiron district and deliveries are shipped around the country.

“Every city has its own favorite smoothie flavor,” she said. “In New York, the mint chipper (mint + cacao) is our top seller, and other parts of the country really like our acai cherry or chocolate avocado smoothies.” At home, her two-year old son loves the carrot and chia smoothie, which Drori says tastes like carrot cake. It includes ingredients like organic sweet potatoes, dates, bananas, carrots, chia seeds, ginger and vanilla bean. Her personal favorite is blueberry hemp which has the same flavor profiles as a slice of blueberry pie. Organic Blueberries, spinach, kale, raw walnuts, hemp protein and golden figs combine in this tasty purple-toned smoothie.

Daily Harvest takes great pride in delivering the most nutritionally-dense products. “A lot of people don’t realize this, but the produce we buy at the grocery store can be pretty old,” Drori says. “An apple can be picked up to a year and a half before it appears on the shelf, and blueberries can be weeks and weeks old. Many fruits are picked when they are green and allowed to ripen off the vine. Unfortunately, the nutrient profile degrades over time. We pick our fruits and vegetables at their nutritional peak in order to develop their full flavor and nutrient content.” The produce is frozen immediately on the farm, ensuring its freshness and reinforcing the company’s promise of “SuperFoods. Super Fast.”

Smoothie flavors include conventional combinations like strawberry and peach, cold brew coffee and almond, or watermelon and cucumber, while others blend mango and camu or pineapple and matcha for a more adventurous flavor profile. Drori says plain or coconut water go into the mix, noting that substituting water for almond or coconut milk results in a creamier taste. “What’s great about our products is that they are right in line with our modern, busy lifestyles,” Drori explains. “It takes 30 seconds to make a smoothie and there’s no compromise in flavor or nutrition.”

New products unveiled this spring include a selection of Activated Breakfast Bowls, overnight oats and chia parfaits. “They are filled with whole foods and fruits. You just add liquid and it activates overnight in the refrigerator. It’s natural nutrition.” Chia Parfaits are available in blackberry + majik, chocolate protein + triphata or mango + golden milk. Overnight oat flavors include cinnamon protein + banana, mulberry + dragon fruit, and pumpkin + chai. There are currently three soups available from Daily Harvest: coconut and carrot, a curry-flavored recipe; the ramen-inspired mushroom and miso; or zucchini and black garlic, which is similar to classic Italian minestrone.

Curious about Daily Harvest? Blackman at Home readers who visit and use the code BLACKMAN at checkout will receive three free smoothies with select orders.

Posted in Food & Wine

An Interview with Rossella Rago of Cooking with Nonna, The Belle of Brooklyn

Cooking With Nonna Visits Blackman Southampton!

Rossella Rago is the high-energy host of her Cooking With Nonna web series on YouTube, which prompted a new cookbook of the same name.

By Gwen Donovan

If you haven’t heard of Rossella Rago, you will. This busy chef, author, YouTube star and television personality hosts an online cooking show with her grandmother, the popular food webisode series called Cooking with Nonna, which is also the name of her newly-released cookbook. Born into a family of culinary aficionados and food lovers, she happily shares her grandmother’s authentic Italian recipes with live and online audiences.

YouTube Star Turned Author

The decision to start a cooking show wasn’t immediately evident to Rago. “I was living with my grandmother and shared a bedroom with her while I was attending St. John’s University. I cooked with her every day, and I just took it for granted that’s what every family does. Everybody on our block in Bensonhurst did that.” Although she was in college, she was also becoming a star student in Nonna’s Brooklyn basement culinary school.

After graduating with a B.A. degree in Italian literature from St. John’s, she pursued a career in education. “Like most Italian girls from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, I was studying to become an Italian teacher,” Rago said. When teaching didn’t seem like the right fit, her father sat her down and asked her what she wanted to do with her life. She said she wanted to host a cooking show. Her father went out and bought the domain name for Cooking with Nonna and they began filming webisodes to post on YouTube.

“Ten years later, I am in a new niche career,” Rago laughs. “It takes ten years to be an overnight success.” She has built a powerful social media presence and, with the help of her manager father, she has a brand new cookbook. In fact, one of her 650,000 Facebook followers was a book editor who approached Rago about creating a cookbook. That led to Cooking With Nonna being published in early 2017.

The Cookbook: Cooking With Nonna

“The Cooking With Nonna cookbook is like the love child of our YouTube series,” she explains. “It shows you how to make fresh pasta by hand, which is very accessible when you use a stand-up mixer. I love all the recipes in the book, which also has desserts. I just love cooking and entertaining.”

Collecting regional Italian recipes was a happy challenge for Rago. “Cooking with Nonna has 110 recipes submitted by 25 grandmothers who also share their life stories,” she said. “I wanted to include recipes from different regions of Italy, so it was like a treasure hunt to find them.” Some of the grandmothers are relatives or family friends, and all of them feel like movie stars when they go to book signings with Rago. “They are in their 60s, 70s and 80s, and this is so exciting for them and for me. I have truly learned from them that women have no expiration date.”

Presenting live cooking demonstrations was completely different than filming them for her webisodes, Rago said. “It was a thrill for everyone once we started promoting the cookbook in front of an audience. When we do our show on the internet, you see the number of people who have viewed it, but not the actual people. When you see them in person and see how moved they are by the cooking, it’s a powerful moment.”

A second cookbook is already in the works, and this one will be all about holiday recipes. “It’s going to be a massive cookbook, there are so many traditional recipes, holidays are a big deal, and every Sunday is a holiday for Italian people.”

Visit Italy with Rosella

In addition to writing, promoting her book and making special appearances on shows like Good Morning America with assorted Nonnas, Rago also leads culinary tours in Italy. “It is a ton of fun. We come together as strangers and we leave as family. It is such a great experience to see all these people bond over food.” Rago usually organizes the tours in September and focuses on the region of Puglia in southern Italy, where her family is from originally. Describing what she calls “a true Italian experience,” the tour includes non-touristy events like a five-hour lunch complete with lots of red wine, viewing a religious procession at the Virgin Mary Festival, or a chat with a local fisherman, restaurant owner or villager.

The Last Word

While cooking is an integral part of Rago’s life and livelihood, she also gets genuine joy from sharing it with others. “When I give cooking demonstrations, I see people in the audience smiling and nodding their heads. They will come up to me later with tears in their eyes and say ‘My grandma made that dish the exact same way,’ so it’s a lot of nostalgia for them. And for me, it’s very meaningful work.”

You can purchase her fantastic cookbook here.

Video: Cooking with Nonna at Blackman Southampton
Posted in Food & Wine

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