Summer Lovin: Rosalies, the Owl House, and hurrah for the CSA!

I really love Syracuse in the summer. We’ve had a very long winter and it’s up to 74, sunny and breezy this week.

This past weekend we really enjoyed a few gems not as far as Saratoga.

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Upstate New York has many Italian “American” restaurants. In Syracuse alone we have Gentiles, Francescas, Pastabilities, and Frankie’s to name a few. But Rosalie’s in Skaneateles is probably the most well know Italian American restaurant in the area.

We go to Rosalie’s once every summer with good friends.

I consider this a special occasion and tend to splurge when we go here.  They have their own herb and vegetable garden that you can see outside.

Rosalie's garden

Rosalie’s garden

I ordered the organic green salad which came with roasted peppers and pine nuts in an asiago cheese basket.

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And I followed this with a surf and turf entree that they created for me. The dinner consisted of a small filet, three scallops, asparagus,

and roasted fingerling potatoes. This is what I consider a celebration meal!

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Also this weekend, we made a detour to Rochester. I like to get to Trader Joe’s at least once a semester and I can’t go to Rochester without a meal at the Owl House or Good Luck. Since we were going to head out during the day, I made a reservation for brunch at the Owl House. I have had mixed experiences at the Owl House including  fine dinners, good lunches and an excellent brunch. Image

This was again an excellent brunch. I wasn’t sure what to order because I was in the mood for a hearty brunch, and was hesitant about trying the tempeh. I am not a vegetarian and sometimes the meat substitutes in restaurants miss the mark.  But I had the Hash N’ Eggs (two eggs any style with Cajun Seasoned Roasted Corn & smoked tempeh potato hash, toast and marmalade). And for those of you who have an aversion to tempeh, fear not. The brunch menu has some fabulous options including Migas, french toast and Stewed Pork Shoulder & Corn Bread Waffle w/ Housemade Pickled Jalapeno Hot Sauce, Maple. Syrup.

eggs and tempeh hash at the Owl House in Rochester

eggs and tempeh hash at the Owl House in Rochester

The tempeh hash was a delicious medley of corn, potatoes and well-seasoned tempeh. I almost ordered the salted chocolate tart for dessert, but I couldn’t stop eating the toast and marmalade.

toast and marmalade

toast and marmalade

The marmalade was made in house, tart and sweet, and lovely.Image

Did I mention I love marmalade?

Last but not least, one of the many joys of summer is the weekly CSA from Daily Harvest Farm.  We are in week 2 of our CSA and I prepared this meal tonight using spinach, cilantro, and turnips from our CSA. We’re leaving town soon and I wanted to use as much produce as possible.

CSA spinach and cilantro with shrimp

CSA spinach and cilantro with shrimp

If you live in Syracuse, check out Daily Harvest Farm! Summer is really the time to eat local, folks.

Next week check back when we’ll go from Saratoga to Sarasota!

Brunching in Brooklyn

The Chocolate Room

The Chocolate Room

I hope everyone had a delicious Memorial day weekend! This little image of a perfect ice cream sandwich consists of a peanut butter chocolate sea salt cookie sandwiched together by the artisan chocolate ice cream at The Chocolate Room.

I ate my way through Brooklyn via brunch and pastries. I should add that brunch is my favorite meal because when else can you insist on both savory and sweet dishes? Benedict and donuts? Yes! Hash and chocolate brioche? Why not!  I thought I would share a few highlights from my favorite brunch spots in Brooklyn.

First off I had eggs Florentine and donuts at Dumont.Image I made the mistake of having my Hollandaise sauce on the side in anticipation of homemade donuts. The poached eggs were perfect and sat on two pieces of toasted brioche. And the donut holes did not disappoint.

Image The next day we brunched at the Farm on Adderly where I had the best beets, potatoes and beef hash with eggs.Image And this was followed by chocolate brioche with sea salt.

The Farm at Adderly

The Farm at Adderly

This brunch was nearly perfect, and I believe this is the best beef hash in Brooklyn. 

And since Monday was a holiday, we lucked out  in having Monday brunch at the Buttermilk Channel which is also quite the decadent meal.

Buttermilk Channel

Buttermilk Channel

We started with a side of biscuits and jam.

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Travis had the corned beef hash with the greens. And I had  salmon Benedict also served on a biscuit. The Hollandaise sauce was really perfect, light and lemony and topped with fresh dill.Image

And this brunch concluded with one of the most delicious berry jam donuts I have ever had (even compared to Manhattan’s Doughnut Plant).

the jam donut at Buttermilk

the jam donut at Buttermilk

Can you see that delicious berry jam?

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You must go to Buttermilk just to enjoy these sweet treats.

As if three brunches weren’t enough for one week? I also decided to order brunch for lunch Tuesday at the General Greene. The General Greene is one of my favorite spaces in Brooklyn. It has the ambiance of a general store but it’s also in the lovely neighborhood of Fort Greene. They make their own ice creams, jams and I have always loved lunch here as well.

General Greene

General Greene

The steak and eggs were great and I chose the spicy kale and breakfast potatoes for my sides.  But the biscuit and blueberry jam really made the meal.

biscuitgeneralgreene

But one should not leave Brooklyn without a Brooklyn Blackout cupcake from Ladybird Bakery. This is the best cupcake you can get in New York City. Yes, I’ve been to Magnolia’s, Crumbs, Bouchon Bakery, and Billy’s.Image But if you really love dark chocolate and wouldn’t mind an ooey gooey almost pudding like chocolate filling, don’t waste your time with those other over-hyped cupcake boutiques. Can you see that chocolate filling?

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All this brunching? Remember, it’s research!

http://brooklynexposed.com/food-drink/entry/brooklyn-cheap-eats-dishes-under-10

Please check back Monday after I check out the Funky Flea in Syracuse!

Pie for brunch

peachcobbler

This was a bit of an end of the semester celebration for me! My grades were finally submitted on Friday, and I went to Pascales for lunch and treats, and I ended up taking this peach treat to go. I didn’t realize I would end up with such a delicious piece of summer. The cobbler is more like a tart with a pie crust on bottom and a crumble top. And isn’t cobbler for brunch a wonderful thing?

 

If you can’t get to www.pascalebakehouse.com in Syracuse, consider baking your own with this simple recipe http://www.ruthreichl.com/2010/08/warm-peach-cobbler-.html that was recommended by the wonderful Lesley Porcelli at http://uglybutgood.wordpress.com/2012/08/

brunch in Burlington

brunch in Burlington

Florentine benedict

We’ll be headed to Burlington, VT in June 2014 for the Association of the Study of Food and Society conference next summer. This picture reminds that Burlington is only a 5-hour drive from Syracuse and how many great places to brunch there are in Burlington, VT including Shelburne Farms. Along the way we always stop in Saratoga Springs, NY for Hattie’s fried chicken and waffles and pastries from Mrs. Londons. More on the history of eggs benedict and brunch to come soon in my forthcoming book, Brunch: A global and social history.