Film and Television

Food Fit for the King: 7 Elvis Inspired Dishes + Drinks #ElvisWeek

Elvis Presley may have been the King of rock ‘n’ roll, but he was also the King of comfort food. Entire cookbooks are devoted to the extravagant meals and over-the-top snacks he enjoyed after shows, during recording sessions, or while taking a break from filming one of his many flicks. The Memphis Flash loved foods that were high calorie, high fat, and high sugar, which sounds like the holy trinity to us. August 16th marks the anniversary of Presley’s passing and the last day of #ElvisWeek, so we wanted to honor his legacy and his legendary appetite. Here are seven Elvis inspired dishes and drinks fit for the King.

Arcade Restaurant, Memphis, Tennessee
The King used to be a regular at this Memphis mainstay, which is just 15 minutes away from Graceland. In honor of their multi-platinum patron, the Fifties-style diner serves his favorite sandwich: fried peanut butter and banana on Texas toast. Bacon is optional, but why wouldn’t you get it?

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Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Virginia
It’s a little-known fact that Elvis loved pound cake, but we’re guessing he never had one quite like this. Chef-owner Cathal Armstrong –whose birthday falls on the anniversary of Elvis’s passing – and his team put out a benne seed pound cake complemented with raspberry jam and a tangy, herbaceous lemon verbena ice cream. You can’t help falling in love with it after just one bite.

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Sweet Chick, New York, New York
Inspired by the King’s special sando, the bar team created the Black Velvet Elvis cocktail. Made with banana liqueur, dark rum, a couple of dashes of black walnut bitters and some caramel-y demerara sugar, it’s garnished with a lemon twist and a rasher of candied bacon. We’re certain Presley would approve heartily.

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Delicatessen, New York, New York
Only in New York. Executive chef-partner Michael Ferraro makes a creamy peanut butter cheesecake with a crust of crushed candied bacon and Wonder Bread, which he coronates with caramelized bananas and even more candied bacon. Wearing blue suede shoes while you eat it is entirely optional.

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Shop Like a Chef: Hush Bistro’s Chef Marc Anthony Bynum Shares His Tips

Ever wanted to shop like a chef? Want no more, as Hush Bistro’s chef Marc Anthony Bynum shares his tips to make the most of your trips to the market.

To market, to market to buy a fat pig…along with a couple of fat hens, some ducks, and maybe a side of beef. Marc Anthony Bynum, chef and owner of Hush Bistro in Farmingdale, New York, only has to stroll down the block to Farmingdale’s Main Street Meats to do most of his daily meat and poultry shopping. The Farmingdale native and two-time Food Network’s Chopped champion opened his first brick and mortar restaurant, Hush Bistro, just seven months ago, embracing both his hometown and local foodshed.

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There is no disputing that the catchphrase “farm-to-table” has become a bit overused, and, at times, misused. Bynum is fully committed to serving his patrons the best from Long Island’s farms, fisheries, and vineyards and visits these producers, ensuring his patrons get “the best of the best.” Idealistic, yet completely realistic, Bynum defines local as 500 miles from Farmingdale, which includes the rich Hudson Valley. In addition to carnivorous offerings from, literally, down the street, Bynum is “switching it up a bit and I am now working with d’Artagnan for some of the best organic meats and delicacies from upstate New York.” When shopping for beef or pork, Bynum recommends knowing the cuts; the best cuts (rump, ribs or loins) come from the back of the animal, while the working (for stews and marinating) cuts (shoulder, flank, and legs) come from the front. Don’t shy away from fat, he cautions. “Fat equals flavor.” A good cut of beef should have plenty of white flecks of fat. “A well-marbled cut is self-basting and will remain tender, moist and juicy. Super lean meats can dry out if not basted continuously,” explains Bynum.

Seafood appears, like most of Hush’s dinner offerings, as specials. Whatever is just-off-the-boat is what’s for dinner. Bynum’s number one rule when shopping for seafood is, “If it smells fishy, it isn’t fresh. Also, avoid finfish that looks slimy and has cloudy eyes, and shellfish that is gaping.”Continue Reading

Tasty Tunes: A Delicious Summer Road Trip Playlist #savortheroad

Tasty Tunes: A delicious summer road trip playlistSummer is the season for road trips that put the epic in epicurean. Whether you’re heading out on a cross-country pilgrimage to a once-in-a-lifetime destination restaurant in California or a series of seaside shacks to find the best lobster roll in New England, your journey is going to need a soundtrack.

We decided to help out by putting together a Spotify summer road trip playlist guaranteed to whet your appetite. These delicious ditties pay tribute to foodstuffs ranging from applesauce and guava jelly to cheeseburgers and jerk ribs – and lots of appetizing points in between.

So, roll down the windows, crank up the stereo, and let the wind blow back your hair as you belt out these tasty tunes on this delicious summer road trip playlist. And, don’t forget to enter our #savortheroad giveaway for a chance to win one of ten $100 OpenTable gift cards!

Nine Showstopping Popcorn Dishes to Celebrate Blockbuster Season

Independence Day is almost here, and ahead of this epic movie-going weekend, we’re wondering which will be the big winner at the box office on July 4th (not to mention the summer). Jurassic World might claw its way to the top of the heap. Maybe Minions will take over the world. Or perhaps Terminator: Genisys will be the supersized success of the season. When the movie studios start binging on blockbusters, we get hungry for popcorn – and not just at the theater. Lucky for us, sweet and savory preparations featuring the puffy kernels have been popping up all over the country. In honor of the instances in which this concession-stand classic steals the show, we present nine show-stopping popcorn dishes to celebrate blockbuster season.

Almanac, New York, New York
Remember those nut-crusted cheese balls your grandmother always made at the holidays? Chef Galen Zamarra created an upscale riff: caramel popcorn-crusted goat cheese. The globe of goodness arrives with semolina crisps and golden raisin-fennel compote.

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Americano Restaurant & Bar, San Francisco, California
There’s an old saying that bacon makes everything better. That certainly holds true with executive chef Josua Perez’s ballpark-inspired bacon-pecan caramel popcorn. The sweet, salty, briny, and buttery snack mix is a certifiable home run.

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The Back Room at One57, New York, New York
There are éclairs and then there is pastry chef Scott Cio’s Cracker Jack éclair. The tubular treat is topped off with slightly salted caramel popcorn. Dig in and don’t worry; there’s not a prize hiding inside.

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Barton G. The Restaurant, Los Angeles, California
You’ll feel like you’re making a trip to the concession stand when you order this fun-loving appetizer. A mix of fried shrimp and Old Bay-spiced popcorn arrive in a chipper red and white retro popcorn maker. The jumble of crispity, crunchity bites is accompanied with Sriracha aioli and sweet chili sesame sauce.

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