Waste Not, Want Not: 6 Dishes + Drinks for Root to Shoot Dining #vegforward

Chefs dream of an ideal kitchen in which there is zero waste. Every part of every ingredient is utilized in some fashion. This lowers food costs, reduces environmental strain, and forces them to get creative with those remainders and byproducts. It’s a boon for diners, too, by exposing them to palate-expanding flavors and creative textural components that elevate dishes in unexpected new ways.

In the last decade, the tip-to-tail movement has seen a huge resurgence, as chefs have turned offal and offcuts into menu stars. Now they’re taking the same approach to vegetables. Call it root to shoot. No longer are pea shells, tomato skins, or potato peels merely going into the stockpot, on the compost pile, or, worse yet, the trash. Now they’re playing key roles in some of the chefs’ most memorable creations. Here are six dishes and drinks for root to shoot dining.

Garrison, Washington, D.C. 
Tomato skins are full of flavor and nutrient dense. But oftentimes they end up on the proverbial cutting room floor. Chef-owner Rob Weland is a longtime admirer of what our grandma used to call love apples. While heading up the kitchen at Poste years ago, he offered a 20-course, tomato-centric tasting menu. At his latest venture, he dries the skins of various heirloom varietals and uses them to garnish his colorful tomato salad.

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Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, California
Dehydrated beets create the “soil” in executive chef Jeremy Fox’s signature Beets and Berries dish. Not wanting to throw out the resulting juice, he infuses it with rose geranium and turns it over to bar manager Aaron Ranf. Ranf devised the Beet Royale, a play on the Kir Royale with beet juice, prosecco, gin, and lemon. Waste reduction has never tasted so good. [Photo by Aaron Ranf]

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Ribelle, Brookline, Massachusetts
Chefs Tim Maslow and Brandon Baltzley wouldn’t dream of tossing out a single scrap of tomato. The skin is dehydrated and ground into powder. The excess juice is transformed into smoked tomato vinegar. And the seeds are mixed with chia seeds to create mock caviar. The whole tomato is then compressed in the vinegar and speckled with the “caviar” and powder, as well as fresh cheese, burnt shishito oil, brined horseradish leaves, and fresh grated horseradish. [Photo by Brandon Baltzley]

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The 9 Happiest Happy Hours #friendsgettogether

At the end of a long day in the office, nothing makes us happier than, well, happy hour. Drink deals and economical eats help all the stress of the day fade away. But not all happy hours were created equal. Some spots go above and beyond to give their guests bigger bargains, better beverages or bites, or more time to take advantage of specials. Here are the 9 happiest happy hours around the nation.

DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Washington, D.C.
From 3-5PM, you can enjoy half-priced draft beers and wine by the glass at the bar, in the lounge, or on the patio. But that’s just the beginning. The ‘Family Meal’ bar bites menu – a collaborative effort from the entire kitchen team – is available all night long. Check the restaurant’s Instagram feed to find out the latest offerings, which might include chicken yakitori, cojita cheese empanadas, and blue cheese, pear, and arugula flatbread.

DBGB, Washington, DC

La Mar by Gastón Acurio, Miami, Florida
It’s five o’clock somewhere when this happy hour starts at 3 o’clock. It lasts for three hours, during which time guests have their choice of drink specials – including $6 pisco sours and gin gimlets – and plenty of piqueos (small bites), like cebiches, empanadas, and crispy yucca croquettes.

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URBN Coal Fired Pizza, San Diego, California
Running Mondays through Thursday from 4-6PM, this happy hour hooks ‘za lovers up with a small two-topping pizza with every pitcher of beer they buy. If you’re in the mood for something stronger, signature cocktails are only $8, including the High Tea made with Earl Grey-infused Martin Miller’s gin.



Lusca, Atlanta, Georgia
Sando fans want to sit at the bar or raw bar on a Friday or Saturday night from 5-7PM, because it’s only then and there that they can access the happy hour sandwich specials. There’s the lobster roll with tomalley mayo and drawn butter and a double patty burger topped with cheddar and American cheeses. But plan on getting there early because there’s only about 20 of each available — and they go quickly.

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Not Your Average Ice, Ice Baby: 7 Cocktails Starring Savory Ice Cubes

Flavorless, colorless cubes just don’t cut it anymore. Mixologists are now making a rainbow of ice infused with an unexpected array of savory ingredients. These inventive bar masters are using everything from meat consommé and squid ink to jalapeños and salt. Not only do these frozen components please the eye, they please the palate by adding new layers of taste to the cocktails they’re cooling down. Here are seven cocktails starring savory ice cubes that you should be drinking now.

Quality Meats, Miami Beach, Florida
Here’s a pirate-worthy pick me up. The Loose Cannon is made with tequila, house elixir, and fresh celery juice, and served over chartreuse green jalapeño ice. Smart aleck parrot and peg leg not included.

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Range, Washington, D.C.
Beverage director Dane Nakamura offers up the Vegan Sacrifice forged from scotch, ginger, and cayenne. The cocktail’s cool factor is a meat popsicle – yes, you read that correctly – made with raw beef, cured meats, and pig’s blood, among other ingredients. As the ice melts, the drink’s flavor becomes more and more savory.

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Clock Bar in the Westin St. Francis, San Francisco, California
This ice is like a cooling cannonball for your cocktail. Squid ink transforms an otherwise translucent sphere an ominous black. A mixture of dark aged rum, salted molasses, and orange and tiki bitters is added to the tumbler to create the Drunken Sailor.

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Burritt Room + Tavern, San Francisco, California
Salt isn’t just for margaritas anymore, and it’s moved beyond the rim of the glass. The Peachy Keen features cachaça, peach, honey, lemon, and a salted ice cube to keep it all chill. The briny block adds a slightly salty counterpoint to the drink’s sweet and sour components.

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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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