09/08/15 10:59am
09/08/2015 10:59 AM |

With Taste Talks just a few days away, we’re bringing you a roundup of our top 5 favorite picks for the festival! Taste Talks Brooklyn 2015, curated by Questlove, is unlike any Taste Talks we’ve ever brought you — and we can’t wait to see you there.

If you want in, there’s still time to grab tickets today!


1. All-Star BBQ
Sunday, Sept 13 | 12 noon – 5pm | 50 Kent Ave., Williamsburg

BBQ sampling feast with a live DJ set by Questlove. Expect to mix and mingle with top chefs and their artist/actor/musician chef-collaborators — like George Takei, Lea DeLaria, Alex Stupak, Heems, Matty Matheson, Jarobi White, Chef Roblé and more — while dining on their brilliant, delicious BBQ creations!

Beer provided by Blue Point Brewing Company. Wines at the BBQ provided by Dark Horse Wine. Discover the unexpected with Dark Horse Wine. Sample a variety of uniquely bold wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Big Red Blend and Chardonnay.


2. Mother of Pearl Exclusive Dinner
Saturday, Sept 12 | 6pm – 9pm | Biba Williamsburg

An intimate night of Island Creek oysters and sparkling wine followed by a multi-course dinner from Leah Cohen (Pig & Khao), Dan Holzman (The Meatball Shlop), Jacob Rosette (Dinner Lab) and Agatha Kulaga & Erin Patinkin (Ovenly).


3. Questlove & Dominique Ansel’s Sweet Thinking: A Dessert Party
Friday, Sept 11 | 9pm – midnight | McCarren Hotel & Pool Rooftop

Join Questlove and Dominique Ansel on the opening night of Taste Talks at an exclusive roof-top party, with an original DJ set by Questlove and seven extraordinary desserts from the master of pastry himself!


4. Taste Talks Conference
Saturday, Sept 12 | Throughout the Day | Williamsburg

Join leading minds and creators in the world of food and drink — like Sam Sifton, Adam Rapoport, Dominique Ansel, Merrill Stubbs, Matty Matheson and many more — for a day-long series of panels, discussions, demos, tastings and screenings to explore the future of taste.


5. Closing Night Chef’s Party
Sunday, Sept 13 | 7pm – 10pm | Fitzcarraldo Williamsburg

After feasting on dishes at the All-Star BBQ, head on over to an intimate post-party to relax and mingle with the chefs over complimentary drinks and bites!


09/02/15 11:02am
09/02/2015 11:02 AM |

Celebrate a day of discovery and indulgence at the Taste Talks All-Star BBQ, a sampling feast that brings together world-renowned chefs making signature dishes outdoors at 50 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg on Sunday, September 13. Expect to mix and mingle with top chefs and their artist/actor/musician chef-collaborators while dining on their brilliant, delicious BBQ creations!

08/26/15 11:55am
08/26/2015 11:55 AM |

If you haven’t heard by now, Questlove is curating Taste Talks Brooklyn (September 11-13); if you have, we’re sure you’re curious about where to find him at the fest. Lucky for you, we’ve got the lowdown. Check out the events below, and don’t forget to buy your tickets & all-access passes before they sell out!

dessert party

Friday, Sept 11 | McCarren Hotel & Pool, Williamsburg
Join Questlove and Dominique Ansel on the opening night of Taste Talks at an exclusive roof-top party at the McCarren Hotel & Pool. Expect an original DJ set by Questlove and seven extraordinary desserts by the master of pastry himself — with a selection of fine wines to match!

Buy Limited Individual Tickets    |    Buy All-Access Passes


Sunday, Sept 13 | 50 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg 
Party with Questlove as he spins at the Taste Talks All-Star BBQ! This is a sampling feast that brings together world-renowned chefs making signature dishes outdoors. Expect to mix and mingle with top chefs and their artist/actor/musician collaborators—like George Takei, Alex Stupak, Heems, Chef Roblé, Matty Matheson and 20+ more—while dining on their brilliant, delicious BBQ creations!

Buy Individual Tickets    |    Buy All-Access Passes

08/05/15 10:00am
08/05/2015 10:00 AM |

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Taste Talks is proud to present a first look at the incredible lineup for this year’s All-Star BBQ. Celebrate a day of discovery and indulgence at Taste Talk’s All-Star BBQ, a sampling feast that brings together world-renowned chefs making signature dishes outdoors at 50 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg. Expect to mix & mingle with top chefs from around the world while dining on their brilliant, delicious BBQ creations.

Check out the lineup below, and grab a ticket today! Like last year, these tickets won’t last long! (more…)

09/26/13 1:11pm
09/26/2013 1:11 PM |

Greenhook Ginsmiths Chauncy Buck

  • Greenhook Ginsmith’s Chauncy Buck

After months of planning and anticipation, followed by a bout of nervous sweats prior to our panel talk and a wave of exhilaration after, we’re kind of bummed that Northside’s own culinary festival, Taste Talks, is actually over. That’s why we plan to drown our sorrows in earnest at a variety of other local food events, and Brooklyn Exposed’s Brooklyn Shaken & Stirred party seems like the perfect place to start.


Taking place on Tuesday, October 8th at the Green Building in Carroll Gardens, a $55 ticket buys unlimited tastes from seven area cocktail bars, as well as 15 of the borough’s best small-batch wine and liquor purveyors. Feel like joining us? Brooklyn and L Mag readers get a pretty face discount— $10 off when you input the special BKMAG ticket code. Need even more convincing? Start by test-driving these awesome cocktail recipes from a pair of Shaken & Stirred’s most notable participants; Williamsburg’s Huckleberry Bar and Greenpoint’s Greenhook Ginsmith’s!

Huckleberry Bar’s “Peychaud’s is a Virtue”
(Makes 1 Drink)

2 oz. Industry Standard Vodka
1 oz. Lime Juice
.75 oz. Simple Syrup
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
10 mint leaves

Muddle mint leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, reserving one for garnish. Combine the rest of the ingredients in the shaker with ice, shake, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with the reserved mint leaf.

Greenhook Ginmith’s “Chauncey Buck”
(Makes 1 Drink)

1.5 oz. Greenhook Beach Plum
.5 oz. fresh lime juice
Ginger beer

Mix first two ingredients in ice-filled Collins or highball glass. Stir. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedge.

Buy tickets here:

09/25/13 11:16am
09/25/2013 11:16 AM |


You may have heard the big news this week, Ted Cruz is using the senate floor as a platform to quote Toby Keith lyrics Americans are eating more cheese than ever. A lot of it. As in, three times as much as we did in 1970, and around 23 pounds per person per year.


This is as it should be! I guess there are some people out there who dispute the health benefits of over-doing it with cheese, but unless your diet is a steady stream of “Nacho Cheesier” Dorito tacos and Kraft singles, you should be alright. Which means, logically, now is the time to embrace our commonalities with the rest of America, and spend some time eating some of the most cheese-heavy meals in Brooklyn? That is exactly what it means.

09/25/13 10:51am

Jackie’s 5th Amendment in Park Slope will soon close, because that’s what dives do these days. Not “dives” like High Dive, but the dark spots where men congregated unironically to be with drink and not alone; as the old residents die off or get pushed out, and the business-savvy see the opportunity to turn bigger profits from friendlier spaces with Edison bulbs (or with places that aren’t bars at all!), these drinking spots are becoming rarer on the streets of Brooklyn, replaced by trendier bars, or grocery stores, coffee shops, Italian restaurants, and basketball stadiums. Here are 10 great dive bars I’m old enough to remember that are no longer serving.

09/24/13 10:44am
09/24/2013 10:44 AM |


Well, this has been a roller coaster. After abruptly shuttering last week under vague charges of “operating illegally,” Williamsburg’s location of Vanessa’s Dumplings is back in action, Eater reports.


According to the restaurant’s Twitter feed, the issue was a dispute over their outdoor tables (a hotly contested issue in the neighborhood), and whether or not the space they occupied constitutes public or private property. Which makes enough sense, but really, as long as we still have access to 50¢ sesame pancakes, we’d be more than happy to just eat them inside.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.

09/24/13 10:00am


So, perhaps you’ve heard already, but kale has now officially been declared (by the paper of record, no less) as being “so ubiquitous in Brooklyn that it could be named the borough’s official vegetable.” Hooray for kale! No, but really. Hooray for kale. Kale is delicious and a superfood and all that good stuff. Sure, some people go a little overboard in their love for leafy greens, as demonstrated in this past Sunday’s front-page story in the New York Times. wherein we learned all about how a “kale crusader” (um) has decamped to Paris from New York to spread the gospel of this nutrient rich cruciferous vegetable. Unfortunately for Kristen Beddard, kale evangelist, Paris doesn’t really care about kale, finding it “superfluous” to the already healthy, balanced French diet. But just because Kristen Beddard maybe goes a little bit overboard in her kale enthusiasm, it doesn’t mean that kale isn’t great. Because you know where kale is always needed and never redundant? Brooklyn! Kale is everything here, so we thought we’d celebrate kale and Brooklyn and, like, America by highlighting the ten best kale dishes in the borough. Because in Brooklyn? You can never have too much kale.


09/23/13 12:00pm
09/23/2013 12:00 PM |


  • 2am Coffee

Except for during that precious week or so set aside for vacation, our regular schedules involve us waking up way earlier than we’re ready to, and somehow, keeping going until well into the night. The solve here, of course, is to obediently fuel our bodies over and over again with high octane espresso and coffee, starting first thing in the morning, with multiple re-ups in the afternoon to get over the mid-day slump. Heck, many of us even work out of coffee shops, as an excuse to get out of our musky jammies for once and pretend to be contributing members of society. So if you’re already on track to becoming better acquainted with your baristas than you are with certain members of your family, don’t waste your time and money in a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. From their excellent caffeinated drinks to above-average food and extra amenities (including the all-important free WiFi), we’ve rounded up our favorite coffee bars in Brooklyn.