Tag Archives: robertas

Rockaway Beach’s New Wave

A red and white bullseye beach umbrella at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York.

One of my favorite parts of summer is taking the ‘A’ train out to Rockaway Beach in Queens.

I love watching the huge waves continuously crash against the shore and seeing all the surfers who come to ride them. It’s a relaxing escape from the city without even leaving its limits.

The weather today was slightly overcast and a bit chilly, but as you can see, that didn’t stop people from enjoying the Rockaway’s charms.

People crowd the beach on a Wednesday afternoon at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York.

A man builds a sand castle along Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York.

Typically I pack a little lunch for myself since most of the concessions usually involve fluorescent yellow cheese or dirty water hot dogs.

This year, however, the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach has been taken over by some of the best vendors in the city.

Blue Bottle Coffee along the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York.

San Francisco-based Blue Bottle Coffee opened up shop at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York, for summer 2011.

Blue Bottle's drip coffee at their Rockaway Beach, Queens, location.

I was particularly excited when I heard that San Francisco-based Blue Bottle Coffee was setting up a beachfront shop. Their New Orleans-style iced coffee is the most perfect drink for the beach.

Caracas at Rockaway Beach serves up arepas, micheladas and more.

They share their airy space with the East Village empanada joint Caracas. Caracas is serving up arepas and tangy micheladas in addition to bean and cheese or fish empanadas.

A michelada from Caracas at Rockaway Beach.

Just a few doors down is Rockaway Taco, the vendor who started this Rockaway revitalization.

Rippers at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York

Rippers, a Rockaway Beach collaboration between Brooklyn's Roberta's and The Meat Hook.

One of our favorite restaurants has even been sucked into the surf, so to speak.

Roberta’s has teamed up with The Meat Hook to open Rippers, a surf shop meets burger joint that serves up twisted takes on concessions of yore. Go here for your hot dogs, but they won’t be rotating on a rusty grill all afternoon.

If you get a chance to head out that way, don’t forget your appetite along with your sunscreen.

– Ryan

A cook at Rippers in Rockaway Beach, Queens, prepares fresh French fries.

A surfer holds his surf board at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York

 A "Fish Boat" from Motorboat and the Big Banana

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An Epic Dinner at Roberta’s

Roberta's in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and seriously wanted to order one of everything?

Well, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit—OK, no, I’m not—that I’ve now done just that.

Asparagus at Roberta's

Asparagus, pullet egg, trout roe, yuzu

On Tuesday night, one of Ryan’s friends, Kate, invited us to Roberta’s, where her boyfriend is a chef.

It’s been one of our favorite spots for awhile, but we don’t make it out to Bushwick as often as we like so Kate’s invite was just the push we needed to make us hop on the “L” train.

Snap Pea Salad at Roberta's

Salad with Bottarga at Roberta's

Roberta’s is located in a part of Bushwick better known for warehouses than innovative cuisine, but you shouldn’t let its humble exterior fool you.

Just this year, Carlo Mirarchi, Roberta’s chef, was named to Food & Wine magazine’s list of Best New Chefs—quite an honor indeed.

Cuttlefish at Roberta's

Cuttlefish, citrus, chili, opal basil

Foie Gras at Roberta's

Foie gras, rhubarb, black pepper

Of course, if the food Mirarchi is putting out is any predictor, this won’t be the biggest of accolades to come for Roberta’s.

As I said earlier, we literally ordered one of everything, so I won’t regale you with every detail of every dish. Just know that every thing was scrumptious (and the great company made it even better).

Lamb at Roberta's

Lamb breast, mint, spring onion, yogurt

Soft Shell Crab at Roberta's

Soft shell crab, spicy mayo, herbs

Black Bass at Roberta's

Black bass, bluefoot mushrooms, English pea puree

We ended up with a group of eight people and even though none of us really knew each other at the beginning of the evening, we were all laughing like good friends by the end of the (late) night.

Dessert and Friends at Roberta's

Dessert at Roberta's

Gelatos at Roberta's

Housemade gelato: rhubarb, mint chocolate, watercress, vanilla, salted caramel

We had all bonded over the amazing dishes coming out of that little kitchen, which I imagine is just what Mirarchi and his team want.

– Laura

P.S. Other non-photographed dishes included three pizzas, two pastas, an amazing cheese plate, and a lovely sous vide pork chop.

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Friday Night At Madison Square Eats

Tonight, we walked over to Madison Square Park to explore the plethora of good food that has temporarily landed in General Worth Square. Madison Square Eats has brought nearly 30 food carts and restaurants to the tiny square for the remainder of May and into early June.

There’s an overwhelming amount of delicious food in such a small area, so we started by making a few laps around to size up our options. While we were deciding what we wanted to sample, we started with a homemade soda from P&H Soda Co.

P&H is Brooklyn-based and makes all of their soda syrups from fresh, all-natural ingredients. Our hibiscus lime rickey was just the right balance of sweetness, without being cloying.

Next, we wandered across Spices And Tease. The Spices And Tease booth was awash with the aroma of, well, spices and teas, and the colors and textures of the various spices and teas made for some fun photos.

They don’t yet have a permanent storefront, but their selection included some really rare things that I’ve actually never seen in the city before—dried long peppers, Ras el Hanout, and juniper berries, to name a few. They also had their own proprietary blends of rubs and teas.

Our next stop was the tent for Roberta’s. We love Roberta’s, but we don’t get to make it over to Bushwick as often as we would like, so getting the chance to have a Roberta’s pizza close to home was a treat.

We went for the Bee Sting—tomato sauce, mozzarella, and spicy soppressata, finished with a drizzle of honey. The soppressata had a nice kick, but just as the spice began to take hold, the smooth sweetness of the honey drowned it out. It was an interestingly simple combination, but certainly one that I would try again.

The Hong Kong Street Cart had a Beijing Ya bun that I wanted to try, so we got that and then headed over to former Vendy Award winner Calexico‘s cart. My duck bun didn’t disappoint, and I don’t think Ryan’s gringo ground beef taco did either.

By this point, we were pretty full so we settled in at Resto‘s comfy bar (in the middle of the Square) and shared a glass of Allagash White Ale. (By the way, we didn’t try it, but Resto apparently has a pig’s head Cuban sandwich that is so good that they keep selling out. Maybe if you get there early enough, you’ll get to see for yourself.)

The evening wasn’t complete without one last treat though—a hand-shaved ice with rhubarb syrup.

Madison Square Eats runs through June 3 and is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Enjoy!

– Laura

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