A Taste of Russia

January 22, 2012

Last weekend while up in Washington Heights we made a stop to a Russian specialty food shop, Moscow on the Hudson, to prepare for a dinner in celebration of the traditional Russian Old New Year. A friendly small shop, the cashier and a customer were chatting at the counter when they gave us all the insider tips needed to have a successful meal. After I explained I was going to photograph the dinner, they even gave me a traditional Russian cuisine calendar as a gift, and made sure I left with everything I needed. Top on the list was Pelmeni Sibirian, Russian style ravioli with Lithuanian sour cream, and Vareniki stuffed with cheese, similar to the Polish pierogi. They also recommended we get a side of the Russian beet salad, sausage and their milk cookies for dessert. Приятного аппетита!

Russian raviolis, ring pretzels and sausage

Pretzels and Russia's version of salsa

Beet Salad

Vareniki and sour cream

Beet salad and ring pretzels

Raviolis and pickles



Ninety Acres at Natirar

April 12, 2011

I spent Sunday afternoon taking in the fresh air of a countryside farm and indulging in some fine dining all at the same time. Having the honor of getting the full tour of Natirar, a 500-acre property in Somerset County, New Jersey, I certainly kept myself busy in an attempt to explore and taste as much as I could. An ongoing project that will include not only dining, but spas, pools and accommodations, the first phase is currently complete and ready for diners. At the restaurant known as Ninety Acres, Food & Wine’s Best new chef of 2011 for the New York area, David Felton, prepared what seemed like endless amazing dishes until we couldn’t eat anymore. Aside from the food, I couldn’t leave out photographs of the old manor house, with it’s classic antique decor, it’s the perfect venue for an elegant wedding or event.

The farm at Natirar

Natirar Beet Salad with baby lettuces, goat cheese, hazelnut granola & cocoa balsamic and tomatoes growing in the greenhouse

Paprika Rubbed Grilled Octopus with meyer Lemon, baby romaine, parmesan & garlic confit

The Dining Room

Organic Risotto with saffron, sundried tomato, crispy porchetta & fried herbs

Wine & Dine

Imperial Wagyu Steak Tartare with chimichurri, picked red onions, two-hour yolk & frico

Interior of the Manor House

Wood Fired Pizza special of the day-Parmesan flat bread, prosciutto & arugula

Griggstown Quail with chili-apricot compote & brown butter brioche

Farmer's Plates on the menu