On a recent super top secret important Greenpointers business meeting, I needed some sweet and Lauren at Milk n’ Roses described an Italian pastry stuffed with cheese and flavored ever so slightly with orange. “Give me that!”
What came was a sfogliatella, so I know why she didn’t even try to pronounce it. (Sf-oy-yuh-tell-uh) Crazy Italians! Who cares how to say it? It’s delicious and you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full anyway.
After working at an Italian bakery as a teenager in Queens, I quickly got sick of all the cannolis, rainbow cookies and the collect calls from the bakery owner’s mafioso son in jail, but I never got sick of the sfogliatelle (that’s plural).
Sfogliatelle are Nonna, my Sicilian grandmother’s, favorite dessert so it’s always in the box of pastries we bring to her house when we have our traditional Sunday eat-until-you-pass-out feast.
It is crispy dough infinitely layered into the shaped of a shell and inside is soft and not too sweet ricotta with a nice citrus tang and dusted with powdered sugar. Try one next time you’re at Milk n’ Roses (1110 Manhattan Ave), they’re irresistible!
After dark it turns discreetly into a pleasant wine bar.
Recently, the lure of both a new menu and a Saturday night Lambrusco Special gave me cause for a visit.
The deal: Buy two glasses of Lambrusco, get one free.
Accompanied by a writer friend, we were struck by the romantic atmosphere immediately upon stepping through the door. Low lighting, candles, exposed wood and bookshelves, like WORD with a speakeasy in the basement.
It’s not the best atmosphere for a platonic business discussion, but on vibe alone it’s instantly a great date spot.
Adelina’s dinner for 2 package : 2 free glasses of mulled wine w/purchase of two items (pasta or pizza) from the menu! (mention “GREENPOINTERS”)
Every year around the holidays a good friend of mine takes me out for an amazing dinner. We sit, eat, drink wine and spend some quality time together. She picks up the tab as her gift to me and I honestly couldn’t ask for anything better!
This holiday season treat a friend to some quality time and a quality meal at Adelina’s in Greenpoint.
Mary Ann and I usually do ladies brunch (she’s a riot!) but last weekend we decided to invite the boys and met at Adelina’s (159 Greenpoint Ave), which was just rated a top 7 brunch by Brokelyn.
Paulie was there to try to the fried pizza, which you know I adore.
I was there to put the rice balls to the test.
Rice balls are my favorite food, I grew up eating my Nonna’s rice balls, therefore I am a tough judge.
I am used to gigantic rice balls. Rocco (dad) makes fun of Marcy (mom) because her rice balls are the size of grapefruits, but after their name Arancini should be the size of small oranges. But we are in America so everything is bigger right?
So I was surprised when the waitress said three rice balls come in one portion. Adelina’s owner, Toby gave us four so we didn’t have to share. Rice balls are not meant for sharing.
The rice balls were on the smaller size, about the size of a hand ball and perfectly breaded and fried. Not complaining; the smaller they are, the more fried surface area to enjoy! They were served with a light tomato sauce for dipping.
They were not too crunchy on the outside (which was my complaint at Arancini Brothers) and nice and creamy and flavorful on the inside, with a pinkish hue.
Unlike some rice balls that are stuffed in the center with cheese and meat, these had cheese running throughout the rice, which makes sense since these are small.
Toby and I texted rice balls knowledge (for real):
First I wanted to know about the bread crumbs, which are not panko as I had wondered but are made with bread crumbs from the whole wheat bread made in-house.
Butter? You bet! Toby makes a traditional risotto first with butter, then adds parmesan cheese at the end. The pinkish hue is from some tomato sauce added at the end, but you can also use pesto.
Toby will let us know when he has pesto rice balls on the menu and next time I am ordering all three for myself.
The most satisfying dishes are often the most easy and simple to prepare. When I met with Chance Jones, the new chef at Greenpoint’s Milk n’ Roses, a cafe and wine bar that has just rolled out a new menu, I asked him to show us how to make the simplest dish on the menu.
He chose the Acuasale all’Uovo, which is Traditional Southern Italian Bread Pudding, Broccoli Rabe, Soft Egg & Chili.
This was the first time I have ever seen bread being boiled! It was a fascinating technique and the results were very delicious.
Boil day old bread with chopped and clean broccoli rabe in generously salted boiling water. Meanwhile, fry an egg in chili oil, and top it with more chili flakes. Cover it. Then drain the bread and broccoli rabe and toss with more chili oil. Add the egg on top and that is it!
It was the perfect rainy day lunch.
Don’t you agree that Milk n’ Roses should add this simple hearty dish to their brunch menu?
I am definitely going to try to make this at home… perhaps sweeten it with some milk and honey (no egg of course!) and maybe top it will some berries.
For over two years now Milk and Roses, (1110 Manhattan Ave) in Greenpoint has been the go to place for the perfect cappuccino and croissant. Now Milk has the pleasure to announce an entire new side, with the able hand of Chef Chance Jones. Jones has created an authentic southern Italian menu, featuring cheese and cured meat platters, insalate, braised meats and pasta.
Milk is especially excited about Agnello in Agro, a braised leg of lamb with cacao, egg, lemon and a warm carrot puree. Another chilly day favorite are the braised short ribs served over polenta, rucola and lemon. The pastas include Cacio e Pepe and Genovese, served daily, plus a featured different special pasta every night.
But do not worry – they still have your favorites for lunch and brunch!
Keep Milk and Roses in mind when booking your next special event, wedding or film shoot. The handsome interior also functions as a full-service event space!
It’s summertime tomato wonderfulness now but think ahead and can the delicious fruits, because once winter hits your only options are mealy flavorless supermarket tomatoes. I can’t deal.
I am stoked at this weekly deal offered at the Brooklyn Kitchen through October. For $35 you get a 20lb box of canning tomatoes that come from Lancaster, PA or the Fingerlakes region of NY. And they are organic. Order by Tuesday at 5pm for pick-up that Friday.
I am not going to can my tomatoes. Instead, I am going to make big batches of red sauce and freeze it in small containers so we can have fresh pasta all winter. Who am I kidding? It will not last all winter! We will be lucky if it gets to the freezer.
When I walked into the new wine bar called Adelina’s on Greenpoint Ave for a tasting, two things caught my eye: the back corner of the bar was lined with wine barrels labeling each wine on tap with white chalk, and seated at the bar was a row of gorgeous faces, the staff, who was there for a tasting.
“Care to join us?” Toby Buggiani, Adelina’s owner asked.
“Are you asking me to drink before noon. Of course!”
Adelina’s passed the Greenpoint restaurant test of friendly servers without a doubt. Not a surprise since Toby is such a sweetheart.
I also chatted with Josh, a customer who said he liked the former Gypsy Bar, but Adelina’s is “perfect” because he lives up the block and “to get a vibe like this [he'd] have to go to Troost,” which also has a morning coffee routine and a wine and beer menu. Continue reading →
Fava beans are the most delicious bean to eat, but the biggest pain in the ass to peel. It is a two step process. First you take them out of the shell, then you have to remove the skin. But it is well worth it for my favorite summer pasta dish. Here is 20 Seconds Fava Pasta, a time lapse video I created to illustrate the process in music video form. Fava beans are only available fresh at the local farmers markets for a limited time so scoop them up before the season is over!
After you have shelled the fava beans, sautee some garlic, onions and bay leaf in olive oil. Add some chopped fresh tomatoes, then the fava beans. Cover with water and simmer until the beans are soft. Boil your spaghetti and combine with the fava sauce. Top with grated cheese and fresh ground pepper. Fresh herbs like oregano or thyme are lovely, too. Enjoy!