Posts Tagged ‘ Food ’


Courtesy of The Daily Rhubarbian

Coupling: Pairings by Kristin M

In honor of Valentine’s Day week, Fine Times wanted to take the chance to celebrate the art of the couple.  Here to help us is the great Kristin M from MashedPotatoesAndMerlot.

Kristin M. is kitchen chic.

Kristin is more than a foodie.  She’s fashionable, opinionated and well-seasoned (spice reference).

Enjoy this look at some great pairs.  And be sure to visit Kristin M’s blog for more food and fun (West Coast, East Coast style).

1. Souverain 2008 Sauvignon Blanc ($16) with Grilled Seafood Salad.
It’s Valentine’s Day week, what better excuse to have wine at lunch? The Souverain Sauvignon Blanc combines the right amount of ‘crisp’ to remind you that summer is somewhere in the distant future, but doesn’t make you feel like you are living a lie as you watch the snow fall on the Manhattan skyline.  My favorite salad to eat with this lovely wine would be grilled shrimp, maybe even blackened grilled shrimp, atop a bed of mixed greens tossed in a light vinaigrette.  A nice salmon fillet, some grilled lobster tail drizzled with lemon juice, or even seared scallops resting on a bed of mesclun would be an excellent way to start the weekend festivities.

2. Goat Cheese with Fresh on the Vine Tomatoes.
Goat cheese pairs well with everything. Or at least I think so. As I have been trying to actually stick to my New Year’s resolutions this year, I have struggled to find flavorful ways to be healthy. Tomatoes have risen to the occasion and become the best partner for my favorite creamy white cheese. The tartness of the cheese blends well with the acidity of the tomatoes, and works even better if you make yourself a few crostini (simply slice up part of a baguette, drizzle with olive oil, and stick on a sheet pan in the oven at 400 until they are golden brown and have a nice crunch). If you take the time to find good tomatoes, all they need is a sprinkling of salt to make you feel like you’re at the trendiest sustainable eatery in town.  Don’t be shy with the goat cheese, either… it is a low fat cheese and provides a good deal of calcium and protein. A few nice big chunks crumbled on top of the tomatoes – party in your mouth.

3. Hand sanitizer with moisturizer.
This is probably the only pairing you will need every day this month. We are all very aware flu season is at it’s peak, so, like any good germophobe, hand sanitizer becomes a part of the daily routine. Killing germs must also be key word for stripping my hands of all things soft, because at the end of the day I feel like the “before” on a Eucerin commercial! Hence the pairing – hand sanitizer needs some serious moisturizer to go alongside it. Do your honey a favor and buy her a yummy smelling hand sanitizer like the white citrus from Bath & Body Works (the only reason to go into that store), and pair it with the classic of all hand moisturizers, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. She will use it every day, and you will appreciate the switch from sandpaper to baby’s bottom as she gently caresses your face. Sounds creepy? Trust me, you’ll be grateful.

4. Nutella with Strawberries
Forget the traditional chocolate dipped strawberries or those expensive champagne truffles, Nutella is the new Godiva. If you really want to go all out, make or buy vanilla pound cake, slice it into 1 inch squares, top with a good portion of freshly sliced strawberries, and then pour warm Nutella over the entire thing. The Nutella only needs to be heated in the microwave for about 15 seconds, stir, then heat again as necessary until it reaches an easy pouring or drizzling consistency.  Another option is placing the warm Nutella in a shallow bowl in the middle of a tray or plate filled with strawberries (other fruits or nuts are also welcome) and using it as you would melted chocolate for fondue.  Dip, eat, dip, eat, dip, eat.  I promise it will not disappoint.

5. Quailhurst 2003 Nassau Reserve Pinot Noir ($50) and 3 close friends.
This is about as high as I am willing to go for a bottle of wine to be enjoyed at home, but let me tell you, this one is worth every penny. I realize the “3 close friends” is kind of a cop-out, but I have determined that 4 people per great bottle is really the best ratio you can have.  Everyone gets about 1 1/2 medium sized glasses of wine, and you all take the time to sip and savor each taste.  Plus, what better way to enjoy a great bottle of wine than with a few special friends? The Quailhurst Pinot Noir listed above satisfies most palates, so whether your friends are on their way to their Level 3 Sommelier test or have never tried any wine besides what you’ve served them, they will love it. Although this wine would pair well with a variety of foods, the best way to enjoy it is on its own.

Everyday Icon: Durkin

Everyday icons are those around us that don’t abide by style, but “create it.”

For months I had heard about Durkin’s Pizza from Matt, my co-hort.  I tried it and have raved about it to anyone I could since.  The pizza at Durkin’s is good.  It’s better than good.  It’s really, really good.

It’s not the crust (though its chewy and buttery and cooked to perfection).  It’s not the cheese (though it’s creamy and salty and tastes fresh).  Durkin’s Pizza is ridiculously good because of one reason:  Durkin.

Durkin’s Pizza is a throwback to the pizzeria I remember as a child and romanticize to visit again today.  The kind that wasn’t about gourmet pie’s with fresh basil… those are good but not welcoming, and often times pricey.  There’s also the frozen, every-corner delivery special that we’ve all been wallet-whipped (discounts and coupons) into thinking is legit pizza pie.

In an era where restaurants are investments, cookie-cutter and ran by the machine, it’s refreshing to meet a real guy with a real passion of doing his job, and living his life, really to the fullest.

Recently, Fine Times sat down with Durkin to chat about a few things, like music, soccer and how to make killer pizza.

FT:  How did you get here? Give me your story of how Durkin’s Pizza opened its doors over a year ago.

Durkin: I worked my ass off for about a dozen years learning the restaurant biz from some of the best, then convinced some great investors to help me return The Pizzeria. No ball pit, no specialty pies, no gimmicks or funky names to memorize, just good, affordable pizza in a comfortable atmosphere.

FT:  Your restaurant, website, storefront, etc. all reference Rock & Roll. Why do you think Rock & Roll goes so well with great pizza?

Durkin: I have no idea but, fingers crossed, some of the research being done at the LHC will help us figure this out.

The man's shoes.

FT:  On your site you mention “spirited rock & roll debates” – who’s your all-time musical inspiration? And what’s the best live show you’ve seen?

Durkin: I could never pin down one musical inspiration, but having said that, there is a reason Chuck Berry’s poster is bigger than all the others. The best live show is yet to come. I’m still holding out hope for a Streisand/Manilow double bill. Or maybe I’ll get to see The Eagles in a giant, corporate-sponsored arena or at a $10,000/plate political fundraiser. Again, fingers crossed. Otherwise, I just want to see The Stooges. Oh, and The Beatles.

FT:  What’s your favorite wardrobe item?

Durkin: Currently it is my black Nike SFBs. A boot designed for the Special Forces, that I wear at my sissy job as a pizzeria owner.

FT:  Who inspires you?

Durkin: My girl, and the kids who come to Durkin’s.

Joining us for our stop at Durkin’s Pizza was Matt D from  Lucky for us he brought his camera and snapped some visuals.

Some of the images can be seen below.  For others visit Fine Times flickr.

(And be sure to visit and frequent Matt D’s blog.)


The larger poster: Chuck Berry.


The go-to.

Calculator Watch


Everyday Icon.

A Time for Chocolate Makers

The Selby is the the place to see cool people in their cool places.  Their latest subject are the boys from The Mast Brothers at their Chocolate Factory.  No Gene Wilder in sight, but a beautiful look at creating chocolate from start to finish.

Courtesy of

Other great Selby subjects include:

Martin Greenfield – NYC Tailor

Fraser Cooke – Nike Global Energy Marketing Director