NYC Dining: Taste of Prime Tavern (LGA)

September 30, 2012

Taste of Prime Tavern
LaGuardia Airport Terminal D

Web Site:

Since early summer, a lot of you may have been wondering “What the hell happened to Perlow’s posts?”

Well, the Jersey part of Off The Broiler has been run like clockwork by Melody Kettle, who has been updating you on all things delicious in the Garden State.

My wife and I moved to South Florida at the end of June, where I’ve gone into research mode in terms of the local restaurant scene. I’ve also been trying to keep my technology blogging on ZDNet up to regular levels, which has been a challenge in and of itself.

But many of you know I primarily work in technology consulting and I do a lot of travel. Since early August I’ve been commuting back and forth to Brooklyn on a weekly basis.

And that involves spending a lot of time in airports.

Specifically, New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, Terminal D. Which I depart from on Thursday nights to return home to the Fort Lauderdale area.

Terminals C & D are run by Delta, which is my carrier of choice.  I always start at D even if I have flights out of C, because there is a free shuttle bus between the two terminals and the only open SkyClub is currently at D.

So if I have a 2 or more hour wait before my flight, I grab something to eat and then hit the club for drinks.

There are a number of good places to eat in Terminal D, all of which are run by a company called On The Go Management, which owns high-end and creative restaurant concepts in a number of different airports.

One of the things that this company has pioneered is placing seating areas in the terminal gates which have specially-secured iPads where you can browse their menus and have food delivered directly to your seat.

I haven’t tried any of those offerings yet because I prefer a traditional sit-down dining experience away from the gates themselves, but if you’re in a hurry and want something better than pre-wrapped sandwiches from a kiosk, it looks like a good way to go.

The most prominent of the restaurants in Terminal D is A Taste of Prime Tavern, which opened in August of 2010, and  has a menu that was originally formulated by Michael Lomonaco, of Porter House New York in the Time Warner Center in Manhattan.

I’m saying that it’s the most prominent because it is directly behind the main security checkpoint, has the most seating of the other restaurants, the biggest bar area, and has a dramatic window view of the departing aircraft.

In terms of the prices, I think they are pretty reasonable given the overhead that this place has to deal with in being in an airport terminal. If you are expecting it to be a bargain, it isn’t, but I can guarantee you cannot go wrong with practically anything you order here, particularly if you want a place to have a civilized meal for an hour or more.

For the quality of the food you get, the value is definitely there.

The menu items change seasonally depending on what the restaurant can source and what is selling, but here’s a sample menu.

Bar Area/Main Dining Room.

Main dining room, window area

Airport food doesn’t have to suck. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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NJ Dining: Interview with Chef David Burke

July 12, 2012

Hot From The Kettle’s, Elizabeth Palmer recently interviewed renown chef, David Burke:

Does the name David Burke ring a bell? It should. He’s everywhere in the culinary world. Burke has competed on both Iron Chef and Top Chef, won countless awards and accolades, and has amassed quite the collection of restaurants that he owns and operates, from Las Vegas to Chicago to NYC to our very own New Jersey. Oh, and he writes cookbooks and dabbles in culinary gastronomy as well, branding GourmetPops (ready to serve cocktail lollipops) and Flavorsprays to enhance your cooking with less fat and more flavor. 

I had the opportunity to speak with Chef Burke a few weeks ago about his time as a private chef in Norway, cooking for Prince Charles and Julia Child; his train ride travels around Europe, and his most memorable meal ever.

Read the rest of Elizabeth Starnes’ interview with David Burke on the Chef’s Table.

NY Bite Club: No Kitchen Required

April 2, 2012

Recently, I was invited to a special event hosted by the folks over at BBC America to promote their new show, “No Kitchen Required” which airs starting Tuesday, April 3rd.

The show is actually the first program that BBC America has developed and funded internally, rather than re-broadcasted from the UK. In a nutshell, I would describe the show as a combination between Iron Chef/Chopped and Survivor.

The three chefs, all who have outdoorsy-type experience, are sent to remote locations in order to forage, hunt, and then cook inspired dishes with native ingredients using only the most primitive of cooking methods and the most basic culinary equipment and spices supplied (basically knives, pans and cooking vessels, salt and pepper only, no electric appliances allowed).

It doesn’t sound like a very easy challenge. But I’m really looking forward to watching the show.

In any case, BBC America invited a group of bloggers to meet some of the stars and the producers of the show, at the ultra-secret headquarters of New York Bite Club. 

To pair with the New Mexico themed opening episode of No Kitchen Required, Bite Club prepared a Mexican degustation menu that would befit a Mayan emperor or a Mexican head of state.

Ready for some seriously legit Mexican food elevated to the standards of New York Bite Club? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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NJ Dining: Brick Lane Curry House (UPDATED)

October 6, 2011

Brick Lane Curry House
540 Valley Road, Upper Montclair NJ 07043
(973) 509-2100

Web Site:

It’s a cute little Indian restaurant, with warm and attentive staff. It’s family friendly.

Sounds like a great place to take the kids, right?

Indeed, I’d recommend this place for Indian food in a heartbeat. But at this Upper Montclair charming little British-style curry house lurks an EVIL. One that should not be tampered with. Not even by the most adventurous, veteran foodies such as myself.

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NYC Dining: Porter House New York (2011)

July 9, 2011

Porter House New York
Time Warner Center, 4th Floor
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY
(212) 823-9500

Web Site:

When my wife’s birthday approaches, the question is always the same: “Where would you like to go out for dinner?”

There are certainly many fine restaurants in New Jersey and in New York City. Too many to choose from, actually. But Rachel wanted to go somewhere that the food and the service was going to be impeccable and where the ambiance and the sheer “New Yorkishness” was also outstanding as well.

Given that criterion, there aren’t a lot of places that fit all of those parameters very well. But amazingly, we both looked at each other and said “Porter House?”

Also Read: OTB in Depth — Porter House New York

I’ve covered Porter House New York before. When people tell me they want a really nice steak, that they’re going to be in the city dining with friends, and they want to be treated really well, the restaurant often pops up on the top my list.

The steaks are probably some of the best in the entire city, and they have a full compliment of other dishes including some very nice fish and seafood presentations that are fantastic if you don’t want to eat meat.

They’ve also got a great bar menu with outstanding burgers and other casual items in case you’re a single diner or don’t want the full formal dining room experience. We’ve frequently done that when we go out to a Broadway show on a weekend and want to have a nice leisurely lunch before seeing an early show.

And the view? Oh, the view. In the daylight, if you’re sitting in the dining room by the window, you get a full panorama of Columbus Circle and all the hustle and bustle that is New York City.

At night, everything lights up glorious.

And you can’t find a nicer chef on the entire planet than Michael Lomonaco. Who always treats me and Rachel like family when we go.

Porter House New York Main Dining Room.

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Big Apple BBQ Block Party 2011: Behind the Scenes Pit Tour

June 12, 2011

[vimeo w=550]

We go behind the scenes at the 2011 Big Apple BBQ Block Party and visit the pits at Memphis Championship BBQ, Blue Smoke, Martin’s, Ubon’s, Pappy’s Smokehouse, Dinosaur BBQ, Ed Mitchell and Salt Lick — all while the weather conspires against us. We promise there’s plenty of Hi-Def food porn in this 32 minute video.

For photographic coverage of previous Big Apple BBQs, I’ve compiled four years of it, over 900 photos worth, in this single Flickr album.

Thanksgiving at Daisy’s

November 19, 2010

Here’s one of our best Thanksgivings ever. We’re bumping this post up in case you want some great holiday ideas.

This year, Rachel and I were invited to our friend Daisy’s house for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating family traditions, and like many families, Daisy Martinez’s yearly observance of the holiday is one of integrating her American-ness with her cultural identity, which is Puerto Rican and Latino.

Turkey (“Pavo” in Latin-American Spanish) the iconic American centerpiece of Thanksgiving, has also been integrated into Puerto Rican culture as Pavochon, which was probably created by New York Puerto Rican immigrants (“Newyoriquens“) between 50 and 70 years ago as an affordable substitute for roast pork, or Lechon, for Christmas.

Related: A Jewish Puerto Rican Thanksgiving

Like Lechon, Pavochon is rubbed with a garlic, salt/pepper and oregano wet adobo and marinated for over 24 hours and then roasted. This one was marinated for 48. In the last half a century, Pavochon has since been imported back to Puerto Rico,  is a popular dish eaten throughout the year and is served alongside Lechon in the central Guavate region.

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NJ Dining: Maritime Parc

November 18, 2010

Maritime Parc Restaurant
84 Audrey Zapp Drive, Liberty State Park NJ

Web Site:

In Northern New Jersey and even New York City, waterfront dining has always been something of a disappointment. Most of these restaurants have typically been more focused on the setting rather than the food. Indeed, that mold had been broken by Arthur’s Landing which had garnered critical acclaim by even the New York Times, but its success was not to last, having closed its doors in early 2009.

So when I heard a new waterfront, high-end dining restaurant with a menu focused on seasonal and locally-sourced sustainable ingredients had just opened in Liberty State Park with a gorgeous view of downtown Manhattan, I jumped at the chance to dine there.

The brand-new space, which opened in late September of 2010 in the Maritime Building in Liberty State Park, facing the marina and with a breathtaking view of downtown NYC and the skyscrapers of Jersey City is the brainchild of Chef Christopher Siversen, a French Culinary Institute graduate and veteran chef at NYC restaurants such as “21” and Alison on Domenick Street. Siverson was most recently in charge of the catering menus for the Glazier Group, has catered runway shows for Armani, Versace, Chanel and Marc Jacobs, and who has cooked for such well-known celebrities such as Martha Stewart, Steven Spielberg and Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

Maritime Parc Restaurant has it all — a room with a view and fine dining to boot. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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NYC Dining: Tabla Bread Bar

September 30, 2010

Tabla has recently announced that it will be closing December 30, 2010. I’ve added some vintage photos here from my Flickr archive of some of Floyd Cardoz’s best dishes.

Thanks for 12 wonderful years, Floyd and Danny.

Original post circa June, 2006, with updated never-seen photos from 2008.

OTB Related Post: The Mango Mafia

11 Madison Ave at 25th Street, New York, NY
(212) 889-0667

Tabla is another one of those Danny Meyer restaurants that I had been meaning to go to for several years, but just never had the time to do so. With the opportunity to interview various pitmasters the night before the Big Apple BBQ block party, I thought that a meal right across the street at the Bread Bar was an ideal place to begin an evening of major BBQ rig envy.

The Bread Bar at Tabla is an incredibly attractive space, with a domed ceiling with a modern fresco of Indian food ingredients on it.

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Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2010

June 14, 2010


June is my favorite month of the year, and it’s not because it’s the beginning of Summer  — it’s when the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is held.

Highlights of the 2010 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. Click photo above for complete slide show

This year, unlike years previous where we had comprehensive coverage, Rachel and I were only able to attend the second day of the Block Party because we were flying home from the West Indies the previous day. But in true barbecue trooper style, we made the most of that one Sunday, even though the weather started to become uncooperative.

Also See: Previous Coverage (2007-2010)

This year saw the addition of several new pit crews in addition to the returning crews, so much of our attention in the six hours we were at the event was dedicated to looking at the new stuff.

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