On Our Radar: Creative Juice Café

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With flu season in effect, and celebrities touting the power of juicing, you may be asking, “Should I try a juice fast?” But at Clean Plates, we think a better way to power up is to add organic, fresh juices to your diet (it may even help to stop a food sensitivity cycle).

That’s why we’re excited about the freshly opened Creative Juice Café.  Inside the 50th and 76th Street Equinox locations, the new café is helping gym-goers supplement their diets with innovative concoctions that can cleanse your system while you continue a healthy diet. Co-created by Equinox and NYC restaurateur and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, Danny Meyer, the café offers high-nutrient, cold-pressed, organic juices in addition to smoothies, baked goods, and sandwiches.

Quiet_The_Riot_19Expect unusual produce combos, and most of the juices on the menu—designed by chef Michael Romano and New York nutrition specialist and Equinox health advisory board member Dr. Jeffrey Morrison—contain no more than 200 calories.

Dr. Morrison offers these five powerful ingredients for DIY juicing:

  1. For belly and body aches, pineapple is high in bromelain, an enzyme that helps with digestion and also inflammation. “So this is a useful ingredient for people with stubborn, achy joints.”
  2. For trimming your waistline, jicama is “a root vegetable with surprisingly low calories and high in fiber and an non-digestible sugar called inulin; inulin tastes sweet, but has very few calories, which makes it a great addition to a shake for people looking to lose weight.”
  3. For a hangover, young ginger is a root with a spicy flavor. “It’s a great aid for digestion and anti-nausea. Think of adding ginger if you’ve had too much to eat or drink the night before.”
  4. For post-workout pain, try jalapeño (with only a few seeds). “[The] seeds are high in a nutrient called capsaicin, which is an amazing anti-inflammatory. So this is great for people with muscle or joint achiness.”
  5. For muscle cramps, parsley is high in potassium. “This is a great ingredient to add if you suffer from muscle cramps.”

Equinox
633 Broadway at 50th St.; 212 541-7000
1429 2nd Ave. at 74th St.; 212 249-3917

“On Our Radar” features restaurants that might meet Clean Plates standards, but haven’t yet been thoroughly vetted and reviewed. For a directory of reviewed restaurants, see our Restaurant Finder.

Nossa Mesa: Louro’s Monday Night Supper Club

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Captivating diners with an air of secrecy, supper clubs—pop-up dining experiences for those in the know—are setting up more tables, and getting more public, every night. The latest is Chef David Santos’ Nossa Mesa (“our table”), a BYOB Monday night event at his West Village restaurant, Louro.

  • Who: Santos has honed his craft in restaurant kitchens (Per Se, 5 & Diamond, Hotel Griffou), as well as that of his Roosevelt Island apartment—where he hosted supper club Um Segredo—and at the nearby piers, where he ran a fish shack this past summer.
  • What: Portuguese for “bay leaf” (you can read the touching story behind the name here), Louro is the realization of Santos’ dream to create a space where homespun flavors, quality ingredients and good value reign. With sustainable, nearly all-organic sourcing, Louro is as locally driven as it is worldly and eclectic (think: salmon tartar with coconut yuzu broth, dourade with pickled bananas and saffon, and roasted pumpkin with mizuna, pepitas and huckleberry vinaigrette).
  • Why: With frequent guest chefs, each week’s menu centers on a distinct theme. Recent themes: Black and White Truffles, Ocean’s Bounty, Elvis’s Birthday, Whole Hog butcher’s dinner, Portuguese Winter. Upcoming: Some Like It Hot and Vegtastic.
  • More love: For those looking for a out-of-the-ordinary Valentine’s date, Santos will be cooking for hungry couples and Beatles fans: each course of the tasting menu will be inspired by a Beatles love song, to the tune of oysters with bergamot granita, Maine peekytoe crab with Thai curry aioli, and raviolo with homemade ricotta, egg yolk and truffle butter.

Sounds like our table, indeed.

Louro (Nossa Mesa)
142 West 10th St. (bet. Greenwich Ave. & Waverly Pl.)
212 206-0606
Call or email nossamesa@louronyc.com for Nossa Mesa reservations.

Image courtesy of Um Segredo

Market Driven

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Leafy, vibrant, farm-fresh produce, bursting with flavor…sounds like winter. Yes, really—if you know where to shop.

Bring the market to you with Farmigo, a website that connects consumers to farmers, allowing you to order in-season, locally produced food and to pick it up at convenient locations. We talked to Kallie Weinkle, Farmigo’s New York regional manager, to find out which goodies New York farms are growing and shipping now.

Red Malabar Spinach
Monkshood Nursery, Stuyvesant, NY
This crisp Asian vine is technically unrelated to true spinach, but produces thick, sweet, red-veined green leaves that taste great in salads and stir-fries. (Monkshood grows it in winter, thanks to season extension techniques.) It’s certified organic, and available in Farmigo’s “Salad Greens” pack.

Sunshine Kabocha Squash
Monkshood Nursery, Stuyvesant, NY
A close relative of the Japanese Kabocha (normally dark green with orange insides), this version is smooth, sweet and reminiscent of butternut squash or even sweet potato—and it’s at its peak now. Try cubing one with the skin off or on (it’s edible), roasting at 400°F for 30 minutes, mixing it with farro and ricotta salata cheese, and drizzling it with a red wine vinaigrette. Find it in Farmigo’s “Winter Squash Selection”; it’s certified organic.

Heritage Breed Eggs
Sawkill Farm, Red Hook, NY
You’ve never tasted eggs like these before. Hailing from a farm with four different heritage-breed hens, these flavorful blue(!) and brown free-range treasures are actually seasonal. Certain heritage hens are more sensitive to the number of daylight hours—they don’t lay as often in winter, so the last of fall’s gorgeous eggs are coming in now.

Those are seasonal “blues” we like.

Spinach image by Dr. Malcolm M. Manners, logo courtesy of Farmigo

On Our Radar: Maysville Food & Bourbon

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Images of thoroughbred horses gallop across the walls…scents of smoked, charred, raw and grilled meats and seafood fill the air…and bourbon flows like water.

Welcome to Maysville. In the Flatiron, that is.

The bounty of The Bluegrass State has made its way north–with a twist. This southern-inspired spot highlights local, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats and sustainable seafoods. And the produce is all organic–Executive Chef Kyle Knall, formerly a sous-chef at Gramercy Tavern, goes to the Greenmarket every morning with a wheelbarrow to fill for the day’s menu.

Owner Sean Josephs (of Char No. 4) named the three-week-old bar and restaurant for Maysville, Kentucky, the port town that is the birthplace of bourbon. Chef Knall’s Southern roots (he’s originally from Birmingham) influence such refined regional interpretations as roasted oysters with salsify (a white root similar to parsnip) and pickled shallots; braised pork shoulder with butter beans, pigeon peas, turnips, and greens, and a whole smoked trout served with watercress, charred red onions and pickled mushrooms.

A variety of craft beers and a wide selection of wines rounds out the beverage list, but bourbons take center stage in the rustic space, with four backlit shelves of the stuff, at least 30 feet long, behind the bar (the menu features nearly 200 kinds of whiskey). The illuminated ceiling, a sculptured mosaic of boxed shapes, replicates an aerial view of Maysville, KY’s tobacco fields.

For now, patrons can enjoy dinner, drinks, or a full bar menu.  A private room that seats up to 25 is available for parties, and lunch and brunch are soon to come.

Maysville

17 W. 26th St., between 6th Ave. & Broadway, New York, NY 10010

“On Our Radar” features restaurants that might meet Clean Plates standards, but haven’t yet been thoroughly vetted and reviewed. For a directory of reviewed restaurants, see our Restaurant Finder.

Image courtesy of Ruffin_Ready.

On Our Radar: Table Verte

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Follow the yellow brick wall to your green table at Table Verte. Taking over the East Village space formerly occupied by sister restaurant Taureau, the new French vegetarian bistro had its soft opening on October 18.

After watching Forks Over Knives, a documentary advocating a plant-based diet, owner Didier Pawlicki of restaurants Taureau and La Sirene, along with fiancé Jeane Fournier, went vegan for several months. They’ve since returned to an omnivore’s diet — running both a fondue and a filet mignon hotspot has its temptations — but with a greater reverence for the art and health benefits of meatless meals. Continue reading

Dairy with a Purpose: Milk Not Jails

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Milk Not Jails is not only a dairy marketing and distribution co-operative, it’s also what founder Lauren Melodia calls, “an economic alternative to the prison industry… building an alliance for a sustainable and just regional economy.” What does that mean for city dwellers? Now there’s an option to join a dairy CSA with a cheeky pink truck and a serious purpose. Continue reading

On Our Radar: Casa Pomona

Jamonera at Casa Pomona

Starting last week, Upper West Siders have been reaping the benefits of a shrine to Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruitful abundance — in the form of a Spanish tapas spot. A giant mural of the goddess herself is a focal point of the urban rustic décor at Casa Pomona, a new restaurant from co-owners Sid Gupta (of nearby Clean Pates-rated Tuscan Pappardella) and Marion Maur (owner of the former Marion’s Country Kitchen in Woodstock).

These are not the tired trendy tapas of yesteryear: Continue reading

Drink to Your Health with Bottled Ayurvedic Tea

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The ancient healing system of Ayurveda, a holistic approach to health and wellness, has been followed throughout India for more than 5,000 years. Traditionally, Ayurveda is thought to help balance the body and mind and prevent, and treat illness through the principles of meditation, yoga, deep breathing, lifestyle and diet.

With MissionRoot, a new organic bottled iced tea company, we can all get down with the benefits of this ancient Indian practice here in the United States.  Continue reading