Thursday, September 27, 2012


Below is the news release that has been disseminated for tonight’s book event. 

And here is the poster in the bookstore's window that has made me a cover girl of sorts. ha!

Anyone who loves books knows Rizzoli is the venerable temple of all things literary.
As an author, this is the apex…


Leeann Lavin, the author of The Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown Cookbookwill be appearing and signing her new book at Rizzoli Bookstore in New York, Thursday, September 27th, from 5:30-7:00 p.m.  Appearing with Ms. Lavin will be Chef Joe Isidori, of Long Island’s Southfork Kitchen and the newly-opened Arthur on Smith restaurant in which is located in tres Brooklyn: Carroll Gardens.
Chef Isidori will be serving the Homegrown Salad with tomatoes from the Satur Farms and homemade cheese from Mecox Dairy, both from the book.
The Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown Cookbook is a collection of outstanding recipes from Long Island’s finest locavore, homegrown chefs who give every plate a striking sense of place, and the farmers they work with to bring the freshest locally grown, sustainable foods to their menus.
Rizzoli Bookstore is located at 31 W. 57th Street between 5-6th Avenues.  (800) 52-BOOKS |
Voyageur Press
June 2012
Original Trade Hardcover with 4-color photos

Here is what Rizzoli says about its bookstore experience:

The flagship store was first established at 712 Fifth Avenue in 1964 and moved into our current location in 1985. The store now occupies three floors of a historic townhouse at 31 West 57th Street, a beautiful setting filled with nooks and crannies that makes Rizzoli Bookstore a welcoming destination that overflows with a treasure trove of books waiting to be discovered.

Rizzoli Bookstore is privileged to host book signings and events that spotlight some of today’s foremost authors, artists, and stylemakers, such as artists Christo and Jean Claude and Botero, actresses Diane Keaton and Isabella Rossellini, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, architect Richard Meier, former New York State governor Mario Cuomo, and art director George Lois; leading authors such as Umberto Eco; and revered institutions like The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Italian Cultural Institute. Special events such as free wine tastings round out a program sure to enhance the Rizzoli Bookstore experience.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Orient Express West Village Cocktail Bar is a food & drink escape

This is one sweet West Village must-visit cocktail bar. 
You know the kind of cafes and restaurants that exist on Paris’ Left Bank?
Or in the imagination or fantasy where you dream of a place like this?  

It is a romantic, dimly lit, bar and restaurant -- rich with design elements that suggest decades of patrons, draped around their chair or bar stool (or each other) telling intimate stories and canoodling all the while sipping exotic cocktails.

The décor is designed to suggest being inside an old dining car on the Orient Express. Hence the name. 

While I didn’t really catch the train vibe while sampling "le cocktails" and appetizers there on a recent poetic, autumn-in-New York kinda’ evening, I was reminded of that quintessential cozy, sexy corner restaurant from the cinema or that dream sequence.
So que’elle chance!

It’s too bad that the name suggests an Asian restaurant when this intimate cocktail bar is so not that. 
This is where you go for a romantic date. 
Or a transporting food and drink adventure.
We need and love cocktail-focused environments. 

Seriously, no one makes these drinks at home.  
Put down the beer bottle and the white wine glass and get out and enjoy the world of American-led cocktails.
Where do you think Cocktail Hour came from?

I am a proud member of the NYC Food Bloggers and our last meet –up was Orient Express.
Is it any wonder why Katy, our food goddess of all things food blogging would have chosen this venue?

The Orient Express has a wonderful food provenance. 
Osman Cakir, owner of next-door Turks and Frogs, also claims “a story for every item on the menu.” 

So take that, Eleven Madison xx concept pioneers – you have been usurped!

However, the food narratives at Orient Express are fun. Unpretentious.
They don’t get in the way of the food.

For example, the “Nagelmakers, which is a blend of port, dark rum and rye served with orange and angostura bitters in an absinthe rinsed cocktail glass is their ode to the man who financed the Orient Express.”
Or how about this one: “The Zaharoff is tequila, lime and honey topped with house-made grapefruit soda and floated Campari refers to a writer and banker on the Orient Express whose stingy history on the Express earned him the nickname ‘Mr. 10%.’”

So while it’s no news that writers didn’t have much money for tips then – or now – all the stories are intriguing and interesting to hear.
…Helps break the ice, so to speak, while one works up the verve for their own stories, wouldn’t you say?

The Danube cocktail, is most refreshing and recommended.
It is made with Ketel 1 vodka, lime juice, mint and cucumber soda. 

I was always warned against absinthe so didn’t try the “Death on the Orient Express.”
If one is feeling adventurous, go for it.
It embraces absinthe, Becherovka, and Presecco. 

Better was the floral “From Russia with Love:” a cocktail confection blending vodka, ginger, lime, and rosewater rinse.

The food is very good.  Small plates abound.  The cheese plate is sourced from Murray’s
Featuring Feta, Mahon, Caprossado, Manchego and Gruyere.  
And the Charcuterie Plate is laced with languishing Bayonne Ham (not from the Garden State’s Bayonne, rather from France!), duck mousse, country pate, pastirma, and saucisson sec.  
The hummus was good but uninspired. 

Savory entrée dishes are served in skillets, according to the restaurant, with many dishes inspired by Eastern European cuisines. 
Turkish coffee and dessert is a-can’t-go-wrong finish.

The restaurant is modest in price. The focus is on the atmosphere-as-ingredient and the cocktails and small dishes.

Enjoy a food adventure on the Orient Express and come back satiated and rewarded. 

The Orient Express is located at 325 West 11th Street, New York, NY, 10014

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown CookBook Reading, Book Signing & Cooking Demo at Sachem Public Library

Get out your Library card! 

To be sure, there will be no schussing at the Sachem Public Library this evening. 
Rather I will be talking.  With a reading & presentation, I will talk about the making of The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook, followed by book signings. 

A featured restaurant from the book, Bayport's The Grey Horse Tavern will add to the program.
Co-owner and gardener Irene Dougal and Chef Meredith will join me, talking about how they grow their herbs and vegetables at the restaurant (even the raised bed borders are from trees that once grew on Irene's home property. 
Heck, the restaurant's front door sports a tag:  "No Farms; No Food."

They also are devoted to local fisherman, growers, and artisanal food makers.

Chef Meredith (make that the recently engaged/now fiancé, Chef!) will demo two recipes from The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook: Linguine & Local Clams; Local peaches and organic beefsteak tomatoes with Catapano cheese salad.

The clams are fresh-caught. In fact, given yesterday's big storm and tornado - there was some question as to whether "the clam guy" could go out in the boat.

No worries.  Long Island clammers are a hearty breed.

Menu in place.
Chef Meredith just wrote that she "just picked up some beautiful tomatoes for tonight and some gorgeous squash for menu change on Friday."

We're all set for a Homegrown food tasting.
And a book party in the THE best place to talk about books: the Library!

The Hamptons & Long Island
Homegrown Cookbook 

Featuring Chef Meredith Machemer from
The Grey Horse Tavern
Wednesday, September 19 7:00pm

As the locavore movement gains momentum, there is an increasing awareness of how best to incorporate this philosophy into our everyday lives. The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook celebrates the best homegrown food in and around Long Island, profiling 28 restaurants that are working with local farmers to bring the freshest foods to their menus. Author Leeann Lavin will explain the genesis of the book, which provides 78 recipes with beautiful color photos, sharing the personal stories of the chefs and the growers who inspire them. Meredith Machemer, Executive Chef at the The Grey Horse Tavern in Bayport, who is featured in the book, will demonstrate how to make Linguine with Local Clams and Peach & Tomato Salad. Linda Ringhouse and Irene Dougal, co-owners of the restaurant, which is housed in a historic tavern building from 1869, will discuss their own harvest as well as their reliance on seasonal, sustainable, and organic ingredients from other local farms and producers. Books will be available for purchase and signing. A tasting will follow the demonstration. No fee, but registration is required. 
Contact: Welcome Desk 588-5024

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rooftop Farm Benefit & Book Signing News

Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm Benefit and Book Signing

Food Tasting, Book Signing, Music, Vegetable Auction
Author Leeann Lavin will discuss chefs, recipes, and inspired growers featured in her book:
The Hampton & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook
Chef Guy Reuge of Mirabelle, Chef Tom Schaudel of Jewel and Chef Lia Fallaon of Amarellewill demonstrate their recipes and provide tastings.
Farmer & Poet Scott Chackey of Quail Hill Farm will auction harvest baskets.
Suggested donation $75 pp by 8/30/12 payable to Three Village Inn, 150 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790
All proceeds benefit the Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm Benefit, Harvest Food Auction and Book Signing

Finally, culinary and homegrown art takes its rightful place; recognized as precious and coveted as any Sotheby’s or Christies rare cultural aesthetic that celebrates creativity and value…

Homegrown food IS priceless!

Monday, September 10th, Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm celebrates the bounty of the harvest.
Here, benefactors can raise a paddle or two for the best of Long Island’s harvest baskets. 

Quail Hill’s farmer and poet, Scott Chaskey, a featured grower in "The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook,” will be auctioning outstanding corn, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and more. 

The evening is a true cornucopia including a farm to table talk and book readings, courtesy of me, about the chefs and the growers who inspire them, food tastings; music; the unparalleled vegetable auction; and cooking demos provided by three of the master chefs from the Homegrown Cookbook: The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Facebook page

Chef Guy Reuge, Mirabelle restaurant

Chef Guy Reuge in his Mirabelle restaurant potager


Chef Tom Schaudel, Jewel and CoolFish restaurant

Chef Tom & food fan @ The Hort book event

Long Island vintner, Kareem, Paumanok Vineyards, with Chef Tom (R)

Chef Tom & inspired grower,  Kareem, Paumanok Vineyards

Chef Lia Fallon, Amarelle restaurant.

Andrews Family Farm, inspired growers to Amarelle's Chef Lia Fallon

A homegrown gastronomic culinary adventure

Don’t know your Silver Queen corn from your Bodacious or Sugar Buns?
Or your Beefsteak from Purple Cherokee heirloom tomatoes? 
Or the respected heritage of the region’s hallmark terroir?

Here is an excerpt from the Homegrown Cookbook’s Introduction as a quick primer :) 
For the full story, get to Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm on Monday!

Since it was first settled more than three hundred years ago, Long Island has been a source of inspiration for artists and naturalists.  And those seeking a leashed escape from work in Manhattan. (Commonly referred to here as “the City.”)
The inarguable source of that inspiration has always been Long Island’s unique natural beauty and the bounty of the land. 
From the beginning, glaciers stamped the violent difference on the landscape: leaving the North Shore beaches rocky, and the South Shore with outwash sand.  The center spine is the glacial Ronkonkoma moraine that cleaves the two divergent landscapes.
The native Shinnecock Indian tribe hunted, fished and farmed on Long Island, teaching the first settlers how to do so, growing beans, succotash, using fish for fertilizer and foraging for wild plants.
Not surprisingly, farming is lauded as the Island’s first industry.
And in so many parts of Long Island, not much has changed over the centuries.  Sure, potato fields have given way to dozens of vineyards, and dairy farms replaced duck farms, but the Island is still recognized as the most productive farming area in New York State. 

The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook will be available for purchase and autograph signing by me and the chefs and growers.
Where:  101 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook, NY 11794. Stony Brook University Hospital, Level 4 Health Science Tower East Deck
When:  5:30 to 8:00pm, Monday, September 10th
Phone: 631-638-2132
Suggested donation $75 pp by 8/30/12 payable to Three Village Inn, 150 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790
All proceeds benefit the Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm