RESTAURANT REVIEW: BODEGA NEGRA

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Eating Fabulously, Christopher Stewart, NYC, restaurant review, Dream Hotel, Bodega Negra
photo via Bodega Negra Instagram 

In Eating Fabulously news... I dined at Bodega Negra recently during winter NYC Restaurant Week. Its been on my to-go list for a couple of years now, so when I received a "Bodega Negra this week" iMessage I, of course said yessss. 
Tucked inside The Dream Hotel  in The Meatpacking District, Bodega Negra is a dark and sexy spin on trendy Mexican cuisine and flare in a chic setting. It was still fairly early by the time we slid into our booth and looked at the menu but the restaurant filled quickly. With sangria on the way, and all the girl talk of the week about to commence, heres what we ordered. 

FAB RECIPE: MUSSELS IN CHORIZO TOMATO BROTH

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Christopher Stewart, Eating Fabulously, fab recipe, mussels, seafood, chorizo, NYC

photo via Brenda B. 
Can I get an  amen that its above 35 degrees here in NYC! I was in my neighborhood grocery store recently and one thing about this grocery store, is that they  have a great fish and seafood department. They always have a great variety of fish and shellfish, and the product is always fresh and packed on tons of ice. Whether it be calamari tubes, tile fish steaks, simple basa fillets or white shrimp I've always picked up some great items here. And it helps that they always have great sales on seafood as well. Mussels were on sale recently and plentiful. A 2# bag of fresh mussels for $2.99 was a great purchase. I dug through the ice, grabbed 2 bags, and rushed home to cook!  A couple of rules to remember when preparing mussels! 


  • Rinse fresh mussels under cold water to get extra sand and dirty off. 
  • Remove the small furry "beard" from the side of the mussels before cooking. (just yank it off) 
  • Discard any opened mussels from the bunch. Do not cook opened or cracked mussels. 


Mussels in Chorizo Tomato Broth 

1 - 2lb. bag of PEI mussels 
1/2 lb. dried chorizo, sliced and divided into 2 parts 
1 1/2 c. chicken broth 
1/2c. of canned whole peeled tomato's + liquid OR 1/2c. of your favorite tomato sauce. 
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half 
4 sprigs of fresh thyme 
5T. butter 
1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped 
Olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse, remove beards and any opened mussels. Place clean mussels in the fridge until needed. In a medium pot, combine chicken broth and 1 part of the chorizo and simmer, about 2o minutes. Strain liquid, discard (or eat!) chorizo and set aside. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced garlic and remaining chorizo, cooking for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes (crush tomatoes loosely in hand before adding into skillet) and add thyme sprigs and cook until the tomato sauce becomes thickened about 5 minutes, and then add chorizo stock. Add butter and season heavily with salt and pepper.  Add mussels to the tomato sauce, cover with a lid and cook mussels, until all of them begin to open completely, roughly about 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, remove lid from mussels and with a large spoon, toss mussels  in the tomato broth starting at the bottom of the pan, making sure the tomato broth gets into the opened mussels. Spoon mussels and chorizo into large bowls, top with chopped parsley and your favorite toasted bread and serve hot! 

FAB LIFESTYLE: NAILED IT

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Christopher Stewart, Eating Fabulously, Fab Lifestyle, nails, acrylic,

Everyone has something that they love to do for themselves.  Some fab ladies must have a weekly pedicure, other's keep a bottle of their favorite wine at home. I, love getting my nails done. Whether a weekly manicure, or a bi-weekly fill ins, having my nails done keeps me fab and happy.  I usually keep my nails very short with rounded or square sides due to me constantly typing something. On a recent visit to my nail salon,  I was looking for something different. After cruising through Instagram and Pinterest  for some nail art inspiration, I sat in my nail tech's chair and screamed I need a change. 

I'm not into the long pointy claw nails, but I have seen some great designs on coffin nails. Coffin nails are long and rounded on the sides, but with a square tip across. My nail tech Veronica suggested I do a short- medium length coffin nail, and I agreed.... change was happening. 

After deciding on a nude gel polish, the outcome was amazing. I love the way the coffin nails accentuate my hands and make my fingers look long and lean.  Although my first time getting coffin nails, Im enjoying them  so much that I can see myself having this style right along with my short square nails often. 


Christopher Stewart, Eating Fabulously, Fab Lifestyle, nails, acrylic,

What's your favorite fab nail style? Leave your favorites in the comments below! 

FAB RECIPE: FRENCH TOAST WITH SALTED CARAMEL APPLES & WHIPPED MASCARPONE

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Eating Fabulously, Christopher Stewart, fab recipes, frech toast, salted caramel
photo courtesy of JaimeAnne

Whoever created brunch, remind me to send them flowers. I think brunch is delicious, and everyone should feel the same way as I do. I was digging through the crates of recipes in my drafts, and this recipe derived from a special I made for brunch while at the restaurant. Its been a really cold snowy winter here in NYC and all I keep thinking about is breakfast and spring!  This recipe has all of my favorite things...bread, Fuji apples, butter, heavy cream, love...you get the picture. 


FRENCH TOAST W/ SALTED CARAMEL APPLES AND WHIPPED MARSCAPONE

1 loaf of day old challah bread, sliced 
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced 
5 eggs 
2 1/2 - 3c. heavy cream or half-n-half
1 1/2 c. sugar 
2 sticks of butter
cinnamon, to taste 
sea salt, to taste 
1 container of mascarpone, softened
1c. confectioners sugar  

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and 2c. of cream with cinnamon, a pinch of salt and sugar and set aside. Slice challah bread about 2in. thick.  Dip sliced challah into whisked cream mixture making sure bread is completely submerged. 

Thinly slice apples and set aside. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. When butter is melted and foaming, add sugar and stir until completely combined. Pour in cream and continue to stir over low to medium heat. Caramel will begin to bubble and turn light brown. If caramel becomes too thick, additional cream can be added. Sprinkle in salt, a pinch at a time to your liking. Turn heat on a very low flame, and add in apples. 



Whip mascarpone and confectioners sugar, altering sweetness to your liking, adding a few drops of heavy cream to help smooth out the texture. 

In a large skillet, melt a few slices of butter over medium heat. Tap off any excess liquid and cook french toast in melted butter on both sides until brown, about 5 minutes. 

Spoon hot apples over freshly made french toast and top with sweetened mascarpone! 

RESTAURANT REVIEW: CARBONE

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Eating Fabulously, Christopher Stewart, restaurant review, Carbone, Italian, NYC



I went to Carbone a little over 3 weeks ago and my mind is still blown.  Named "the most expensive red sauce in New York City", Carbone is a throwback to the Italian-American restaurants of New York via the mid-20th century. The Torrisi boys as I like to call them, took everything that screams old school Italian and placed it in this booming restaurant on Thompson street in Soho....including the feeling that the Italian mob was sitting to my right and my left. 

After a few weeks of stalking open reservations on OpenTable, my dinner date and I headed to Carbone with sheer anxiety. Anxiety because after reading a few online reviews, the cloud of "the price tag of this dinner is too much" loomed over us all week. iMessages with "do we really want to go to Carbone" filled my unlimited data plan. 
 I have no problem paying for a great dinner, but with mixed reviews online, my friend and I had mixed feelings. 
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