Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Delicious Deals

found while running through the Eastside

Let me preface this post by confessing; I am not a runner. I am more of a seasonal walker who, at times, is inspired to pepper those walks with short outbursts of girlish, arm-flailing jogging. Nevertheless, on my last said outing, I windedly passed by two delicious deals I couldn't resist sharing.

While exiting the East River at 34th street, I passed by the insanely tasty El Parodor and was shocked to find that a three-course prixe fix lunch at the Mexico City inspired "roadhouse" would only set me back a flat $20. For those more interested in a liquid lunch, the bar is also offering $5 margaritas and half-priced appetizers from 3-6pm. With gourmet delights like a 24-ingredient mole chicken, mussles with cornbread, and warm cinnamon salsa; El Parodor gives a great reason to knock off the day a few hours early.

Moving downtown I stopped to steal a whiff of the sweet aromatic Indian-Americana fusion that is Tabla. After staring longingly, and likely creepily at the patron's plates on the cozy outdoor patio that overlooks Madison Square Park, I spotted the second deal of the day; the Tabla to-go lunch cart. This is probably the most flavorful and thoughtful street cart food one will find in the city. Offerings include tandori roasted chicken with mint chutney, and black peppered roasted lamb with pickled peppers. The best part -- all menu items are under $10!

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Celebrating Mistakes: Everything I know about launching an agency I learned in my first six weeks in business

This week, we celebrated the arrival of our agency’s first schwag in the mail by taking a bite of humble pie and reminiscing on our favorite business blunders so far. Our top 5 Tim Gunn-inspired “make it work” mistakes are below.

1. We really heart Chuck Scarborough. Only an insider or incredibly observant viewer might have noticed that our client Chef Ryan Brown’s first TV interview was as amusing as his first print quote (more on that below). The anchor, David Ushery, was so engrossed in his guest, he had no idea the close-up of the gift certificate was actually made out (per our direction) to Chuck Scarborough, who had called in sick that evening.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cuttlefish Ink Mugs Have Arrived!

The sweat and tears that go into starting a new PR agency has its moments -- and for us, one of them happend today when we saw our Cuttlefish Ink logo on our new agency mugs. We can't wait to thank our wonderful clients, Chef Ryan Brown of Choice Cooking Company, Chef Antonio Frontera, co-author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul Kids in the Kitchen," and Chef  Fermin Bello of Itzocan Cafe for the opportunity to partner with such amazing businesses and people.
As we take our first sips, we're reflecting on some of our favorite moments in our first six weeks in business.  Stay tuned for our top 5 to be posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

MediaBistro After Party: Pizza Bash, the New Pizza by the Slice in Union Square

Yesterday at the MediaBistro women in media event at Underbar, we fell in love with the blueberry martini (thanks @jkeefe for the tip) and had a great time meeting new friends who accepted our hand-cut business cards.  But all the sugar went straight to our hunger bones.

Just our luck - a new pizza by the slice opened in Union Square East - across the street from the W.  We were a little skeptical when we walked in- not a customer in sight (The guys at Pizza Bash report that in the 3 months they've been open, "not everyone knows we're here yet").  The fact that our only choice for crust was whole wheat, only furthered the gut feeling.

However, we're pleased to report - if you like thin crust, this slice surpasses the "it's as good as whole wheat crust can be" bar.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Giorgio's of Gramercy: Inventive Italian in a Warm Place

Despite everything you read on this blog, we're actually creatures of habit, who when not given an assignment tend to draw back on the same favorite places- typically Virage, Itzocan and the occasional Murray's falafel.
Boy were we surprised when we made a bet on Georgio's of Gramercy.

The restaurant is so nestled into 22nd Street we almost walked by the door.  The front bar had a somewhat divey feel on a Friday at 10, which surprised us after the person on the phone who assured us he had a table self-identified as a maître d'.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Floral Drinks in Dive Bars

Edible floral cocktails may have been all the rage last summer but we think they're back.  Yesterday after celebrating a fabulous birthday party for Luther Vandross thrown by the very fabulous Seveda Williams at BLVD, we headed over to Vig bar - where Chris the bartender made us this lovely drink.
We barely managed to finish it before running home to beat the expected doorman strike but can vouch that it's worthy of heading in to give it a try on a Tues or Thurs when we are told Chris, the inventor of this concoction, works the bar.   

Our friend, Michelle Borboa over at has collected some of this year's hot floral concoctions.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Deliciousnes in Rockafeller Center: Morell's

Gearing up for our trip to the NBC headquarters for Chef Ryan Brown's segment on WNBC's New York Nonstop, we prepped at Dean & Delucca. But once it was time to celebrate we were ready for some booze and a few tasty treats.  We were pleasantly surprised with Morell Wine Bar - which despite its location smack in Rockefeller,  offered an amazing meal without the tourist prices you'd expect in this neighborhood.

So what does a chef eat over a vodka soda celebration drink?  "Steak tartar," Ryan tells us - "I have to order it anytime I see it on the menu."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

One if By Land Plays With Our Mouths (amuse-bouche)

Our friend Paul once told us he took a first date to One if By Land Two if By Sea in the West Village and ended up marrying her. 

So when on the morning of our four-year anniversary, we were alerted to a fabulous discount on a 3-course at the most romantic restaurant in the city, we decided the time had come to try it for ourselves.  We were not disappointed.

The nook of a restaurant on Barrow Street is a hidden gem behind a wooden door and despite the historic decor, the staff is super energetic and West Village-ish.  We had an adorable corner window table looking out to a cozy nestle of a garden and were somehow transported away from a whirlwind week of non-stop activities to a magical place.  Our favorite dish was the leak soup, compliments of the chef, which started us off with something rich and refreshing all at once. The "amuse-bouche" our waiter claimed, means "to play with your mouths."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Last night of Passover: Unleavened Mexican at Yerba Buena

By the seventh day of eating nothing leavened, we were maxed out on Matzoh recipes and were thrilled when our good friend Liz suggested checking out Yerba Buena's Passover menu - and boy were we pleased! 

Because the matzoh ball soup we'd tried to pull off on our first seder night didn't work out so well, we started out with one of theirs --  balls were hard (the way they're supposed to be) and the broth tasted so fresh and homemade, it was like being at Safta's house.  We couldn't help but finish the whole gigantic bowl - a bad idea as it was enough to fill up even our hungry bellies.   

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pineapples & the mysterious "Alice in Wonderland-style" pineberry

Yesterday an oddly-shaped box was waiting at our door - it had the same colors of the packaging we receive every month when our fruit of the month from Harry & David - a lovely gift from Jackie when we moved into our new space - arrives.  So far we've received packages of 4-6 pears, apples, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, always in a shoebox-shaped packaged.  But this one was huge. 
We tore it open and there it was -- a glorious PINEAPPLE!

Its flamboyant green leaves poked out of the delicate yet sturdy packaging.  The last time we actually had a whole pineapple in the kitchen was  ten, maybe 15 years ago.  Its not that the enormous fruit (technically multiple fruit merged together, and perceived as one) isn't delicious - but we've always shyed away at the store.  The pineapple afterall is a huge commitment -- too much fruit for a few people & requiring a serious knife to to cut open.

Photos of the pineberry solution after the jump.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Fool's prank ideas for foodies

april fool's day dinner
Originally uploaded by wingedegg
Ever since Michelle reminded us that tomorrow is April Fool's when she posted her friend's "Deviled Eggs" made of pure white chocolate, the eight-year-olds inside of us have been trying to come up with our own Cuttlefish Ink office food pranks.  Enjoy a few adult (and kid)-friendly ones we've come up with around the Web after the jump.  What are your favorite April Fool's pranks?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Partying at the Inner Cirlcle with descendants of Transfatsylvania

Originally uploaded by nycmayorsoffice
Last weekend, the healthiness of  food in New York City was on stage so to speak as Mayor Mike Bloomberg was portrayed as  a descendant of a line of vampires from "Transfatsylvania."

It was all happening at the Inner Circle Show - a tradition that began in 1923 of journalists roasting New York City mayors and other influencers via multi-act musical theatre satire.  When our dear friend @francarpentier brought us to the dress rehearsal (and hooked up seats in the first two rows smack in the middle!), she described how in 2007, the show famously moved  then Mayor Rudy Guliani to dress in drag.

This year, songs poked fun at Mayor B's ban on transfat and his more recent efforts aimed at reducing our salt intake.  We were crying from laughter as an elegant Melissa Russo (co-anchor of WNBC's Saturday evening show) dressed in a white sequence ball gown and a salt shaker cap strapped on her head, alongside Andrew Siff (WNBC-TV reporter) as Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty, sang about wanting to eat what they want and argued that salt was necessary to keep the snow off the streets.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Balaboosta - Israeli tapas in a warm place

If Shira told her grandmothers in Israel she was preparing a home cooked meal for guests or making up a guest bedroom with clean sheets, she would say Shira was a "balaboosta" -meaning someone who was  making my home cozy and welcoming.  That's exactly the kind of atmosphere Einat Admony creates at her new restaurant in soho by the same name.

From the moment we spoke to a maître d' who called to confirm our reservation on Saturday, we felt welcome. Because the liquor license hadn't been taken care of he suggested we bring our own bottle of wine to enjoy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tina's Cuban Cuisine: Good for the wallet, the body and the soul

While New York may be the most international city when it comes to the number of foreign-born people who share the space,  when it comes to eating, the melting pot phenomenon has made authentic international cuisine sometimes hard to find.  A little gem in an unlikely neighborhood - one block from the Empire State Building - with wholesome and fresh ingredients cooked up with incredible flavor and served in an impeccably clean establishment by warm staff is Tina's Cuban Cuisine on Madison between 33rd and 34th St.  The portions are so enormous, you can share a $9 entree with a friend - or save half for the next day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ethos on Third Ave: Satisfying the appetites of men with the diets of women

For us, yesterday was one of those busy days that started at 6 a.m. & was so jam-packed with interviews and projects that when 6 p.m. hit, we had the appetites of men. But having indulged in the likes of burgers and two back-to-back brunches over the weekend, our bodies couldn’t afford a heavy meal.

With plenty of work left to accomplish for the evening we wanted to keep it close to our office and decided on Ethos in Murray Hill. We landed one of the cozy yet over-sized tables by the window, where there is plenty of room for lots of plates, as well as notepads. As we ordered, our authentically Greek waitress amused us when she argued that, “many women don’t like this wine” and disappeared to bring us a tasting.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Video Review of Hecho en Dumbo: Where the servers’ standard closing line is “Are you still hungry?”

After hearing from @kludt that Hecho en Dumbo was a mob scene on Friday we decided to do brunch bright and early on Sunday morning.  To our delight, the place was empty but for one two-top in the back.  


The meat-packing-district-esque vibe in the new East Village location is very different from the DUMBO version that had the convertible outside area and live music at night.  But some of that cozy coffee shop feel made its way into the city with adorable coffee mugs and plates, even if the décor feels a little contrived.  


Check our our Video Review after the jump.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Video Review: Ruby’s - Burgers so Delicious, Even a Vegetarian Couldn’t Resist a Bite

Yesterday our solution to the conflict of gorgeous weather and a dire need for office furniture was resolved with a decision to walk what felt like the length of Manhattan to Seaport Village then hop onto the free water taxi to Ikea.   Getting somewhat lost somewhere below Canal Street, the journey downtown turned into a two-hour walk in the sun.  The serene boat ride was followed by the usual chaos of navigating the mega store, muscle-powered lugging of our findings back onto the water taxi, and finagling of a cab from Seaport with our belongings.

At 4 p.m. our stomachs alarmed us that the slice of pizza shared among three women was not cutting it.    To quench our huge appetites, a friend suggested Ruby’s in Nolita – “supposedly the best burgers in New York” she said. 

Check out our video review after the jump.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm having a relationship with my pizza and leaving no carbs behind

Having founded Cuttlefish Ink with the strong belief that if you can taste, you can live and love, we're pumped for the movie Eat Pray Love to come out - even if we do have to wait until August 13.  Check out Julia Robert bringing to life the real-life experience of Elizabeth Gilbert who leaves her comfortable life and finds soul sustenance in her feasts here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Celebrating St. Patty's with a Green Resolution

Living and working in Manhattan is tremendous and relentless. With the excitement of the city that never sleeps are eight million of us crowded together in pollution and among rodents. Because the daily commute through midtown alone sometimes comes at the expense of our sanity, we city gals sustain ourselves with small luxuries. And in this economy, that often means the really small luxuries that make a real difference.   So does opting for the extra .15 cents per pound for the organic bananas make the cut as an effective therapy for the daily grind?

A new book by Rodale Inc. CEO and Chairanm Maria Rodale argues YES. In the book, Rodale concludes that although organic food is often more expensive than conventional food, it pays in the form of reducing weight gain, hormone imbalance and even infertility.

Whether it's fact or fiction, we think any delicious and wholesome treat that might nourish our bodies and souls is woth a shot.  While we aren’t giving up on deli salads or brunches at our favorite bistros, on this St. Patrick’s Day we’re making an oath to eat at least one organic green a week. Men’s Health has some great ideas that make it easy to do.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Daily Grind: Can coffee help beat the work-day blues?

Yes, says a recent survey published by The Boston Globe.  The survey, which polled nearly 1000 professionals, found that free fresh coffee was among the top prized workplace perks.  Access to a hot cup of joe in the office ranked right up there with flexible hours and casual attire days.  In fact, nearly 40 percent of those asked would trade their end-of-year holiday bash for a daily cup.  Keurig, who was responsible for the survey, chalks up the employee sentiment to the rising price of self-caffination -- costing Americans $440 per year for the workweek fix alone.

Here at Cuttlefish Ink, we believe wholeheartedly in the irresistible aroma of a freshly brewed roast.  Nothing seems to jump start the creative process like a brainstorm with Mr. Coffee.  What's percolating today?  French roast with cardamom. 

Bottom's up,
The Cuttlefish Team

photo thanks to the UK Telegraph

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dollars for diakon radish, dandilion and dates

Ever since we've been reading about a study that paid moms to buy healthy food, we've been amusing ourselves by coming up with appropriate healthy snack alliterations to add to bucks for broccoli, cash for carrots.   We want to hear yours in the comments! 
The study found moms just spent the extra dough on sugary snacks.  Which really makes us wonder -- did they ever try coupling the discounted dates with a nice easy recipe?

Hello delicious world!

We may have lost an hour today, but we gained a new place to exchange ideas about food and media. Celebrate the first Spring-Forward of the decade with us with a sneak peak of our new website here (while we wait for Shai to move us to our permanent domain). While you're there, learn about how you can win stuff on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter.