My Dinners with Andre
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the unsung heroes of the food world: the professional photographers who make us all look so good. In these days of cellphones and a blogosphere that’s littered with amateur dinner pix, it’s refreshing to see what happens when an artist steps behind the camera. Andre Baranowski’s photos grace this month’s Westchester Magazine cover article, “97 Best Eating and Drinking Experiences in Westchester”. Andre also has shot many of my other Westchester Magazine features, my Westchester Magazine Home Savor columns, and many more. Along with his work for WM, Andre’s the man behind lots of food-porny Saveur magazine articles, and has also shot books by Michel Nischan (Sustainably Delicious) and Marja and Jean-Georges Vongerichten (Kimchi Chronicles). When I think of the stories that I’ve written for Westchester Magazine that make me most proud, they’ve almost uniformly been photographed by Andre Baranowski.
Check out Andre’s website and you’ll see what I’m talking about. His work is clean, arresting—but, for all his artistry, he’s easy to work with. Restaurateurs and chefs love Andre, to a point where it almost hurts my feelings. When I call, they ask, “Is Andre shooting it?” (Um, yes…but I’ll be writing it, you damned ingrate!) Sure, some of their affection comes from the quality of Andre’s images, but Andre is also easygoing and respectful during the shoot. And there are stories that abound of Andre going all out for the image—crawling around dusty basement storage rooms just to find the perfect plate.
I was actually present when Andre took this month’s stunning photo of Chef David DiBari at The Cookery, which appears on page 63. Here is a photo gallery (not taken by Andre!) of my hero at work.
TITLE Two Great Upcoming Beer Dinners
Nothing goes better with summer than beer. It’s time to rise up off your patio furniture and take your brew on the town. PS: You’ve got a case of patio grid-butt—might wanna wear some pants.
July 31, 7pm
$30 per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity). Reserve by calling (914) 358-9702
From the invitation: “The dinner will feature Anthony’s ‘Well Done’ pizza and Italian Soul Food paired with a variety of craft beers, focusing on brews by Harpoon Brewery.
Special guest Peter Brod, a brand representative for Harpoon Brewery, will host the event alongside Anthony’s representatives.
The special Craft Beer Tasting Dinner includes:
· Harpoon Seasonal paired with Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato Salad and Anthony’s Classic Italian Salad
· Leviathan Great Scott Wee Heavy paired with Coal Oven Roasted Chicken Wings
· Dan’s Rye IPA paired with Pork Ribs and Vinegar Peppers
· IPA paired with Meatballs & Ricotta ‘Well Done’ Pizza and Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced Tomato & Basil ’Well Done’ Pizza”
The Cookery and Sixpoint Brewery Present “We Like It Better in the Can” with Special Guests, the Jukebox Romantics
August 13, 7:30 – 10:30 pm
$50 per person. To reserve, call The Cookery at (914) 305-2336
Folks, I’ll be there, and so will every other cool person in Westchester. The Cookery is bringing local punk legends the Jukebox Romantics together with Brooklyn’s fetishized Sixpoint Brewery for a transgressive evening of food, music, and all things can-related. For a taste, check out the Jukebox Romantics’ video for their apropos song, “Famous Last Line,” below. Hint: Turn this up really loud and try to imagine that you’re on your third Sixpoint beer. I can’t wait.
Support Your Local Burger Scene with Pow Burger in New Rochelle: it’s Independently Owned!
Here’s what I love about my job. One week, I grumble a bit in EDP about the corporate carpet bombing of Westchester by a phalanx of new burger chains like Five Guys and Smashburger. Then, pow! A reader drops a note on my EaterLine (email@example.com) and informs me very sweetly of his or her great, independently owned, fast-food burger joint. Here’s an excerpt of that letter, which I appreciate very much: “There’s a new burger joint in New Rochelle I haven’t seen you mention before called Pow Burger on Post Road. It’s not high-end (really more no-nonsense), but it’s hardly fast food, either. I think they stack up to, or come close to, Five Guys or Cheeburger Cheeburger. I’m mentioning this because it’s my local go-to place now and I want it to stay in business.” Snap goes the laptop, and I am out the door.
Folks, I really like Pow Burger because, so far, there is only one of them. It’s a pleasant, brightly colored place with comic-book graphics and an eye-popping hot pink/black/white/yellow color scheme. The burgers are good (if a little too well done for my taste), and cooked to order while you wait. If you like, you can nuts with toppings like bacon, cheese, guacamole, sriracha, etc., but a meal (which might also include a patty melt, hot dogs, grilled cheeses, and more) is very reasonably priced. The kicker is that Pow Burger offers Mexican Coke, which is a personal weakness of mine. Here’s the menu. Anyone else know of a great, independently owned burger joint? Let us know on the EaterLine (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in the comments below.