Al Di La Trattoria – Restaurant Review

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Published August 2013 on NewYork.com

This Venetian trattoria is a labor of love for chef Anna Klinger and her partner Emiliano Coppa, who met while traveling in Italy and opened Al Di La in Park Slope in 1998. The intimate dining room is reminiscent of a palazzo parlor, with a chandelier hanging from the pressed-tin ceiling, bentwood café chairs pulled up to snuggly spaced tables and vintage wallpaper. It’s frequented by Brooklyn couples, young and old, as well as small groups of family and friends. The northern Italian menu emphasizes classic recipes and local, organic ingredients, such as mussels with white wine and chili, beef carpaccio, homemade ravioli filled with roasted squash and mascarpone, and pork loin scallopine with sage and prosciutto. The wine list is all-Italian. Al Di La also does a weekday lunch and a fantastic weekend brunch that includes specialties like uova affogate (eggs baked in tangy tomato sauce with Fontina and Parmesan cheese). Reservations are only for parties of six or more; weeknights or early evening on Saturdays and Sundays are the best times to avoid the crowd (and a lengthy wait).

So You Want to Be Indiana Jones?

Published July 2011 on Concierge.com

Finding a truly legendary destination that hasn’t been spoiled by tourist kiosks and souvenir hawkers can feel like a search for the Lost Ark of the Covenant. But have no fear, intrepid explorers—it’s still possible to hack your own jungle path with a backpack full of maps to discover a lost civilization (and if you’re lucky, a hoard of gold). We’ve scoured the globe for mysterious places that instill a sense of otherworldly wonder, where you can explore at will without feeling like you’re trapped in a theme park. So hold onto your hats, Indiana Jones wannabes, because the journey has just begun…

Acme – Restaurant Review

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Published June 2013 on NewYork.com

Don’t be fooled by the “Authentic Southern and Cajun Cookin'” callout on Acme’s bold blue awning — it’s a leftover from the restaurant that previously occupied this space. In early 2012, Danish chef Mads Refslund, a co-founder of Noma (the Copenhagen restaurant that’s regularly hailed as the best in the world), moved in and transformed it into a New American/New Nordic brasserie. The place is so popular that diners vie for spots at the narrow counter that lines the entryway and the marble bar, which winds wind through the dining room and serves fancy cocktails like the Fair Lady (Aperol, gin, lemon, St-Germain, honey, orange bitters and Champagne). Refslund’s business partners are masters at launching restaurants that capture the spirit of cool New York. At Acme, they’ve combined bistro-style tables with a black and white checkerboard ceiling, mellow lighting and mirrors that reflect the pretty people who gather here. Though the seasonal menu can seem a bit mysterious (pot-roasted cauliflower, pine, cured egg yolk, for example, or Maine scallops, sunchoke, chestnut, apple) you can be sure that the dishes that come out of the kitchen will be creative and well-considered. There’s also a downstairs lounge (open on Thurs-Sat) with a strict door policy. Even if you just dropped $200 on a meal, you’ll need to be dressed in your New York best and prepared to woo the doorman.

Talde – Restaurant Review

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Published June 2013 on NewYork.com

East meets west at this casual Asian-American fusion restaurant in south Park Slope, from former Top Chef contestant David Talde. Ornate woodwork and shelves of Chinese figurines add a bit of flair to this otherwise contemporary-styled space; its dark wood barstools, high-backed booths, and small tables are often occupied by Brooklyn foodies in search of something a little out-of-the-ordinary. Talde delivers with a menu of inventive dishes meant for sharing, such as pretzel potstickers stuffed with pork and chives, Filipino pork sausage on Hawaiian bread buns, Korean-style fried chicken with kimchee sauce and shrimp egg foo yung fried rice. Specialty cocktails like the Nine Roses (a take on an Old Fashioned with Chinese spice syrup) are creative, too. The sweet treat that won David Talde high marks on Top Chef, chocolate-caramel ganache on a potato chip–pretzel crust is a staple of the dessert menu; the chef also received a nod as Best New Chef in the New York Area from Food & Wine’s 2013 People’s Choice awards.

Seven String Samurai: Interview with Jazz Guitarist Charlie Hunter

Published in All About Jazz

Jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter is not a musician who’s comfortable resting on his laurels. With nearly twenty albums under his belt and no sign of stopping in sight, Hunter continues to wow audiences with the wizardry of his seven-string guitar technique, by which he lays down bass grooves and simultaneously wings guitar solos along the frets with flawless finesse. This has earned him a reputation as an intrepid musician and an incredible showman who draws packed crowds into jazz clubs across the U.S. and overseas to see his magic at work. But the razzle dazzle of his unique virtuosity is second fiddle to the music itself. His albums have run the gamut from blues to bebop, free jazz to funk fusion, with Hunter constantly experimenting with new sounds and rhythmic arcs, all the while perfecting that pocket counterpoint between the guitar and bass…

Insider Travel Guide to Brooklyn Nightlife

Published December 2010 on Concierge.com

Don’t let the fogged-glass windows and locked accordion gate in front of this Williamsburg speakeasy fool you. Slide around to the side entrance and you’ll find the Hotel Delmano’s leather booths packed with neighborhood hipsters and in-the-know Manhattanites supping potent cocktails with names like Devil’s Garden. Roughly translated from the Spanish “of hands,” Delmano is furnished with pieces handcrafted by its artist owners, from the curved marble bar to the custom-built tables and cut-stone tiles in the bathroom. The overall aesthetic? Rive Gauche meets 1950s Havana. Grab a wooden stool at the bar for a front-row view of the black-aproned bartenders who craft their cocktails with the patience of an apothecary. Arrive early in the evening if you want a seat on Friday or Saturday night—the lounge is exclusively first-come, first-serve…

Wompkees, Wompkees Everywhere

Published January 2006 in Lakes Region Weekly

Con Fullam, the man behind the animated children’s series “the Wompkees,” has been blessed with success in a way he never imagined when starting out as a folk musician in the 1960s.

His first animated feature, “A Very Wompkee Christmas,” is selling well both nationwide and in 38 different countries. A second movie, “The Hidden Treasure of Wompkee Wood,” is in the works, along with another Wompkee children’s book. And his latest endeavor, a children’s show called “Ribert and Robert’s Wonderworld,” is in syndication on public television stations across the United States.

“It’s great to see something you create come to life,” Fullam says.

At his home overlooking Little Sebago Lake in Windham, Fullam is hard at work on a host of pet projects, including screenplays, songs, and continuing work with the Wompkees – fantastical elfin creatures whose big ears allow them to communicate with all the animals and plants near their home in the woods…

Teens Hooked on MySpace

Published November 2005 in Lakes Region Weekly

MySpace.com is an online phenomenon that is gaining in popularity with teenagers both locally and nationwide. Some observers say the growing fascination with the online community is opening young people to the dangers posed by Internet predators. They say the innocent nature of the Web site fosters a false sense of security.

But teens say MySpace is sleek, hip, cool and a great way to keep in touch with friends. And it is reportedly the fifth-ranking Web site on the Internet, getting more daily hits than Google.

Because of its immense popularity and the potential for MySpace members’ information to get into the wrong hands, schools across the nation, from Nevada to New Jersey, are warning their students of the pitfalls associated with the Web site…