Tag Archives: locanda verde

travel + leisure’s food issue

over the weekend, i received travel and leisure magazine’s food issue in the mail. as i flipped through the pages, i found quite a number of items that i’ve both written about and obsessed over in the past year. i thought i’d share some of the magazine clippings, as it adds another perspective, and serves as a bit of a trip down memory lane at least for myself.

the magazine also covered a lot of new food places in different parts of the world that i’m putting on my list of things to do.  it’s an action-packed, taste bud overloading issue filled with all sorts of food porn. . . i’m glad i have my copy.

the japanese kit kat is becoming a bit of a “where’s waldo” exercise for me.  i hit the mega load back in january when i went to tokyo, and then spied some new flavors in london a few months later. according to the t+l article above, the folks at nestle japan have been busy concocting new and more exciting flavors!  i wonder if they’ll ever go the bertie bott’s (of harry potter world) route and create “rotten egg and bacon” flavored kit kats. . . although my guess is that that goes against japanese sensibilities.

remember this place?  the t+l photographers captured a great interior photograph of the pastry display at la pâtisserie des rêves.  the accompanying text in the article gives shout-outs to chef conticini’s tarte tatin.

so i’ve been noticing that i seem to write more about places that i visit while traveling, rather than ones that are close to home.  locanda verde is one of my favorite restaurants in new york city.  the food is rustic, homey, well-made, and it’s also a stone’s throw from where i live.  they have, amazing fig crumb muffins and a to die for sheep’s milk ricotta — happy sheep creamy, spiced with cracked pepper, herbs and orange truffle honey, and oh my god so addictive.  i really can’t stop myself when i order it, which is why, i must now stop ordering it.  and now that i’ve spilled the beans (again), i’ll probably never get a reservation!

fig crumb muffins

i came across a bag of frozen figs i harvested from my fig tree last fall, while cleaning out my freezer the past weekend.  remembering the delicious fig muffins that they serve at locanda verde for breakfast, i decided to re-create the recipe at home.  i started with dorie greenspan’s recipe for allspice crumb muffins and adapted from there.  i thought they tasted really good, but then, what doesn’t taste good fresh out of the oven?

Fig Crumb Muffins
(makes 12 dozen muffins)

Crumb Top
Flour ½ cup
Light Brown Sugar ½ cup
Nutmeg ½ tsp
Butter 5 tbsp, cold and cut into bits.
Flour 2 cups
Sugar ½ cup
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Nutmeg ½ tsp
Salt ¼ tsp
Light brown sugar ¼ cup
Butter 1 stick, melted @ room temp
Eggs 2 large ones
Whole Milk ¾ cup
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Fresh or frozen figs 1 cup, chopped into thumb-sized pieces.
  1. Make the crumb top and set aside.  To do so, sift together dry ingredients in a small bowl.  Toss in the bits of cold butter and use your fingers to work the ingredients until small crumbs form.  Place in refrigerator until ready for use.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF.  Place paper muffin cups in a muffin pan, and set aside.
  3. Add flour, sugar baking powder, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on the lowest speed.  Mix together until well-combined.
  4. Then add in melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract.  Mix together on lowest speed until just combined.
  5. Add in figs and stir until evenly incorporated.
  6. Drop the batter into the muffin cups.  I use an ice cream scooper with a lever to distribute the batter into the cups.
  7. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the muffins and press in gently with your finger.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.