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Welcome to The Lunch Belle, a NYC based food and travel website that views various dining scenes and destinations through the lens - and belly - of a highly opinionated thirty-something.

xoxo, 

Lindsay

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Friday
Sep212018

Reviewed: No Monkey Business at 'The Drunken Munkey'

The Drunken Munkey's flagship location on the Upper East Side has been bookmarked on my Yelp account since I moved to the area earlier this year. I found both the food and elevated cocktail program intriguing, especially for a neighborhood not particularly known for being a "restaurant destination" (as compared to my old Chelsea abode). This past summer, the team behind The Drunken Munkey opened a second location downtown. I was lucky enough to be included in an intimate media dinner at the restaurant's hip West Village digs earlier this week. Our table of eight enjoyed three hours of great conversation, delicious Indian food, and hand-crafted cocktails from a creative program rarely seen paired with this cuisine...

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Thursday
Sep202018

Recipe: Savory Heirloom Tomato Pie

 

Outside of the sweltering summer, my colleagues and I make every effort to host a monthly bake/cook-off; we've done chili, cookies, quiche, dip, to name a few.  This month, we decided to do a "pie-off."

Forgoing a traditional sweet pie, I decided to take a savory route.  And, being that September marks the non-official end of our local tomato season (and summer, for that matter), I decided to make an old-fashioned Southern tomato pie using a bounty of colorful heirlooms.

I spent last Sunday morning gathering ingredients, prepping vegetables and pie dough (pre-made, don't judge), and baking.  This pie was rather simple to make and, aesthetically, resulted in a gorgeous and sturdy masterpiece; but the real question at hand was, how would it taste

To be honest, I don't think I was prepared for just how deliciously delectable this pie came out!  I was pretty concerned about the tomatoes becoming watery and the savory creation morphing itself in to a wet and soggy mess.  However, I could not have been more wrong: The tomatoes remained intact/not watery, the blend of chives and arugla married beautifully, the sauteed onions added a luxuriously rich flavor punch, and the seasoning was spot-on.  My coworkers and I indulged ourselves in seconds and thirds (I think someone had fourths?), literally, until the pie was completely gone (save for a few crumbs of crust).  

Plenty of you have asked for the recipe, so here it is!  I hope that you will love it as much as me and my coworkers. 

... 

Ingredients:

Pie crust for a 9 inch pie (I buy the pre-made dough because I’m lazy and lame.  The brand that I use is Immaculate.) 

Filling:

  • 2 1/4 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 sweet white onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. canola or olive oil
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh arugula
  • ½ cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper 

Method:

Bake the pre-made pie dough/your homemade dough according to the directions.  Set aside to cool.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Cover the surface of a large cookie sheet with paper towels and top with a layer of sliced tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt.  Place single layer of paper towels atop the tomatoes and repeat the previous step until all sliced tomatoes have been placed atop paper towels and salted.  (This will literally resemble a "paper towel and tomato" lasagna.)  Let stand for 10 minutes.

Heat oil and sauté the chopped onion on medium heat until tender, approximately 5-7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Combine cheeses and mayonnaise in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine ¼ cup each chopped chives and arugula and set aside.  Reserve one teaspoon of chopped chives for topping.

Assemble your workspace: Pie crust, tomatoes, chives and arugula, onions, black pepper/mill.

Pat tomatoes dry with a (yet another) paper towel.  Layer tomatoes, onion, and herbs in the prepared crust, seasoning each layer with fresh black pepper. 

Evenly-spread cheese and mayo mixture over the pie. 

Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until topping is lightly browned, shielding the edges with foil - if need be - to prevent excessive browning of the crust (note that I did not have to do this because my crust did not pop out further than the filling).  Finish by sprinkling the remaining teaspoon of chives atop the cheese.

Serve hot, warm, room-temp, or cold!  You simply cannot go wrong.  Bon apetit, y'all!   

...

Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle

Tuesday
Jul172018

Keepin' It Local: Five of My Favorite Summer Experiences

Whether you've just started that new job and can't take holiday for the foreseeable future, or you're trying to save some time and money by staying local this summer, here are five of my favorite warm-weather activities that will seemingly transport you thousands of miles away from the hustle and bustle (without so much as leaving the vicinity)...

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Monday
Jul022018

Recipe: The Best Banana Bread You've Never Had

Having never made banana bread prior, I researched tons of recipes before settling on a rendition that one of my dear colleagues had sent me with the affirmation that "this is the best banana bread recipe ever!" While many of the ingredients/methods remain the same, I amended the recipe with some of my own creative additions...

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