LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens - For the first Neighborhood Eats of the fall season, why not talk about fresh fall foods.
Long Island City is seeing a huge boom in residential development, but there are still commercial stretches that haven't been invaded by cranes just yet and that's where you'll find Crescent Grill.
"We wanted to jump ahead of the construction, the build out, and build a community based business and restaurant," said Shaun Dougherty, restauranteur.
Dougherty is a chef turned restaurateur. He opened Crescent Grill with his brother who moved to Long Island City in the 80s.
"Being one of nine kids, all of us flopped on his futon at one time or another, so we're very familiar with the area," Dougherty said.
It is an area that's always been home to artists.
So there's an art gallery in the front and artwork for sale throughout the restaurant.
The food is artistic as well.
Chef Kenneth Corrow uses local ingredients as much as possible.
Hudson Valley ribeye with charred corn, house-made duck pastrami with chopped liver and local lettuce. Their vibrant pasta is made with beets and locally foraged mushrooms.
"When we are making the pasta dough we add beet powder and beet juice to keep it red and give it a slight beet flavor," Chef Corrow said.
The remaining flavors come from mushrooms sauteed in wine and garlic puree.
The pasta is added along with some more beet juice, butter and then lemon juice and parsley to cut the sweetness. It's topped with ricotta salata and walnuts.
Customers love it and keep coming back for more.
And that's incredibly satisfying to Dougherty, who's a long way from his days of sleeping on a futon in this neighborhood.
"The community is very supportive, we're in New York and it's an exciting time," Dougherty said.
Recipe for Beet Spaghettini
30oz or 6 cups of 00 pasta flour or AP flour
8oz of beet juice
3 pinches of salt
Extra flour or liquid may be needed
1) Combine all ingredients in Mixer / food processor, mix until forms a ball,
2) Take ball and kneed and form into a ball.
3) Cut and portion into 4 pieces
4) Roll though a pasta machine going from largest setting to 3rd smallest setting
5) Cut into 7-inch sheets
6) Put sheet in the Spaghettini cutter on the pasta machine
1/2 Gal of whole milk
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp of citric acid powder
1 tbsp of salt
1) Dissolve citric acid in a little water
2) Combine all ingredients in to a pot
3) Put on the heat and still time to time to prevent sticking and burn on the bottom of the pot.
4) Bring mixture up to 195 degrees and let sit off the heat for 10 mins
5) Strain into a lined colander, line with cheese cloth or a white cloth napkin
6) Press and refrigerate
Pasta Ingredients for pasta
Beet Juice 1/8 cup
Garlic 2 cloves diced
White wine 1/8 cup
Mushrooms (use your favorite cup chopped)
Summer squash (1/4 cup diced)
Lemon juice (juice of a lemon)
Parsley to taste
Butter 1/3 stick
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
cup chopped walnuts
Heat olive oil in pan
Add garlic, lightly brown
Add mushrooms and squash, cook down for a bit (at the same time boil your pasta-this will be ready in a minute)
Drain pasta and add to pan
Add in wine
Add in lemon juice
Add butter and continue to mix
Add parsley and remove from heat
Twirl pasta into a bowl and top with ricotta salata and chopped walnuts