A Squared: The Tastemaker Top 10 with Monica of A Bar Cart in Brooklyn

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Tastemaker Top 10 with Monica of A Bar Cart in Brooklyn

The Tastemaker Top 10 is a collection of 10 questions asked by me and answered by some of my favorite bloggers. Here they will tell you a little bit about themselves, their blogs, and of course, their favorite foods and restaurants. I am so excited to feature Monica here today! She and I met in real life several years ago doing event planning and fundraising for a great Chicago charity. She has since moved back to NYC and started an adorable blog dedicated to everything entertaining. Meet Monica!

Name: Monica Stolbach

Blog: A Bar Cart in Brooklyn

Location: Brooklyn, NY

In a few sentences, tell us a little bit about your blog: On A Bar Cart in Brooklyn I focus on "preparation for celebration." There are so many blogs that show beautiful photographs of perfectly executed events that can be intimidating to people (me included!) So I like to break down the steps of preparing for events, and to show people the small things they can do on a daily basis to make sure that their homes are always celebration ready. I've heard so many people say they don't like to entertain because they find the process overwhelming. It doesn't have to be! I strive to feature approachable ideas that real people can replicate without a full service staff.

Now, tell us about your...

1. Favorite meal, food, or cuisine:
It sounds obvious, but in-season produce make all the difference. I'm a big proponent of sustainable farming, and I appreciate knowing the food I'm eating or preparing was responsibly sourced. I'm a member of our local Dumbo CSA and I'm so grateful for it. My favorite meal is one served on the farm table on my terrace with friends. I love a long, lazy lunch spread of bread, cheeses, olives, pickled vegetables, a big salad, sparkling rosé... (Evidently I'm ready for summer!) For restaurants, I'm really into French bistros at the moment - I love the mix of refined food and service in a casual setting.

2. Least favorite meal, food, or cuisine:
I absolutely won't go anywhere near Jell-o - I don't even consider it food. It completely freaks me out.

3. Favorite restaurant in your city:
It actually just closed a few months ago, so I'm on the hunt for a new one here in NYC. I take all factors into account - atmosphere and service are both huge for me. I love when the staff makes you feel like they really want you there. I can make decent food myself, so even if a restaurant has good food, if it has a bad vibe or isn't run well, I won't return. I haven't been anywhere recently that's had all the elements in line - so I've been entertaining even more in my home.

4. Favorite restaurant outside of your city:
Bottega Napa Valley, Chef Michael Chiarello's restaurant. The spirit, the service, the food, the chef, the wine list, the cocktails, the experience overall - everything is perfection.

5. Favorite food memory: (Impossible to choose just one, so we'll go chronologically). Growing up in Maine with a garden and learning about the seasonality of food. Picking blueberries with my grandmother and "fighting" with my grandfather over the first cucumber from the garden every year. // An heirloom tomato salad at Dan Barber's Blue Hill in Greenwich Village in 2008 that made me feel like I hadn't tasted real tomatoes prior to that. // A weekday lunch at Bouchon Bistro while on vacation with my husband in Napa last summer. Ordering a glass of rosé over a long lunch prior to a wine tasting on Howell Mountain is my idea of the perfect afternoon.

6. Favorite guilty pleasure food: Three C's: Cake. Cookies. Cheese.

7. Favorite ingredient (something you love to cook with, or something you see on a menu and know you have to order):To cook with: Raffetto's fresh rosemary pasta. St. Helena Olive Oil Co.'s truffle salt. Round Pond's blood orange olive oil.

8. Favorite kitchen tool, utensil, product, etc.: My kitchen aid mixer. It was my first big purchase for myself. Most girls in New York go for shoes...

9. Favorite recipe: I always have my homemade rosemary spiced almonds in my pantry - they're perfect for an impromptu cocktail party or to snack on while cooking.

10. Favorite thing about blogging: Having a platform where I can share my favorite products and experiences with other people. I used to be constantly emailing my friends links to online shops and articles, to the point where I probably overwhelmed them. I also love connecting with small business owners and people with similar interests. Luckily in Brooklyn, there are a lot of both!

11. BONUS! Five favorite blogs/blogs that A Squared readers should know about: 
1. Love and Olive Oil has great recipes, plus they host a monthly kitchen challenge that's really fun.
2. Bake or Break - has most reliable baking recipes I've come across in one place.
3. Oh So Beautiful Paper - I'm obsessed with stationery.
4. Waiting on Martha - This woman is an incredibly talented event designer.
5. Mint Love Social Club - More approachable party ideas.

Thanks so much for your thoughts, Monica!

Do you have a blogger that you'd recommend to be featured on the Tastemaker Top 10? Or are you a blogger that would like to participate? Email me at aasquaredblog@gmail.com and let me know!

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1 comment:

  1. hahah im a huge fan of the three C's too :) xo jillian - stop by! I'm hosting a Capri Blue Candle Giveaway! cornflake dreams 


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