For good eats and good times in Saint James, dine at Espana Tapas and Wine Bar.
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Families will feel right at home at this restaurant with its kid-friendly menu and atmosphere.
A private room is available for reservation at Espana Tapas and Wine Bar for those nights when you take the whole gang out to celebrate.
Espana Tapas and Wine Bar is the place to be for a celebratory happy hour.
Complimentary wifi is available as well.
Tap your foot to Espana Tapas and Wine Bar's tunes — live performances are often showcased here.
If your weekend plans include a trip to the restaurant, avoid the packs of people by securing a reservation ahead of time.
Dress is typically casual at Espana Tapas and Wine Bar, so leave the fancy duds behind for the evening.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Espana Tapas and Wine Bar.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
Espana Tapas and Wine Bar is located near a parking lot, which many diners take advantage of.
Prepare to spend about $30 per person when dining at Espana Tapas and Wine Bar.
If you have a hankering for something extra tasty, sample the menu at Saint James' Kitchen A Bistro.
Kitchen A Bistro also caters to those with sensitive stomachs, where a number of gluten-free options are featured on the menu.
Spend less on dinner when you bring your own drinks — Kitchen A Bistro is BYOB.
This restaurant's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Warm weather brings out Kitchen A Bistro's highly coveted patio seating.
The large dining space at Kitchen A Bistro provides quick and easy seating options for large groups.
On busy nights, it's best to book a table ahead of time.
No need to put on airs for a trip to Kitchen A Bistro — the dress code and ambience at this restaurant are totally laid-back.
The food is prepared and packaged, just waiting for your pickup.
Guests can park for free in the adjoining lot.
Bikers can store their bikes safely while they enjoy a meal at Kitchen A Bistro.
A night out here can be a bit pricey, so prepare to shell out a bit more.
Make sure you bring enough cash to Kitchen A Bistro to cover your expenses.
Craving pizza? Head on over to Saint James' Caligiuri's Patio Pizza for a tasty slice with a crust you can't resist.
Healthy food is in, as it should be, so come here for a tasty, low-fat and gluten-free bite.
A night out deserves a drink to celebrate, and this pizzeria has the perfect selection of beer and wine to go with your meal.
Don't be the last one waiting! Reserve a seat so you can eat when you're ready.
The dress code at Caligiuri's Patio Pizza is as relaxed as the ambience, so wear whatever suits you.
Prefer to dine from the comfort of your own couch? Swing by this pizzeria for carryout, or have them come to you with delivery.
Caligiuri's Patio Pizza can also cater your next party; call today for details.
Free parking is available in a lot near Caligiuri's Patio Pizza.
What's your favorite meal of the day? Chow down on breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Caligiuri's Patio Pizza and taste test your way through the menu.
So if you're craving a delicious, hot slice of pizza, be sure to stop by Caligiuri's Patio Pizza.
Just-right juicy steaks are the norm at Vintage Prime Steakhouse, a five-star worthy, fan-favorite steakhouse.
Pick your poison and toast your evening — drinks are also served here.
Vintage Prime Steakhouse is ready to help you throw the dinner party of your dreams!
Business casual dress, tasty food, and a classic atmosphere make this a great place for any occasion.
Ordering food? You can pick it up yourself!
Through their catering service, Vintage Prime Steakhouse can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
Drivers will jump with joy when they find out about the free parking in the lot next door.
A night out here can be a bit pricey, so prepare to shell out a bit more.
So when you're looking for the perfect blend of flavor and familiarity, the star-studded fare at Vintage Prime Steakhouse is sure to hit the spot.
So come to Vintage Prime Steakhouse, where you'll discover the fine art of preparing and cooking the perfect steak.
At Empire Szechuan Smithtown, guests can sample the Chinese menu and choose from numerous highly-rated options.
Cautious diners will appreciate the low-fat and gluten-free fare at Empire Szechuan Smithtown.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
Little ones are just as welcome as their parents at this restaurant.
You might have thought your order was a tough decision, but you still have one more. Delivery or carryout?
Through their catering service, Empire Szechuan Smithtown can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
A free parking lot is conveniently located next door.
Your tab at Empire Szechuan Smithtown will usually run to about $30 per guest.
Empire Szechuan Smithtown takes Chinese cuisine to the next level. Stop by today and indulge in an upscale meal.
If you are seeking some great Chinese food in the area, look no further than the highly-rated Empire Szechuan Smithtown.
Head to St James Chinese Kitchen in Saint James and take a culinary trip to the Far East, where fine Chinese cuisine is readily available.
Score low-fat and gluten-free eats at St James Chinese Kitchen.
Tables at St James Chinese Kitchen are available first-come, first-served, so be sure to show up a bit earlier on busy weekends.
Turn your living room into a five-star restaurant with takeout or delivery from this restaurant.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from St James Chinese Kitchen.
Take your vehicle to dinner
nearby parking is plentiful and will not pose a problem for drivers looking to dine.
Meals at St James Chinese Kitchen are incredibly tasty and reasonably priced around $30.
When the check comes, be prepared to pay in cash because that is what St James Chinese Kitchen accepts.
Experience the art of traditional Chinese cooking at St James Chinese Kitchen.
As useful as WD40 and much more edible, coconut oil is a powerhouse. In fact, just one jar of the stuff can replace several household staples, from kitchen ingredients to baby wipes. Here’s how to substitute it for 16 total items in 3 rooms of the home:
1. Coffee: Coconut oil is a reputed energy booster. Swallowing a spoonful or two in the afternoon can be a healthful alternative to a cuppa.2. Coffee creamer: Emulsified and poured into coffee, it’s much tastier than (and probably just as nutritious as) that bulletproof stuff.3. Butter or oil (when sautéing): Coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it great for cooking on the stovetop, especially at high heat. Try swapping it in when making stir-fries, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, especially if you like a very mild coconut flavor.4. Oil (when baking): The oil imparts a delicious je ne sais quoi to baked goods—even boxed ones. Use it to give from-the-box brownies an upgrade, and you’ll dream about them for days.5. Condiments: Drop it into quinoa or oatmeal for added nutrients and healthy fats. You can also put it on top of sweet potatoes instead of butter!
6. Moisturizer: It works on your body and your face. It’s naturally SPF 4, so it offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.7. Leave-in conditioner and anti-static agent: Rub a small amount between your hands and smooth them over your hair to control flyaways.8. Lip balm: It soothes sore, chapped lips, and other skin irritations.9. Eye-makeup remover: Rub it between your fingers until it liquefies, smear it on your lids, and wipe it off with a cotton pad.10. Face wash: Add a little water and rub it in your hands until it foams.11. Hand and foot cream: Massage it into cracked knuckles, or slather it onto your soles and stick them into socks for an overnight soak.12. Shaving cream: It’ll give you a smooth shave, plus additional moisture for your skin.
13. Ouchie ointment: Dab it on cuts and scrapes, which will benefit from its antimicrobial properties.14. Anti-itch cream: Coconut oil reduces itching from bug bites, and helps to calm sunburn, eczema, and cradle cap.15. Diaper cream: A layer on baby’s bottom guards against (and soothes) diaper rash flare-ups.16. Baby wipes: Simply mix it with hot water and pour it over a stack of paper towels that you’ve cut in half. Keep the towels in an airtight container so they stay moist.
Check out more coconut-oil coverage:
Oil Pulling Whitens Your Teeth and (Maybe) Makes You Invincible
The Five Best Uses for Coconut Oil You’ve Never Heard Of
A dainty sweet-potato bourbon cake (seen above). A deconstructed cheesecake topped with a sphere of fruit purée. A crème brûlée decorated with delicate, edible flowers. Ceviche plated to look more like a frothy cocktail than a bite of raw fish. These are just a few of the dishes that Chef Roque Heidler has conceptualized, plated, and posted to Instagram over the years.
Jump to his five tips for food photography.
This Tulsa chef is a bit of a Renaissance man. First and foremost, he works at The Chalkboard, an elegant New American restaurant where he does triple-duty as chef de cuisine, pastry chef, and resident plating expert. There, he quickly earned a reputation for his immaculate desserts, which helped him win the Sweets category in the first annual Taste of Groupon Awards. But that’s just his day job.
Over the years, Chef Heidler’s explored all sorts of facets of the art world. He experimented with street art in his youth, and, early on in his career, he took a two-year hiatus from the food industry to work as a tattoo artist. Today, he’s using those art skills to create the stunning desserts that first caught our attention.
We had the chance to chat with Chef Heidler after he won his award recently. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.
Turning dining into an adventure
A video posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Dec 28, 2015 at 4:00pm PST
For Chef Heidler, cooking is all about balancing the familiar and the surprising. “I generally like to do a take on my childhood favorites,” he explained. He starts with these classic dishes and infuses them with “some sort of whimsy” while maintaining their approachability.
Frequently, that whimsy he talks about comes in the form of some sort of sneaky molecular-gastronomy trick, be it dessert gels made with agar or fruit purées transformed into delicate spheres that crack open with the whack of a spoon. Or, consider his take on chocolate pie:
“I got ahold of some methylcellulose and I did this crazy, crazy mad-scientist chocolate pie … that had this strawberry-buttermilk foam and this methylcellulose chocolate filling. [The filling] would be liquid at 70 degrees, but once you heated it up to 140, it would turn into that custard state.” The resulting dessert balanced different temperatures, textures, and flavors—subverting the diners’ expectations about what a classic chocolate pie could be.
How his unique background inspires his food
A photo posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Apr 10, 2016 at 8:22pm PDT
An artistic eye pervades everything Roque Heidler does. Though it’s been years since he did any street art or worked in a tattoo parlor, those experiences still give him a unique outlook on food: “I’ll look at flavors sometimes as colors, if that makes any sense. And I plate them out like that. Sometimes I’ll base a whole dish on a color and search for those flavors that go with it,” he said.
But over the years, he’s learned to let the flavors shine as much as the aesthetics. “Like, I mean, if you dig back a little deeper in [my career] ... you’ll see more of that really, really modernistic art on the plate, and I’ve dialed back from that a lot. I kind of learned, you know, you’ve gotta plate to the crowd.”
Working under the constraints of a traditional Lebanese restaurant helped him strike the right balance even more. “I just would take their classic flavors and would try to just distribute it out in that street-art form, like, layers and different takes and elevating it with different textures. But working under that [chef] taught me a lot about not detracting from the flavors so much that you couldn’t tell where it was from.”
Plating food like a pro
A photo posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Apr 8, 2016 at 9:26pm PDT
Now that he’s traded in no-frills Lebanese cuisine for fine dining at The Chalkboard, Chef Heidler has a lot more room to experiment with his food’s presentation. But even though he knows that many of his diners will rush to snap and post photos of these beautiful plates, he tries not to let that Instagram culture shape what he does too much.
“I don’t think about 6 o’clock. I don’t think about any sort of clockwise on a plate. I more or less look for that overall balance from a bird’s eye view,” he said. That’s because when a plate is placed in front of a diner, that’s the first perspective they get. And this first impression is important—even if the guest immediately drops down to plate level to snap that perfect piece of food-porn photography.
They say that you eat with your eyes first, so moments like these are vital to a restaurant’s success. But last impressions are just as important as first ones at The Chalkboard. “I love doing the plate ups on desserts because it’s gonna be the last thing that sticks in your mind when you leave,” Chef Heidler said.
Five tips for improving your food photography
When his knack for plating, arts background, and love of Instagram, Chef Heidler is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to food photography. That’s why we took the opportunity to ask him for some of his best tips.
1. Find the best lighting.
Natural light is your friend.
2. Shoot on neutral backgrounds.
Chef Heidler works on gray tables at The Chalkboard, but he recommends photographing your own food on “anything black or white—that’s always going to give another element to your photo.”
3. Combine different textures.
Varying textures form the most interesting compositions. “Try to provide three different textures, be it a purée, be it a frozen element, be it something crunchy. ... That’s what’s going to give you that depth in your dish.”
4. Add some acid to boost the colors.
This is especially true if you’re photographing a dish you cooked yourself. “[Acid] will give you those bright, vibrant colors everybody tries to achieve,” he suggests. This usually means adding lemon juice or white vinegar to a dish to bring out its natural green, purples, or reds.
5. Try different angles.
He explains, “Take a step around, even if it’s like, I don’t know, 6 inches from where you were just at. You might capture a cooler way.”
Don’t roll up to the bar trying to stump Brandon Phillips. Brandon knows his cocktails. And he likes a challenge. As the bar director at Chicago’s The Duck Inn, he’s had more than a few. As he told us:
A neighborhood guest was positive I couldn’t make him an old-fashioned that tasted like a prime-rib dinner. A little beef bouillon, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, rum, and voilà, the Prime Rib Old-Fashioned was born.
In the video below, hear more on craft, cocktail culture, and good old-fashioned hospitality directly from Brandon, the winner in our inaugural Taste of Groupon Awards for the The Drink Award for the Advancement of Potent Potables.