Saturday, December 20, 2014

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The editors of look at food and drink across New York City's five delicious boroughs.

Chow: Brooklyn Chef Blends Up Borscht-Inspired Bloody Marys

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At 606 R&D, borscht-inspired chef Ilene Rosen is creating a Bloody Mary that is hearty enough to be a meal. Contributing Editor Pervaiz Shallwani filed the following report.

In New York, there are almost as many variations of borscht as there are Eastern European grandmothers. At 606 R&D, beet soup is the inspiration for a Bloody Mary that’s hearty enough to be a meal.

The drink’s the creation of chef Ilene Rosen. After working together at City Bakery in Manhattan, she and Sara Dima teamed up to create this cozy space, with antique china and a pantry that showcases local ingredients.

Ilene’s food is comforting, with a knack for whimsical combinations like a ham and cheese with apple butter.

The Bloody Marys aren’t any different. There are three on the weekend brunch menu, including a Texas version with beef jerky as a swizzle stick. But none are as personal or unique as the Romanian, which was inspired by Ilene’s grandparents, who always had a jar of borscht in the fridge.

Ilene’s version begins by juicing raw beets, onion and celery. In the juice goes grated horseradish, horseradish juice, olive oil. The mix is added to a glass of chilled vodka, and dressed with a scallion stalk, a red swiss chard stem, a dollop of sour cream and half a hard-boiled egg.

The Bloody Mary’s thick and sweet with just enough of a spicy kick from the horseradish. The refreshing beet juice is tempered by the calming vodka. And it seems only appropriate to dunk the egg.

Pair it with the horse and pig, a horseradish sandwich with a thick slab of bacon. And make sure to save room for the fluffy donuts inspired by Dreesen’s Famous Donuts in the Hamptons. They crumble so well, you’ll be fighting for every last bit.

606 R&D is located at 606 Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn.

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You can also follow Pervaiz Shallwani on Twitter at >@PervaizPervaizistan ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP