Cocktails Gone Spherical

Now that “handcrafted” cocktails have become about as commonplace as craft beer, bartenders and bloggers are looking for new ways to impress. You might think molecular mixology is gimmicky, but you gotta admit that these 8 cocktail spheres look pretty amazing.

 1. Old Fashioned In the Rocks

At Grant Achatz’ Aviary in Chicago the old fashioned comes neat — very neat. Drinkers get to smash the sphere open and watch the drink explode out.

2. Spherical Pickleback

Just about every bar in Brooklyn now serves a pickleback (a shot of whiskey backed by a shot of pickle juice). Only Do or Dine—home of the foie gras donut—serves a molecular pickleback, whereby the back — the spherical ball of pickle juice — explodes inside your mouth.

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Top 10 New Foods of 2011

Another year gone by, another chance to look back fondly at the thousands of things we stuffed our faces with in 2011. After much internal debate, we’ve narrowed it down to just 10 — the very best new things we shoved in our mouths in 2011.

10. Tater Tot Poutine

Montreal’s greasiest, gravy-iest contribution to the food world, poutine officially became a trend back in 2010. It got even more amazing this year when chef Kyle Bailey of D.C.’s ChurchKey had the ingenious idea to replace the french fries with tater tots.

9. Kouign Amann

We first discovered this over-the-top traditional pastry, which is something like a croissant with twice as much butter and sugar, on a trip to Brittany, France this summer. Returning home, we were pleased to find it blowing up in the states. The best version we’ve tasted to far is the one above, from Starter Bakery in Oakland. It has also popped up at Dominique Ansel in New York and Bouchon Bakery in L.A.

8. Nouveau Filipino

Filipino food is among the most far-out in the world, so it was only a matter of time before it got a hipster update. From Adobo Hobo’s Filipino tacos in San Francisco to Maharlika’s spicy arroz caldo in New York (above), we’ll take all the creative Filipino cuisine we can get.

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Do or Dine: Dumpling Nachos

We thought we’d found the limits of nacho creativity when we told you about wonton wrapper nachos, but then the chefs at Brooklyn’s new Do or Dine had to go and make dumpling nachos. Yep, their “Nippon nachos” are basically nachos made with dumplings instead of tortilla chips. Not dumpling wrappers—entire dumplings. Deep-fried pork dumplings are topped with melted cheddar, sour cream, salsa and scallions.

Game on, ESers — what’s the craziest food you can turn into a nacho? Eggs Benedict nachos? Foie gras nachos? Steak tartare nachos? I honesty can’t think of anything I wouldn’t want to eat in nacho form (And big up to Lorie Marsh, who has already written in with her amazing chili cheese nachos. Thanks, Lorie!)

A little more about the awesomely named Do or Dine: two front-of-house workers at Manhattan’s fancy-pants restaurant The Modern branched out to Bed-Stuy with one of the most creative high-end/lowbrow menus we’ve seen yet. They also officially win our search for America’s most creative deviled egg with this:

 

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