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Tastes Like Summer

The drinks are chilled, the fruit is ripe. Ladies and gentlemen, start your grills.

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By Gillian Duffy
text by Robin Raisfeld

please smoke:
Above, succulent barbecued pork ribs, slow-cooked in a standard backyard kettle grill.

What says summer? Sexy iced cocktails, served as the mercury drops with the sun. Local fruits and vegetables that, for a few precious weeks, actually taste better than the cardboard they've been shipped in. The reassuring crunch of iceberg lettuce and just-chopped, tart-sweet coleslaw. And of course, everything on the grill: great juicy burgers. Fish fresh enough to still smell of the sea as it hits the fire. And this year, we've come under the spell of a new, even vaguely illicit (this is New York, after all -- not Dallas) passion: barbecue. We've assembled an all-star lineup of chefs who share our love of all things summer. For irresistible ribs, Danny Meyer gives up the secrets (well, a few of the secrets) of his new showcase, Blue Smoke, and explains exactly how to cook up a batch at home. Todd English, of Olives, turns burger grilling into high art -- but follow his instructions and you'll never settle for mediocre again. And pay attention to our guide to grilling fish so you'll never see that $15-a-pound swordfish feed the coals -- unless you need to save room for Alice Waters's divine apricot galette. You supply the hungry people; we'll take care of the rest.


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