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By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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F&W Exclusive: M. Wells Returns to Long Island City

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The All-Clad Food Truck is Ready for the M Wells team.

Here’s good news for everyone who wants to see M. Wells and their outrageous cooking back in Queens. On Sunday, September 25, from 1 to 3 pm, chef Hugue Dufour and his wife, Sarah Obraitis, will be in Long Island City cooking on the All-Clad Food Truck. What’s more, they’ll be serving their much-heralded sautéed veal brains (the New York Times's Sam Sifton called them a "must-order"). What’s more still: Those veal brains will be free.

The well-outfitted All-Clad Truck will be on the move before that: Ditch Plain’s Marc Murphy will set it up outside Sur La Table locations on Wednesday, September 21st. And next week, Elizabeth Karmel will take it to the Hill Country Barbecue neighborhood. It’s all to celebrate All-Clad’s 40thAnniversary. And the party goes on through October 1.

And here's details for September 25: M. Wells on the All-Clad Truck will be on Center Blvd. near 48th Ave., in Queens. You can get more info on Twitter or Facebook.

Recipes

Award: Best Dish of the Weekend

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© kate krader
Bad Pic of a Great Dish: Inaki's Beef with Chive Salad

In honor of Emmy Awards Sunday, I'm handing out a prize of my own: best dish of the weekend.

Competition was stiff: By my count, there were a trillion excellent food–related events in NYC on Saturday and Sunday.

Among the highlights: Brooklyn Local, which brought together top Brooklyn purveyors (shout out to Ample Hills Creamery’s aptly named Salted Caramel Crack ice cream), and restaurants (such as my local spot Seersucker), all to benefit City Harvest. Also the Travel + Leisure Global Bazaar which starred chefs like José Andrés and Marcus Samuelsson. And don't forget the Feast of San Gennaro, featuring sticky ribs from Torrisi Italian Specialties and a short rib patty melt from Dewey Dufresne, the dad of WD-50’s Wylie Dufresne.

But I cast my vote for the absolute best-tasting dish of the weekend to one served at Le Grand Fooding Campfire Session: beef with chive salad. There was no campfire in sight; then again, the French-based Le Fooding’s events don’t always make sense. Who cares: The “campfire” featured Inaki Aizpitarte from Paris’s Le Chateaubriand. Inaki seared the beef beautifully but the chive salad made it, and here’s what was in it: chives, yes, and coriander seeds, buckwheat, flax seed, cocoa nibs, lemon juice and browned French butter, which worked better than American butter. It was crazy good, and I’m not even factoring in how cool it was to have LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy acting as saucier.   

Recipes

American Riffs on Classic French Dishes

The October issue celebrates France. Here, delicious new takes on French classics.

French (Canadian) Onion Soup

© French (Canadian) Onion Soup
French (Canadian) Onion Soup

For years, few Americans would admit to loving French food. It seemed so decadent, so fussy, so old-fashioned. But now American bakers are tackling macarons, and chefs and writers are defending the beauty of cooking like the French.

French (Canadian) Onion Soup (left): Chef Hugue Dufour, an alum of Montreal's Au Pied de Cochon, combined French-Canadian style with American comfort food at M. Wells (moving soon to a new location in Long Island City, New York). This soup epitomizes his style.

Crab-and-Celery-Root Remoulade: At Portland, Oregon's Little Bird, Gabriel Rucker (an F&W Best New Chef 2007) tweaks French dishes like céleri remoulade, the mayo-dressed celery-root salad.

Zucchini-Tomato Verrines: Most Paris bistros serve at least one verrine: a multi-textured salad or dessert layered in a glass. This one comes from French-born food stylist Béatrice Peltre of the blog La Tartine Gourmande, whose book of the same name comes out in February.

Soubise: At Frasca in Boulder, Colorado, Brian Lockwood finishes leek risotto with this creamy onion sauce, usually served with meat or fish.

Hollandaise: Danny Grant of RIA in Chicago tops langoustines with a velvety, coriander-scented hollandaise.

Escargot: Pierre Calmels of Philadelphia's Bibou is such a fan of snails, he's been known to dedicate five courses in a menu to them. His signature dish: snails with mushrooms.

Gribiche: At Gather in Berkeley, Sean Baker turns this tartar-like sauce (thickened with hard-boiled eggs) into a salad with duck-egg wedges, herbs, shallots, garlic and mustard.

Related: A Surprising Guide to French Cuisine
The Radical French-Canadian Food of Joe Beef
April Bloomfield's First Trip to France

Farms

Eating Spanish Food at Tertulia Supports Vermont

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© Colin Clark
Chef Seamus Mullen

Vermont native Seamus Mullen takes a seasonal, product-driven approach to Spanish food at his new NYC restaurant, Tertulia, and starting tonight he's showing support for farmers and residents in his home state, where Hurricane Irene caused serious damage. From September 14 through 17, guests can donate any amount on their checks and the restaurant will match a portion of it, up to $50. It's a nice excuse to try Mullen's Asturian-inspired menu, with dishes like mackerel with white beans and roasted and pickled peppers, or chorizo with garbanzos and Cabrales cheese—plus there's cider on tap. Proceeds go to Upper Valley Haven, a leader in the relief efforts.

Farms

Dine Out Irene

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© Dine Out Irene

Hurricane Irene may have been just an inconvenience for a lot of New Yorkers, but for many farmers in upstate New York, New Jersey and Vermont—who supply our local green-markets and restaurants—it has threatened their very livelihood. According to the New York Times, 140,000 acres of farmland in New York state alone were damaged by the storm. GrowNYC, which organizes many of the city's green-markets, estimates that 80 percent of its farmers have been affected.

What can you do to help? On Sunday, September 25, restaurants across New York City will participate in Dine Out Irene, with up to 10 percent of sales going toward helping local farmers. The funds will go to GrowNYC and Just Food, which will then distribute the funds directly to the farmers in need.

So far (and keep checking for updates), the list of restaurants includes: Aldea, A Voce Columbus, Buttermilk Channel, Kefi and Salumeria Rosi. A great meal and helping out our farmers? I'm in!    

Recipes

Marcus Samuelsson's Chicken Secrets

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Chicken Dance spotlights a fantastic Food & Wine chicken recipe every day.

Courtesy of Paul Brissman

© Courtesy of Paul Brissman

This afternoon, superchef Marcus Samuelsson stopped by the Food & Wine Facebook wall for a live Kitchen Insider chat. We learned his secret-weapon spice mix (berbere), and the chef even dished on what he ate last night: Fried Yard Bird at his restaurant Red Rooster in Harlem. Samuelsson previewed that preparation in this Food & Wine video, calling it “the crunchiest, the crispiest, the best damn chicken in all of New York City.” It involves an immersion circulator, a piece of serious cooking equipment used to cook foods sous vide at a consistent low temperature. Samuelsson then fries the meat, twice.

It’s probably best to try his fancy bird at the source, but home cooks without high-tech kitchens can still experiment with double-frying in this recipe for Crispy Twice-Fried Chicken, from Samuelsson's fellow NYC superchef Zak Pelaccio.

 

Restaurants

The Best Sellers at Michael Voltaggio's ink sack

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© Ryan Tanaka

It's one week into Michael Voltaggio surprise sandwich spot, ink sack. A twist on his original idea—a Venice beach sandwich kiosk called Fingers—Voltaggio now has lines down Melrose Avenue for his 4-inch sandwiches. Why so small? "Usually I get bored with eating a big sandwich," says Voltaggio. "Here you can eat two, three different ones. Or you can eat one, and then get in line and order two more of the same. It's kind of like a food truck that way; a food truck that doesn't move."

Which brings us to ink. sack's best selling sandwiches thus far. It's a tie. Best seller #1 is the cold fried chicken. It's made with chicken thighs cooked sous vide with piment d'esplette, then breaded in corn flakes and fried; it's served with ranch dressing (that includes curds of centrifuged buttermilk) and hot sauce. Best seller #2 is the José Andrés, aka the Spanish godfather. It's stuffed with chorizo, lomo and Serrano ham (the only meats Voltaggio doesn't prepare in house) and olives, piquillo peppers, manchego cheese and sherry vinaigrette. It's also got good old romaine lettuce, which apparently comes as a surprise to a few customers. "Some people come in with expectations of avant-garde dining. Do you want liquid nitrogen frozen lettuce on your sandwich? I don't. These are sandwiches the way I want to eat them," says Voltaggio.

ink.sack, 8360 Melrose Ave., No. 107, Los Angeles, CA.

Recipes

Julia Child's Roast Chicken

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Chicken Dance spotlights a fantastic Food & Wine chicken recipe every day.

© 2008 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.
Meryl Streep as "Julia Child" in Columbia Pictures' Julie & Julia. Photo by Jonathan Wenk.

 

Today would have been the great Julia Child's 99th birthday. The revolutionary TV host and author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking brought French cuisine to American kitchens, along with a perfect roast chicken recipe, which she shared with Food & Wine in 1997. In the article, called "Chicken Divine" (not online), Child recommended "listening to the bird as it cooks and attending to its progress, salting and basting as needed."

Restaurants

Preview: Le Fooding's 52 Hour Dinner

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Brooks Headley gets ready to cook at 5 am for Le Fooding.

In NYC, you can do so many exciting things all day and all night, and one of the best things to do is eat. Le Fooding, the irreverent, globe-trotting French food festival, gets that about my city in a big way. As part of their third annual NYC event, Le Fooding will premier The Exquisite Corpse rotating meal. Starting at 9 pm on September 23rd, and for the next 52 hours, 13 terrific chefs from around the world will cook in four-hour shifts, using something left over from the preceding chef. (The term 'exquisite corpse' will mean something to you if you're familiar with French Surrealism.)

Food & Wine has a pre-sale link to those Exquisite Corpse tickets, here. (They're $100 for each meal, plus a half-bottle of Veuve Clicquot and there's only 40 tickets available for each dinner.) Among the rotating chefs are Italy's Massimo Bottura, France's Adeline Grattard of Yam'Tcha and New York City's Andrew Carmellini.

To get a sense of just how cool this Exquisite Corpse dinner is going to be, let’s spotlight Brooks Headley, the awesome pastry chef at NYC’s del Posto. He’s got the 9th shift of the series, starting at 5 am on September 24th. “That's totally the witching hour in New York City,” says Headley. In keeping with that thought, Headley is making dishes like Green Fennel Ravioli-Filled Live Potato Ears in Tomato Broth. And then, for his main course, a vegan chocolate staff meal, which might look a little like the amazing (vegan) chocolate crème brulee he made with the band No Age for Eater a few weeks ago. Here’s more from Headley: “Since it will be like, 7 am, by the time we get to chocolate staff meal, it will be served (and some of it even made) in the style of a Del Posto staff meal. Which will be hands-on interactive, and hopefully kind of hilarious.”

I can't wait to be part of Headley's vegan staff meal. And see how many of Le Fooding's 52-hour meal I can stay up for.

Menus

A Menu Edward Scissorhands Would Love

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Tim Burton (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Edward Scissorhands), 1990, Pen and ink, and pencil on paper, 14 1/4 x 9" (36.2 x 22.9 cm), Private Collection

© Twentieth Century Fox, © 2011 Tim Burton
Tim Burton (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Edward Scissorhands), 1990, Pen and ink, and pencil on paper, 14 1/4 x 9" (36.2 x 22.9 cm), Private Collection


As I reported a few weeks back, museum restaurants are undergoing a new wave of innovation—a happy trend for those equally obsessed with food and art, like the amazing trendsetters we profile in our September 2011 issue. In Los Angeles, chef Kris Morningstar geeks out on the chance to get creative with the menu at Ray’s & Stark Bar, the new Renzo Piano–designed restaurant at the L.A. County Museum of Art. For the current Tim Burton exhibition, Morningstar consulted with the famously kooky director to develop menu specials like White Rabbit with Tea in a Mushroom Forest, a bacon-wrapped saddle of rabbit with chanterelle mushrooms and pistachio crumble. “Our goal is not to be pretentious,” says Morningstar, “but we felt that, for Tim Burton, the menu should be a little bit off the wall.” The Burton classic Edward Scissorhands (my personal favorite) meets its culinary counterpart in a dish of razor clams (ha ha) and burnt octopus in squid-olive broth, garnished with a trimmed “hedge” of fresh herbs. If you need a cocktail to get into the macabre mood, try the Dr. Burton at Stark Bar: The rum-and-amaro-based concoction evokes the flavors of Burton’s favorite soda, Dr Pepper. The specials will be available through the exhibition’s close on Halloween. Next up: architecture-inspired plates to celebrate the upcoming California Design exhibit this fall.

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