© kate krader
The coolest new place to take in great design, food and wine is MADCrush . This new pop-up bar appears for the first time tonight at NYC's great new Museum of Arts and Design. Restaurant design genius Stephanie Goto created the space largely from recycled wine boxes and crates and it will appear on the museum’s seventh floor every Thursday from 5 to 10:30 p.m., until the end of August. The menu: wines by the taste, glass and bottle from Crush Wine & Spirits. Del Posto’s Mark Ladner is cooking for opening night. Future guest chefs will include George Mendes of Aldea and Scott Conant of Scarpetta.
© Tina Rupp
Myers + Chang, Boston (@myersandchang)
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone called out the restaurants-on-Twitter trend, posting a photo of Joanne Chang, the co-owner of Myers + Chang. Chang Tweets events, specials and short recipes.
Kogi, Los Angeles (@kogibbq)
This super-popular food truck started Tweeting its stops last November—now, hundreds of people line up for its Korean short rib tacos and kimchi hot dogs (pictured).
Sebo, San Francisco (@sebosf)
This sushi spot—a favorite of Alice Waters—Tweets its latest izakaya menus, and recently, pics of its fishermen.
© Tina Rupp
I've been to Fonda del Sol a few times now—it's just down the street from our office, conveniently—and it seems to be on an ever-inclining curve towards extreme tastiness. That's not a surprise to me. When I first met the restaurant's chef, Josh DeChellis, at the culinary festival Madrid Fusión a few years back, he was wandering around gnawing on a black truffle the way one might an apple (the thing was about the size of an apple, too). To my mind, any chef who eats truffles as if they were apples is a man after my own heart. At FdS, DeChellis is channeling his inner Spaniard, perhaps aided by the fact that he was born in Colombia, with impressive success.
The other night I particularly liked a silky scallop tiradito—disks of sweet scallop with shards of hot chilies, dabs of briny sea urchin, and grace notes of cilantro—which wine director Nicholas Nahigian paired with a sympathetically citrus-minerally 2007 Do Ferreiro Albariño (one of the better Albariños around, in fact). Later on, I also enjoyed an incredibly tender Colorado lamb chop aromatized (as it were) over toasted hay and served with tangy sheep's milk yogurt and a lovage puree. In an earlier incarnation of this dish, the lamb was cooked in an earthenware vessel over the hay, the vessel sealed with a bread crust—in that case, the hay, lamb and yogurt were all from the same farm. With the newer version, a 2004 Fratelli Revello Vigna Conca Barolo, surprisingly generous given its intense concentration, and somehow elegant despite that, tasted great.
The pairing that may have worked the best, though, and that was certainly the most surprising, came when Nahigian brought out glasses of Victory Brewing Company's Prima Pils (which, oddly enough, I just used for my 4th of July segment on summer beers for the Early Show) to pair with DeChellis's Alaskan rock fish a la plancha with salsa moluscada de verano, a Catalan (I think) sauce involving surf clams, mussel jus, squid, octopus, tomato water, clam jus, basil and cherry tomatoes (whew). The fish was expertly cooked, the sauce something between a light seafood stew, a sauce, and a sublime essence of ocean, and the crisp, gently bitter Pilsner was perfect with it—and also extremely refreshing, sandwiched as it was, course-wise, between a fairly substantial white Rioja—a 2003 Marqués de Murrieta Capellania—and the even more substantial Revello Barolo.
And there was dessert. But by then, do you really expect I was taking notes?
© Robert Whitman
Ferran Adrià The avant-garde Spanish chef dishes on his favorite restaurants and food markets, from Blue Hill at Stone Barns, F&W Best New Chef 2002 Dan Barber's outpost in Pocantico Hills, New York, to Eataly in Turin, Italy.
Nobu Matsuhisa An F&W Best New Chef 1989 and the chef-proprietor of the ever-expanding Nobu empire announces his favorite restaurant in the world (surprise: it's in Venice). He also reveals the private island he retreats to when he wants to get away.
Alice Waters The local-foods champion recommends an affordable Mexican joint in the Bay Area, plus her go-to pizza spots like Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco.
F&W offers more chef-approved picks from around the world, including Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio on Los Angeles (pictured), F&W Best New Chef 2004 Bradford Thompson on Jamaica, and Philadelphia chef Jose Garces on Mexico.
My cousin co-owns a tattoo studio in Brooklyn and is always telling me about how he has an unusually high number of customers who are chefs. His theory: “Chefs are extremely passionate about what they do—and anyone who loves something deeply will get tattooed to express that love or passion.” Just look at Food & Wine’s 2009 Best New Chefs for proof. At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Riesling fanatics (including myself and colleague Kristin Donnelly) were rocking giant Riesling tattoos to show our love for the wine.
Other obsessive eaters who have been inked with their favorite foods can enter Sonoma County's first Food and Wine Tattoo Contest. Entrants submit a photo of their coolest food- or wine-themed tattoo here and the public votes online. The grand prize: a year’s worth of bacon from Zazu restaurant.
© Stephanie Foley
Tim Cushman: “Really spicy salsas give me a ‘chile buzz,’ almost an endorphin rush, so I tend to eat less,” says Cushman, an F&W Best New Chef 2008 at O Ya in Boston. His tangy tomatillo-cumin salsa can be either mild or fiery—leave the jalapeño seeds in if you prefer extra heat.
Marisa Churchill: The Top Chef Season Two contestant offers innovative tricks to cut fat and sugar out of her recipes—for instance, she uses thick and creamy fat-free Greek-style yogurt in her honey-topped panna cottas (pictured).
Pam Anderson: “Diets are like Band-Aids—just a quick fix,” says the cookbook author. Instead, Anderson relies on smart techniques like using low-fat evaporated milk to gives sauces and desserts creaminess, as in her brown-sugar custard with orange zest.
Like so many chefs now obsessed with nose-to-tail cooking, Michael Psilakis offers whole pig, lamb or goat for private parties at his new Eos at the recently opened Viceroy Miami. The fun twist: Instead of turning the animals on a spit by the Viceroy's infinity pool, his chefs cook them indoors in their mammoth double-stack Rational Combi Ovens. "I love to use a spit, but it's kind of barbaric," Psilakis says; the open coals don't allow for nearly as much control over moisture and temperature as the Rational ovens. But don't expect Psilakis to offer indoor-cooked whole animals at his new Manhattan gastropub Gus & Gabriel or at his New York City flagship, Anthos. His New York kitchens, he says, just don't have the room.
Click here for Psilakis' Grilled Pork Tenderloin; For more recipes from Psilakis, look for his forthcoming cookbook, How to Roast a Lamb (on shelves in October), in which he shares his vivid memories of slaughtering goats for spit-roasting as a kid in suburban Long Island.
Chef George Mendes, a Bouley alum, has been getting much deserved praise for his new NYC restaurant, the Portuguese-Spanish Aldea. A few highlights from a recent visit:
1. The best seats in the Stephanie Goto–designed space are at the chef’s bar in front of the open kitchen. My friend and I snagged two and immediately recognized the female chef on Mendes's team who has been compared to a Vermeer portrait. Every 15 minutes a new group of Portuguese diners lined up to thank Mendes for making avant-garde food that still somehow reminded them of their grandparents’ cooking.
2. Mendes serves Pennsylvania baby goat three ways—braised, grilled and confit—alongside toasted buckwheat, chanterelles and pickled cherries. The meat was so tender and delicious it made me wonder if goat may soon trump pig on menus.
3. Critic Alan Richman says the sonhos at Aldea are in the running for Manhattan’s best mini doughnut; I second that. The tiny fried balls of dough—filled with spiced chocolate, smoked-paprika apricot jam or hazelnut praline—are made according to Mendes’s mom’s recipe. She’s been known to make an appearance in the kitchen to make sure he’s not taking too many liberties.
4. The staff pointed out a hysterical error on a bottle of Viñendo de los Vientos’ Alcyone Tannat dessert wine from Uruguay. Alcyone, the label reads, is “the goddess of ‘clam’ and tranquility.”
© Diane Bondareff
“We thought it'd be fun to do interpretations of iconic foods from each city on Southwest Airlines' new flight routes from New York,” says Sisha Ortúza, 'wichcraft's chef and co-owner (with star chef Tom Colicchio). Ortúzar came up with a menu that includes an NYC meatball parm sub, a Chicago bratwurst with sweet sautéed onions and (my favorite) a Baltimore soft-shell-crab sandwich with watercress and a tartar sauce made with lemon aioli and house-made pickles.
Now if only Southwest would offer the sandwiches on their flights, I might be inspired to bust a rhyme—although a couple of the ginger margaritas at The Southwest Porch might do the trick.