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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Cocktails

Early Look: Ferran and Albert Adria’s 41°

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Terry Zarikian with Albert Adria, left, is living my dream at 41°.

I’m in the middle of interviewing F&W's Best New Chefs 2011 (announcements coming April 5th!), and one question I'm asking is: What’s your dream meal? Right now, my dream meal is in Barcelona and begins with drinks and appetizers at 41°, followed by tapas at Tickets, two amazing, new adjacent spots from chefs Ferran and Albert Adria. Terry Zarikian, creative director of Manhattan’s very cool new Spanish restaurant Bar Basque and a long-time friend of the Adria brothers, is living my dream. Here’s Part I of his report:

I had strict orders: Arrive promptly at 41° at 7 p.m.

I did. I was met by a doorman (in a ringmaster costume, just like the circus) with a short list of names. Once inside, I checked out the mostly classic drinks, from Manhattans to margaritas  and, believe it or not, Cosmos. All were meticulously mixed. Even the gin-and-tonics section was detail-oriented: There were more than two dozen gins, and a separate section of tonics, all served over little icebergs carved from a block of ice.

The food at 41° includes their version of traditional bar snacks: oysters with topping like soy tapioca “caviar” or “Schrencki” osetra, a special caviar from the Amour river on the Siberian border.


Pistachios wrapped in sour yogurt "skin" at 41°.

But Albert served us a selection of elBulli–inspired snacks: The renowned, gel-filled spherical olives (here, called Las Olivas Rellenas del 41), flavored with rosemary and garlic; pistachios wrapped in a dry “skin” of sour yogurt; and puffed grains of wild rice seasoned with curry that's poured from a black tin box into a black coal–like ceramic bowl. Mini hollowed-out baguette-like crackers came wrapped with warm, translucent slices of Iberian pancetta seasoned with pimentón and pearls of liquid mozzarella with a basil leaf. More than fantastic were the mini seaweed cones, filled with a spicy tuna tartar and a mysterious puffed grain—it was so delicious, no one cared what it really was.


41° Iberian pancetta wrapped around baguette-like crackers.

And that was just our appetizers at 41°. In my next report, I’ll tell you what I had at Tickets.

Cocktails

F&W Exclusive: Inside Atlanta's H&F Bottle Shop

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Inside H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta.

It's not hard to figure out what Atlanta's H&F Bottle Shop will be selling when it opens soon (as in, hopefully, February 21). The store will offer boutique wines and spirits that customers love at Holeman & Finch and Restaurant Eugene, but can’t find anywhere else—items like the house-blended Finch’s gin. Look for in-house wine concierge Ashley Hall, a Kermit Lynch alum, who can do anything from choosing a bottle for a dinner party to building a wine cellar. In the spirit of an apothecary, which the space evokes, the Bottle Shop will also have old-time card catalogues holding wine information and favorite cocktail recipes—maybe chef Linton Hopkin's DCV, a Sidecar like drink you'll also find in the upcoming F&W Cocktails 2011. (You’ll also be able to buy the house-made brandied cherries that garnish the drink, as well as other condiments and H&F's amazing Bloody Mary mix.) And if you come prepared with a cocktail-inspired playlist, the staff might let you play with the albums and turntable in the back of the store.

Cocktails

Sundance’s Star-Studded Silver Restaurant

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© Mitch Allen
Ellen, Demi and Kate at Park City's new Silver restaurant.

The Sundance Film Festival is already half over, and I missed my chance to see my heroes Michael Voltaggio and the Kogi team keeping everyone well fed during the premieres. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still want to be in Park City, or that I’ve given up on my dream of being the local restaurant critic. That’s because of all I've been hearing about the town’s newest restaurant, Silver, designed by none other than David Rockwell. The crowd at Silver this week has been remarkable: James Franco and Paul Rudd ate there over the weekend; Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth and Ellen Barkin were there the other night for a Belvedere party for their new movie Another Happy Day. If I could possibly get there on Friday night, apparently I'd see Al Pacino and Katie Holmes at some gala, end-of-festival dinner.

But I wouldn’t just go to be a crazy celebrity stalker. The drinks list has a contribution by Lindsay Nader, who happens to be the phenomenal deputy editor of F&W’s Cocktails 2011 (coming in April); she created the Silver Fox, a mix of tequila and Aperol in an absinthe-rinsed glass. Then there's the menu. I understand Demi had pan-roasted salmon and every single side dish, including mac and cheese and roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta and crispy sage. And chocolate cake (yay, Demi!). Personally, I'm going to have the local trout with ponzu brown butter when I finally get there.

Cocktails

Zak Pelaccio’s New Fatty Pop-Up

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zak

© Kate Telfeyan
Zak Pelaccio testing out a burger for Fatty Johnson's.


I was super bummed when I heard that Cabrito, the awesome little West Village Mexican restaurant from chef Zak Pelaccio, was closing. But tomorrow, Pelaccio opens Fatty Johnson’s in the old space. This supercool, pop-up restaurant will have a regularly changing menu that revolves around all things ham. The idea stemmed from a dive bar Pelaccio had dreamed up called Hammy Johnson’s that would only serve whiskey cocktails and ham and butter sandwiches. “Fatty Johnson’s is a slightly more evolved concept … slightly,” says Pelaccio. During its short, six-week life, the space will host different guest bartenders. Cocktail wiz Dave Wondrich will be behind the bar tomorrow for opening night. “We’re not taking it, or ourselves, too seriously—this is just about having fun until the new permanent concept lands at 50 Carmine,” says Pelaccio.

Cocktails

Grenadian Firewater

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Sugarcane being carted to the distillery.

© Amy Rosen
Sugarcane being carted to the distillery.

On a recent trip to the West Indies, I stopped in at Grenada’s River Antoine Rum Distillery. From the outside, it looks like a bombed out building, but it’s actually a working distillery, the oldest on the island—dating back to 1785. River water drives the original water wheel, which presses the local organic sugarcane, which is then distilled into rum that's at least 152 proof. In other words, over 75% alcohol. Obviously I had to try it, and while it’s smoother than you’d think, it’s also the definition of firewater. In fact, its alcohol content is so high that they say it’s considered combustible, so they won’t sell it to you if you plan on flying it home—not even in your packed luggage. Best to sip this stuff while relaxing under a palm tree on the white sandy beach.

Entertaining

Band of Outsiders Dinner Party

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marmalade

© Wired Images
Kevin West's Dewar's-spiked marmalade


The super-hip fashion label Band of Outsiders just opened a cool new design studio in Los Angeles. To christen the space, Band of Outsiders founder Scott Sternberg hosted a dinner party there last week, with cocktails from Dewar’s and food catered by F&W Best New Chefs 2009 Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of Animal.

Among the 100 guests who sat down to the brown-butcher-paper-covered table were actress Marisa Tomei, editor Lisa Love, model Jessica Joffe and author Bret Easton Ellis. A highlight of the night was Kevin West’s take-home gifts: The former W magazine editor turned jam obsessive, founder of West Sweet Preserves, used Dewar’s White Label to make an awesome marmalade with local Valencia oranges, Eureka lemons and Marsh grapefruits. For those not at the party, click here to order a jar.

Cocktails

A Great New British-Countryside Retreat

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cocktail

© Jen Murphy
Cocktail time at the Barn at Coworth Park.

Every fall, I make an annual trip to London, and I have made a habit of indulging myself with a day or two in the British countryside before heading into the hectic city for work. In the past, I’ve stayed at Brit designer Ilse Crawford’s cozy coaching inns in Hurley and Amersham. This year, I decided to be a bit more posh and checked into Coworth Park.

Located on 240 acres in Ascot, just 45 minutes from London, this new hotel fulfills every fantasy I’ve ever had of a Posh-and-Becks-style country escape, complete with Georgian manor house, stables, deer running in the fields and a lake full of swans. My sporty side loved the tennis, croquet, horseback riding, running paths and polo (it’s the only hotel in the UK that has its own polo fields), and the fab eco-spa, which has an amethyst-lit lap pool that plays music underwater and offers exclusive organic treatments from Dr. Alaitis (some made from lavender grown on the spa’s green roof). And my gluttonous side took total advantage of the awesome food from Michelin-starred chef John Campbell. The Barn, appropriately housed in an old converted barn, has a casual gastropub feel and comfort foods like cottage pie with braised root vegetables and beer-battered fish-and-chips (both pair excellently with Coworth Park’s own beers). Warm homemade bread gets served in cute feed bags. The bar on the second level has horse tacks on the walls, cooking-pot chandeliers and one of the best gin selections I’ve ever seen, plus intuitive bartenders who know exactly how you like your drink. At night, I swapped my muddy Wellies for heels and ate at chef Campbell’s signature fine dining restaurant within the mansion house. A shire menu features ingredients sourced from no more than 70 miles away, while the tasting menu is more brainy and theatrical and might include a liquid nitrogen sorbet of sage and Bramley apple prepared tableside, or a frosted vase of flowers that releases an infusion of garlic smoke over the table. The vegetarian tasting menu was perhaps the most intriguing, mixing flavors like carrot, galangal, ginger and pine nuts in one dish and butternut squash, artichoke and quinoa in another. The restaurant offers the perfect bit of city cooking in the country.
 

Cocktails

Mumbai After-Hours Cheat Sheet

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© Photo Courtesy Blue Frog

Guest blogger Monica Bhide, author of Modern Spice, gave us some of her best picks for where to go late-night in Mumbai. 

As Barack Obama heads to one of my favorite cities in the world, I thought I would offer him some guidance on how to relax, Mumbai-style, after a long day of work. From roadside restaurants to salsa clubs, it all begins around midnight in Mumbai.
1.     Blue Frog Located in an old warehouse, the club has circular stadium-style rows with seating pods that glow in psychedelic colors during live performances.  On offer are cocktails like the Indian Summer, made with vodka, fresh mango, mint and ginger.
2.     Zenzi Mills Right across from Blue Frog is this new restaurant inside an old cotton mill. A two-story lounge with exposed-brick walls, it has salsa and a sleek bar that turns out cocktails at lightning speed. Pair their caipiroska (a caipirinha with vodka) with inventive dishes, like paneer satay.
3.     Shiro  This 10,000-square-foot lounge has Indian-inspired lotus ponds, three larger-than-life Balinese statues hovering over the patrons and red-glass baubles hanging from the ceiling. The best dish is a searing Mahtani chicken with onions and chiles, named for the owner.
4.     Lotus Café at the J.W. Marriott This elegant coffee shop with soaring ceilings is a late-night favorite of Bollywood stars. Try Madras steak served in a coconut gravy with onion and chile tempura, plus one of their famous iced teas in flavors like mint, watermelon and green apple.
5.     Haji Ali Juice Center Hard-core party-goers end their nights here. Since 1937, the Haji Ali Juice bar has served the city’s best juices. There are no seats, so you park your car by the sea and the waiters come running to take your order for their ruby-red pomegranate juice or their signature “Ganga Jamuna,” a blend of orange juices.  

Wine

Drink or Treat for a Good Cause

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© Photo Adventures with Ed.com
Joe Campanale at the 2009 NYC Marathon

This Sunday, NYC’s Anfora wine bar is throwing a Halloween party and encouraging customers to dress up (bonus points for anyone who comes dressed as their favorite biodynamic wine producer) for a good cause. Starting at 6 p.m. Anfora will be serving Halloween cocktails like the Szarlotka (bison grass vodka and apple juice) and snacks. Entries in the costume contest are $10 and all of the proceeds go to Team Hole in the Wall, a great charity that co-owner and sommelier Joe Campanale is racing for next week in the NYC marathon. The best costume wins their choice of brunch or lunch at Dell’anima or L’Artusi.

Cocktails

Early Look: Ferran Adrià’s New Barcelona Spots

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© kate krader
Ferran Adria with F&W's awesome contributor Anya von Bremzen.

It’s only 2010 and El Bulli is not my local hangout; still, I’m already a little nervous about the closing of the world’s most famous restaurant in 2012. Ferran Adrià did allay my fears when he confirmed that he has plans for a new El Bulli. Now, here’s more good news from F&W’s superstar contributor, and Ferran Adrià expert, Anya von Bremzen: Ferran and his brother Albert are launching two new projects in Barcelona. Tickets (what’s with that name?) will focus on contemporary tapas; a magnificent timeline they’re designing for the space will trace the cultural history of Spain’s iconic small plates. (Just imagine what that means.) Among the four different spaces: a bar that that focuses on seafood from ports around Spain to a tapas counter dedicated to sweets. Tickets is set to open in January. Meanwhile, the Adriàs’ second project, 41°, has a singular focus, too: cocktails, emphasis on contemporary. That’s slated to open at the end of November. So, I asked Anya, why is Ferran doing tapas now? Here’s what she said: “Spain’s very top chefs are responding to the country’s slumping economy by turning to tapas. Albert helped pioneer this trend with his fabulous tapas bar Inopia. To have Ferran involved now; that’s truly exciting.”

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.