It’s official: Death + Company
, the destination bar in NYC's East Village manned by Joaquin Simo
(also the supersonic deputy editor of the book Food & Wine Cocktails
), has extended its hours thanks to a new liquor license
. (How has the almost-three-year-old establishment survived without an actual liquor license for so long? Good question.) Simo reports from the front line on the first day of their new hours (Sunday–Thursday, 6 p.m.–1 a.m.; Friday–Saturday, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.): “That first night, a busy Friday, was kind of crazy. We had a great night, even getting Phil Ward
to come down the block from his agave emporium [Mayahuel]
to stir himself up a Manhattan behind the bar he helmed for so long.”
There's a fascinating article in the NY Times today about how the tongue perceives the particular taste of carbonated beverages—a category that includes sparkling wines. Evidently, it isn't the prickliness of the popping bubbles that gives things that 'fizzy' taste, as one might think, but the receptors in the tongue that perceive sour flavors, which, as it turns out, are also tuned to sense carbon dioxide. The article (and the research paper in Science, which it reports on; only available with a subscription) is mainly concerned with soda and whatnot, but Champagne lovers might get a kick out of it as well.
© Joshua David Stein
April Bloomfield in action at the Breslin
The good news: The Breslin
, the new restaurant in NYC's Ace Hotel
from my Spotted Pig
heroes Ken Friedman
and April Bloomfield
, was opening with a FergusStock
dinner, followed the next day by FergusStock Hangover Brunch. (FergusStock, for the uninitiated, is an annual dinner featuring Fergus Henderson
, the chef at London's St. John
and author of The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating
; his pro-meat approach to cooking should be pretty clear.) The dilemma: Which meal to hit? The answer: Both. Friday night featured Fergus’s trotter, prune and rabbit pie (for one, two or four) and April’s roasted halibut with anchovies. No surprise, the kitchen also went through about 30 pigs, including their pot-roasted heads. Saturday’s aptly titled hangover brunch included ridiculously indulgent custard-filled sugar doughnuts and Cheddary-beery welsh rarebit. And both meals had my new favorite thing on the menu: April’s very crispy thrice-cooked chips. For even more highlights, the New York Times’s The Moment Blog has great descriptions
, plus amazing illustrated photos (with even better pics here
© Chris Quinlan
A student gets pointers
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my grandmothers more than I can say. Nanny Quinlan taught me to mix a perfect cocktail and Nanny McGrath could make a mean Irish soda bread. But sometimes I wished I had an Italian nonna
to show me how to make flawless pasta from scratch or a rich meat ragù. My wish came true this past weekend, when Dora Marzovilla of Manhattan’s I Trulli
did just that at a demo in which she showed how to prepare classic Pugliese dishes, like a moist focaccia with tomatoes and oregano and handmade cavatelli with broccoli rabe and almonds. But what I really can’t wait to make is the panzerrotti (fried dough filled with tomatoes and mozzarella). I think it would pair perfectly with one of Nanny’s cocktails!
If you also crave nonna
-worthy recipes, try these Italian dishes from Food & Wine's
recipe archives:Cavatelli with Spicy Winter SquashOrecchiette with Cauliflower, Anchovies and PistachiosPappardelle with Veal Ragù
© Wanderplay Studio
The design of Bar Pleiades is a nod to Coco Chanel and the lines of a '30s Art Deco bar cart.
New York City’s Upper East Side finally has a serious cocktail spot. Last Thursday, prolific restaurateur Daniel Boulud’s newest project, Bar Pleiades, opened with a cocktail program run by mixologist Cameron Bogue (formerly at DB Bistro Moderne’s Vancouver outpost). The bar is part of the $60 million dollar makeover of the historic Surrey hotel, which will reopen in November. Like the menus at the recently reimagined Café Boulud next door, Bogue’s cocktails are inspired by la tradition (classic French cuisine), la saison (seasonality), le potager (the vegetable garden) and le voyage (global flavors). Bogue makes everything from the rhubarb bitters in his Sloe Gin Fizz to the fermented ginger beer that gets mixed with saffron-roasted pear vodka and yuzu for his Beijing Mule—an ode to his recent motorcycle voyage across Asia.
As you may have already heard, last weekend’s New York City Wine & Food Festival
featured two very high-profile Manhattan-based food stars sharing unflattering observations about San Francisco chefs. At a Times Talk, Anthony Bourdain
called Alice Waters “Pol Pot in a muumuu.”
And Momofuku’s David Chang
—in another conversation with Bourdain entitled “I call BS”—said that “…every restaurant in San Francisco is serving figs on a plate with nothing on it.” Apparently some SF chefs aren’t happy with that characterization: The Asia Society cancelled a book signing event to promote Chang’s soon-to-be-out Momofuku cookbook
because that comment irritated some participating cooks. For his part, Chang calls it a misunderstanding that he wants to clear up. On the other hand: "I'm never gonna open a place in San Francisco, " he says. Of course, at F&W
, we love Chang unconditionally: He and his outstanding recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers
are featured in our brand-new November issue.
Hell's Kitchen finalists Ariel, Kevin and Dave
I hate to miss a good party. Luckily, our superlative Vancouver stringer Rhonda May
, editor of City Food Magazine
, has all the details on the celebration at Araxi in nearby Whistler, British Columbia, for Dave Levey, winner of the sixth season of Hell’s Kitchen. Why was the party at Araxi? Because Dave will now spend the next year cooking there, just in time for Vancouver to host the Olympic Games in February 2010
Here's Rhonda's report:
Last Tuesday night, Araxi hosted a little viewing party for the reality show’s sixth-season finale. Which meant that more than 300 partygoers withstood lightly falling snow in the long line outside the restaurant’s entrance to meet the show’s four final contestants: Tennille Middleton, Ariel Contreras, Kevin Cottle and Dave—all of whom affably shook hands, hugged grandmothers and posed for pictures.
© National Pork Board
German Cuban Reuben Pork Burger
On a drizzly morning last week, I sat next to the Food Network’s Guy Fieri
in a park near New York City's High Line to help the National Pork Board crown the Next Pork Personality. Judging the tastiest dish was easy: It was the German Cuban Reuben Pork Burger from chef Robert Burmeister of CHOW Gourmet
on Staten Island.
First, he marinated pork shoulder with sweet pickle relish and mustard before grinding the meat and forming patties, which he then topped with a bacon-sauerkraut mixture, sliced Bratwurst and snappy rounds of dill pickle. But unfortunately, taste was not a factor in this competition, and each recipe's creativity only counted for so much; instead, the contestants' spiel about their dish was everything. Robert had that natural New York swagger and a thick accent to match—it was clear he loved pork, and not just from his pig tattoo. But it was tough to compete with actress and comedian (and former recipe contest winner) Kristina Vänni’s engaging routine. Although Kristina's "Spicy" Asian Pork Tenderloin, marinated and glazed with hoisin sauce spiked with five-spice powder—was not as impressive as Robert’s burger, she ultimately won the title and the $5,000 prize. But Robert might have received a better reward: Guy gushing about his burger during the awards ceremony.
© National Pork Board
Kristina Vänni wins the Next Pork Personality.
Out this week: Corn Flakes with John Lennon (Rodale Books), in which longtime Los Angeles Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn chronicles his relationship with the legendary Beatle—plus reveals juicy tidbits like Lennon’s habit of eating corn flakes with cream after dinner. Here, terrific British comfort food dishes to honor the Liverpool native like lamb-filled shepherd’s pie (pictured), beef stew with potato cakes, and sticky toffee pudding.
Plus More Great Dishes to Pay Tribute to Lennon:
- 10 excellent white dishes for a White Album-listening party like hot, buttered cauliflower puree and a jasmine rice, chicken and almond stir-fry
- 10 terrific egg dishes to salute the “Eggman” like a warm spinach salad topped with soft-poached eggs and sherried mushrooms with fried eggs on toast
© kate krader
Pam Grier pretends she's eating Bluefin Collar
Last night, I felt like Ashton Kutcher
doing an episode of Punk’d
. I was with Pam Grier
, the iconic 1970s actress and star of Showtime’s The L-Word
(and also my ex-stepsister-in-law), who is allergic to fish, raw and cooked. We were at Marea
, chef Michael White’s
exquisite NYC seafood restaurant. Someone, I thought, would come out of it not looking good. But White was a star—he made beet salad, garganelli with sausage ragù and guinea hen for Pam; I got to eat fish. In particular, I got to eat bluefin collar sashimi: rich red, well-marbled slices of tuna that looked like beef and tasted lightly fishy and sweet, with just a little bit of sinewy bite. Pam couldn’t try it (an ambulance would have shown up), but she got a kick out of how much I loved it. The photo above is Pam, mimicking my spontaneous gesture of tasting happiness, after my first bite.