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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Restaurants

Curry Chicken from One of Joe Jonas’s Favorite Chefs

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

Susan Feniger

© Photo courtesy of Border Grill
Susan Feniger

Joe Jonas is quite the foodie, according to today’s New York Times profile of the pop star. The middle Jonas brother, who appeared on last season's Top Chef as a guest judge, discussed his desire to start a food blog, his new solo career, and how he idolizes chefs like Ferran Adrià, Mario Batali, Tim Love and Susan Feniger. "If there’s a chef I really like, I will freak, because I think their talent is so different from what I do," Jonas said. Don't freak, but Feniger’s sweet, sour and spicy curry chicken recipe should get you excited too.

Restaurants

How to Embarrass Yourself in a Nice Restaurant

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Upscale restaurants get busier in the fall as diners snap out of the summer's casual mode and start getting excited for serious food prepared by top chefs. Here, five mistakes to avoid if you want to come away like a dining-out pro.

© Theo Morrison
Wine pairings may offer more than a buzz.

1. Underdress. It's easy enough to call ahead to inquire about a dress code, but even if the suggestions are fairly vague, like “business casual,” you can try to show some decorum. No one wants to see a man's hairy legs in shorts (Mario Batali being exempt from this), and if a woman's dress is cut down to here or up to there, you can bet the line cooks have already heard about it. Also, forget flip-flops.

2. Fake an allergy. The topic of how restaurants deal with food allergies turned up on Grub Street and Inside Scoop SF recently, and both articles touched on finicky eaters who feign allergies to avoid dislikes. In top restaurants, chefs will often individualize tasting menus so allergy-prone diners can fully experience the cuisine (see: Thomas Keller’s gluten-free brioche). This takes a lot of effort. So, if you demand a gluten-free menu because you’re trying to avoid carbs, you better not get caught tucking into the breadbasket.

3. Drink the finger bowl. If a small, pretty bowl containing hot water scented with lemon or herbs comes between courses, it’s not a palate cleanser or an under-seasoned soup. Drinking this is the fine-dining equivalent of eating a Wet-Nap.

4. Heavy petting. Sweet displays of affection might include a nuzzle, hand-holding across the table, and a kiss or two, but it’s best to keep your hands and mouth focused on the food. Footsie and bathroom adventures might be popular these days, but it’s unwise to experiment in a restaurant you might like to return to someday.

5. Get drunk. The likelihood of the above happening, along with every classic blooper (toilet paper on your shoes, skirt tucked into your tights, FALLING), rises exponentially with your consumption of alcohol. Many wine pairings provide more alcohol than diners can tolerate, so even if you paid as much for the pairing as you did for dinner, try to mind your limit. Plus, the lasting value of an amazing meal dwindles if portions of your memory are blacked out.

Related: 5 Signs You've Picked a Bad Restaurant
5 Ways to Screw Up a Wine Pairing
More What Not to Dos

Recipes

Sweet Honey-Glazed Chicken Breasts for Rosh Hashanah

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

Honey-Glazed Chicken

© Ngoc Minh Ngo
Honey-Glazed Chicken

Tonight’s sunset marks the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and first of the High Holidays. Among the traditional celebratory foods, round challah bread represents the cyclical year, lamb (primarily the head) symbolizes the "head" of the year—and, most importantly, honey is meant to infuse the new year with sweetness. Whether or not you’ll be celebrating tonight, Honey-and-Spice-Glazed Chicken Breasts make a delicious and fast weeknight meal.

Related: More Recipes for Rosh Hashanah

Wine

China Loves Bordeaux, Could Try German Riesling

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Value Bordeaux.

© Theo Morrison
Value Bordeaux.

Decanter reports that mainland China now imports more Bordeaux than any other country—more than 40 million bottles' worth in the last year. Though China was already famous for its love of the French wine region, the figures are amazing: Including Hong Kong (which is Bordeaux's #1 customer by value, not volume), China now accounts for more than a third of all exports.

While big spenders there certainly have access to amazing food that pairs with Bordeaux, the blend of tannic Cabernet and Merlot can clash with the sweetness and heat of traditional Chinese food. For those meals, we suggest 10 alternative pairings like German Riesling and Oregon Pinot Noir.

Restaurants

Party Time at Mandarin Oriental Paris

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Michelin-starred chef Thierry Marx made the Mandarin Oriental Paris's party food.

I hate to miss a good party. And it sounds like I missed a pretty spectacular one last week, as the Mandarin Oriental Paris celebrated its official launch. Among the people I would have liked to hang out with: Liam Neeson and Maggie Cheung, and Pierre Gagnaire, one of the world’s all-time great chefs). Michelin-two-starred chef Thierry Marx did the party food—of course he did, he does all the food for the hotel, most especially the impossible to get into Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx.

© kate krader
Thierry Marx's outrageous brioche.

But don’t feel too sorry for me missing the party, because I did get to see the Mandarin Oriental Paris earlier this summer and was just fine. I loved the Swarovski-crystal-lined walls in the lobby, the Diptyque shampoos in the bath and the outrageous brioche in the breakfast bread basket and at the Cake Shop. And I found my new hero, hotel concierge Adrian Moore, who knows every single thing about the Paris food scene and has an excellent blog to prove it.

For more on the Mandarin Oriental Paris, and the fantastic hotel scene in Paris right now, check out the awesome Paris Travel Guide in the October issue of Food & Wine.

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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.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.