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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Beer

Bees and Honey Are All the Buzz

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With national bee frenzy growing for some time, new products like honey beer are starting to hit the market. The Obamas were right at the forefront of the movement when they served White House Honey Ale, home-brewed by their chefs with honey from the White House beehive, at a Super Bowl party this year. (Celebrity guest Marc Anthony liked the beer so much, he is reportedly hanging on to the bottle given to him by the First Lady.)
 
Now, Denver’s luxe Brown Palace Hotel & Spa is partnering with Wynkoop Brewing Company to produce a Belgian-style saison beer with the honey from a rooftop bee colony. The hotel will debut the bee-brew during this year’s Great American Beer Festival.
 
A new one-stop bee-inspired shop in Cambridge, MA, doesn't sell beer, but it does have all sorts of treats and trinkets for the modern bee lover. Opened on National Honey Bee Day, August 20, Follow the Honey sources honeys from all 50 states and abroad, and sells beeswax candles and soaps, beekeeping books, bee-inspired artwork and even jewelry.

Related: Fantastic Honey Recipes

Recipes

Thomas Keller Loves Whole Chickens

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

Thomas Keller's Whole Grilled Chicken

© Quentin Bacon
Keller's Whole Grilled Chicken

"I don't care if you're sophisticated, with a boatload of money," chef Thomas Keller once explained to Food & Wine, "roasted chicken makes you feel wonderful." America’s beloved superchef described his simple approach to home-cooking for dinner parties in the Wall Street Journal today, and Keller's recipe for Whole Grilled Chicken with Wilted Arugula fits right in with his enduring appreciation for rustic meals.

Restaurants

5 Signs You’ve Picked a Bad Restaurant

As the high season for restaurant openings returns this fall, there will be a whirlwind of unfamiliar dining options hungry for business. Pork belly and meatballs will fly, but keep alert and you can avoid the most tragic meals. Here's when to back away.

Molten Chocolate Cake

© Lucy Schaeffer
Exciting at home, not in a restaurant.

1. There’s more than one cocktail ending in “-tini.” If you reach for the cocktail list and a fruit, candy or emotion is fused with that suffix in place of a gin or vodka martini, then things are looking bleak. The appletini is a serious offender, but plumtinis and passiontinis are also indicative of cocktail abuse.

2. The server tells you to “save room for dessert.” There are several red-flag phrases that misguided servers repeat. “Are you still enjoying that?” feels a bit presumptuous if there’s still food on the plate, no? Being told that “everything is so good” without asking, or as menus are put down, is also off-putting.

3. Molten chocolate cake. Or chocolate lava cake. Or liquid chocolate cake. Unless you’re at a restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who created the ubiquitous chocolate surprise, this now identity-free dessert undermines a restaurant’s culinary focus. Apathetic Italian, Asian, American and every other kind of restaurants serve it because oozing chocolate sells. If a small restaurant can’t handle a thoughtful pastry program, awesome gelato or ice cream and a few cookies are enough.

4. There’s a chill in the air, but people are dressed to sweat. This isn’t always obvious, because you might be occupied with admiring people who aren’t wearing a lot of clothes, or who are swaying to music that makes you want to dance. Chances are that no one here came to dine—and even the chef knows that. If you’re concerned with food, look around to see if anyone is eating. We didn’t think so.

5. You’ve been ushered in off the street. It’s unlikely that one restaurant on a touristy strip will be any different from the others just because an animated host told you how great it is. A similar phenomenon occurs with online deals: Ryan Sutton, a Bloomberg critic and the blogger behind The Bad Deal, compared buying these deals to ordering products from infomercials. If someone who you don’t know, whose opinions you aren’t familiar with, and who has a 100-percent bias is trying to convince you to eat at a particular restaurant, you might want to do a little more research before committing to a meal.

Related: 100 Restaurants Worth a Pilgrimage
5 Signs You Got a Bad Deal
5 Ways to Ruin a Cake

Recipes

Gail Simmons Is Sweet on Chicken

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

Chicken Goulash

© Yunhee Kim
Chicken Goulash.

Tonight, Top Chef Just Desserts Season 2 premieres on Bravo, hosted once again by our own inimitable Gail Simmons. Each week, Simmons—with rocker pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini, master chef Hubert Keller and stylish writer Dannielle Kyrillos—will sample the contestants’ many sugary challenges, from gingerbread houses to edible interior design. Something truly savory is the best remedy for an overworked sweet tooth, like one of Simmons’s favorite F&W recipes: creamy chicken goulash with homey biscuit dumplings.

Beer

Wines to Root for the Top US Open Contenders

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During the US Open Tennis tournament in New York, there's one question on the minds of the sport's elegant spectators: What can I drink at home (or smuggle into Flushing Meadows like this guy) to show appreciation for my favorite player? Many of the top contenders come from prolific wine-producing nations (though good luck finding Danish bottles, Wozniaki supporters). When in doubt, there's always beer. Here's what to buy:

Tennis star Kim Clijsters with wine on the sidelines.

© AFP/Getty Images
Tennis star Kim Clijsters with wine on the sidelines.


Rafael Nadal: If it's typical summer weather in Queens, Spain's Rafa would probably go for a bracing, vibrant Albariño. Open a really good one, like the single-vineyard 2010 Saiar from Benito Santos ($16).

 

Serena Williams: A toe injury forced Williams to exit the Cincinnati Open early, but she has reportedly recovered and might actually benefit from the rest. Drink an equally fresh American rosé, like the 2010 Copain Tous Ensemble ($20), to cheer her on.

Novak Djokovic: For more than a millennium, Serbians have been making wine—and consuming most of it within their borders. Look for a lush, Zinfandel-like Plavac Mali from nearby Croatia, such as the 2007 Lirica ($20).

Li Na: Though China produces wine, its high-end consumers are now famous for buying up tremendous amounts of top-dollar Bordeaux. Avoid sticker shock with a bottle from the overlooked 2006 vintage, like Chateau Gloria St-Julien ($40). 

Roger Federer: Swiss wines can be excellent. Robert Gilliard's 2009 Les Murettes Fendent ($26), a minerally white, is both delicious and available in the US.
 
Francesca Schiavone: Choose an in-vogue grape—Moscato, whose US popularity is skyrocketing—to represent the player who hails from Italy's fashion capital, Milan. Tintero's 2010 Sori Gramela ($12) is a light, limey Moscato d'Asti.
 
Andy Murray: UK wine made news recently when outspoken French winemaker Michel Chapoutier declared that he was looking to buy vineyard land in England. Try one of Chapoutier's existing bottles, like the dependable, berry-rich 2009 Belleruche Côtes du Rhône ($10).

Andrea Petkovic: Leitz's Dragonstone ($16) is one of the best Riesling values out there. Drink the crisp, peach-scented 2010 to support Germany's Petkovic.
 
Richard Gasquet: Food & Wine's October issue calls out an incredible number of brilliant new French wines. Until the issue arrives, plan to acknowledge Gasquet's hometown in the Languedoc region by drinking the exceptional 2007 Leon Barral Cuvee Jadis Faugeres ($40).
 
Kim Clijsters: Salute the reigning women's Open champ, who is sitting out due to a stomach muscle injury, with a Belgian beer. A caramelly Quadrupel, like the 10 percent-alcohol St. Bernardus ($8), is a delicious painkiller.

Related: Sports Star Wines

Summer Wines

Summer Party Foods

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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.