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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine


Cocktails for a Cause



© Citymeals-on-Wheels
All-star food-and-cocktail pairings for a good cause.


In NYC, the Surrey Hotel’s awesome new Bar Pleiades is hosting a spectacular pairing event tomorrow (Wednesday, January 20). Here are three great reasons to stop by:

1)   Mixologist extraordinaire Cameron Bogue, formerly the bar genius at Daniel Boulud’s Vancouver outpost of DB Bistro Moderne, will be making excellent winter cocktails, including a warming brandy shaken with roasted butternut squash puree and Meyer lemon juice.
2)    Look for bar snacks from Café Boulud’s ultratalented chef Gavin Kaysen and guest chefs George Mendes of NYC’s Aldea, Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of L.A.’s meat-centric Animal and Nate Appleman of the forthcoming Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria.
3)    Ticket proceeds benefit Citymeals-on-Wheels. Click here to eat and drink well, while contributing to a good cause.


Fact/Fiction About Rusty Knot’s Party Bus Tonight


As Eater reported yesterday, tonight a party bus is headed to the Rusty Knot, the dressed-up dive bar in NYC's West Village, where Andrew Kuo will dj. So, let’s separate some of the facts from some of the potential falsehoods.

Can anyone get on the bus? Yes (anyone who can legally drink, anyway).

Will the bus stop in Williamsburg? Yes, at North Seventh Street and Bedford Avenue.

Will the bus stop in the East Village? Yes, at First Avenue and First Street.

Is there only one shot to get on the bus? No, it’s making two trips, at 8 p.m. and again at 10, starting in Williamsburg (there’s more info at therustyknot.com).

Is there free beer, smoking and dancing on the bus? Apparently so.

And costumes? Yes.

Is Ken Friedman (co-owner of the Rusty Knot and the Spotted Pig) really going to dress up like Tiger Woods? Let’s hope not.


Dovetail's Haute Onion



© Dovetail
Dovetail chef John Fraser

I’ve eaten some porktastic dishes already this year, including the heart-stopping pig’s trotter at the Breslin and Maialino’s excellent “malfatti al Maialino,” malfatti pasta topped with a suckling-pig ragù. But surprisingly, I’ve been leaving most of my meals gushing over a vegetable rather than a meat dish. My most recent vegetable love affair was at Dovetail. The supertalented chef, John Fraser, recently reopened the place after a renovation and expansion and has also added some very clever new dishes to the menu. The one that I dreamed of when I went home that night was, of all things, an onion. Fraser takes Vidalia onions, halves them and then (leaving the skin on) leafs them out, layer by layer, spreading a little butter and Perigord truffles between each layer. He then pieces it all back together before baking it in a salt crust as if it were fish. The result is tender, caramelized onion deliciousness, garnished with maple brown butter, hazelnuts, frisée and mache. If the blooming onion is the height of trashy onion goodness, then this is the pinnacle of haute onion brilliance.


Golden Globes & Mini Pigs


© Patty’s Royal Dandie Miniature Pet Pigs

Even if they don’t win an award at the Golden Globes this Sunday, January 17, nominees like Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and George Clooney might go home with more than the usual swag: They can adopt a tiny Dandie Extreme pig (pictured) in the GBK Gift Lounge. The micro pigs, which can weigh as little as 15 pounds and are said to be as intelligent and affectionate as dogs, are becoming the celebrity pet du jour: Paris Hilton has one named Princess Pigelette and Victoria and David Beckham have two, named Pinky and Perky. After all, a gold-and-marble statuette can’t keep you warm at night, but a mini pet pig—that’s another story.

Throwing a Golden Globes Party? Here are some delicious starters to honor the nominees:

• French Hors d’Oeuvres: 10 excellent hors d’oeuvres to honor Julie & Julia, like warm Camembert with wild mushroom fricassee, pork rillettes and a caramelized-onion-and-Gruyère tart
• Italian Antipasti: 10 delicious antipasti to root for Nine, like sautéed cauliflower frittata with thyme, red wine bagna cuda (the classic Piedmontese anchovy-and-olive-oil dip) with crudités, and super-crunchy grissini (Italian breadsticks)
• Spanish Tapas: 10 terrific tapas to celebrate Broken Embraces, like open-face crab empanadas, crispy chicken croquettes and flatbreads with shrimp and romesco sauce, a slightly smoky puree of roasted red peppers, garlic and almonds


Torrisi, NYC’s New Best Deli


© kate krader
Firemen line up at Torrisi Italian Specialties

Sure it was exciting when The Sopranos’ Michael Imperioli stuck his head inside the door of Torrisi Italian Specialties, the excellent new 20-seat deli in NYC’s Little Italy. But even better was when FDNY Engine Company #6 parked their truck outside and stood on line for sandwiches.

Torrisi is the brainchild of Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, alums of Café Boulud (in fact, their ex-boss, Locanda Verde chef Andrew Carmellini, introduced me to the place). Both men are obsessed with Italian-American delis; both were dismayed when they got to New York City and couldn’t find any good ones. So the display case at Torrisi features gorgeous little cured anchovies, a big dish of meat lasagna and homemade eggplant caponata. The list of sandwiches includes chicken parm (doused in a really good tomato sauce) and the Italian combo, which Carbone describes as the “hall of fame of Italian pork products”; the spicy version was hefty and delicious. Although pretty much everything in the place is Italian in spirit, it’s all made in America (New York magazine reports that they even favor Progresso bread crumbs). Best of all, it’s a neighborhood place. I thought the highlight was the priest we sat next to, speaking Napoletano. Then the firemen showed up. Hopefully MTV won’t bring the Jersey Shore crew there.

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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.