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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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The Best Sellers at Michael Voltaggio's ink sack

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© Ryan Tanaka

It's one week into Michael Voltaggio surprise sandwich spot, ink sack. A twist on his original idea—a Venice beach sandwich kiosk called Fingers—Voltaggio now has lines down Melrose Avenue for his 4-inch sandwiches. Why so small? "Usually I get bored with eating a big sandwich," says Voltaggio. "Here you can eat two, three different ones. Or you can eat one, and then get in line and order two more of the same. It's kind of like a food truck that way; a food truck that doesn't move."

Which brings us to ink. sack's best selling sandwiches thus far. It's a tie. Best seller #1 is the cold fried chicken. It's made with chicken thighs cooked sous vide with piment d'esplette, then breaded in corn flakes and fried; it's served with ranch dressing (that includes curds of centrifuged buttermilk) and hot sauce. Best seller #2 is the José Andrés, aka the Spanish godfather. It's stuffed with chorizo, lomo and Serrano ham (the only meats Voltaggio doesn't prepare in house) and olives, piquillo peppers, manchego cheese and sherry vinaigrette. It's also got good old romaine lettuce, which apparently comes as a surprise to a few customers. "Some people come in with expectations of avant-garde dining. Do you want liquid nitrogen frozen lettuce on your sandwich? I don't. These are sandwiches the way I want to eat them," says Voltaggio.

ink.sack, 8360 Melrose Ave., No. 107, Los Angeles, CA.

Books

Bookstores for Food Lovers

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The September issue reveals some of the best new shops for food-obsessed readers.

Heirloom Book Company in Charleston, SC

© Courtesy of Heirloom Book Company/Photo by Andrew Stephen Cebulka
Heirloom Book Company in Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC: Heirloom Book Company
For people who want to eat their food and read about it too, this new shop has books on food and wine and out-of-print cookbooks, alongside antique kitchen tools and seeds from local chef Sean Brock of McCrady's. After-hours, the homey Heirloom hosts small in-store dinners cooked by chefs from all around the South.

London: V&A Reading Rooms
This stand-alone shop run by the Victoria and Albert Museum lures in readers with its books on design and art. It gets them to stay with a small menu of snacks (olives, lemon almonds) and organic wines chosen by Duncan Ackery to drink while (carefully) perusing the stacks.

Related:
Marvel Superheroes' Cookbook and More Comics
Healthy Italian Recipes from Cookbook Author Jessica Theroux

Wine

Wine Pairing Guide to Shrimp, Scallops, Crab and Mussels

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New York City is a sweat-slick, hideously hot, concrete-covered steambath right now, something that actually doesn’t make me think of wine so much as igloos. So maybe it’s the idea of summer—cool breezes off the water, sunlight on white sand, nothing to do but lounge around—that always gets me thinking about shellfish. Lobster rolls…crab rolls…shrimp on the grill…a big bowl of mussels in some sort of white wine sauce with a little garlic and parsley…scallop ceviche with cilantro and a zap of lime juice…anyway, you get the idea. Here are five suggestions for great summer whites to go with all those tasty, shell-covered denizens of the sea.
 
2010 Aveleda Vinho Verde Casal Garcia ($8) Vinho Verde really ought to be described with comic-book words: ZAP! POW! KA-ZING! It’s thrillingly tart, with a happy touch of fizz and a kind of cracked-oyster-shell mineral note that makes it incredibly refreshing. Casal Garcia is a classic: Chill the heck out of it, then serve with something messy like shell-on cold boiled shrimp.
 
2010 Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling ($9) Washington’s Chateau Ste Michelle makes more Riesling than anyone else in the world—close to a million cases a year. Most of that is off-dry (lightly sweet), but I prefer the winery’s crisp, peachy, dry bottling. It’s a great crab wine—cracked crab, crab rolls, crab salad, crab-on-a-stick, you name it.
 
2010 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc ($9) Chile tends to be known for inexpensive reds, but the real secret is the country’s terrific Sauvignon Blancs. The cold winds off the Pacific give Sauvignon Blancs like this one a finely-tuned citrus zestiness, perfect for ceviche (something else they do extremely well in Chile).
 
2010 Domaine Lafage Cote d’Est ($10) This floral southern French white tastes like it costs twice the price. It’s sealed with a screwcap, handy for picnics when you realize you forgot the corkscrew. It’s also cheap enough that you could use half the bottle for steaming mussels, and still have two glasses left to drink.
 
2010 Salneval Albariño ($12) Minerally Albariños like this one are the mainstay of Spain’s Rias Baixas region. The other big industry there? Fishing, and shellfish farming—the locals raise mussels, oysters and scallops on long ropes that stretch down into the water from eucalyptus-wood platforms called bateas.
 
Related Links:
20 Fast Shellfish Recipes
16 Bargain Wines
More Value Wines
Top 10 No-Fail Tips for Picking a Stellar Wine off a Wine List
15 Rules for Great Wine and Food Pairing

Recipes

Beer: Loved by Slugs, Gold and Chicken

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

Brazilian Beer-Marinated Chicken

© James Baigrie
Brazilian Beer-Marinated Chicken

Among the 14 household uses for beer listed by The Kansas City Star this week (via Food Republic): trapping slugs, cleaning gold and loosening bolts—“the acids in the beer may dissolve enough rust to allow you to get them loose.” While enlightening, the list skips our favorite purpose for beer (besides simply drinking a wonderful brew), which is cooking. Grill master Steven Raichlen spotlights a Brazilian black lager called Xingu in this summery Beer-Marinated Chicken recipe, but American suds like Samuel Adams Cream Stout and Deschutes Obsidian Stout work just as deliciously.

Recipes

Julia Child's Roast Chicken

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

© 2008 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.
Meryl Streep as "Julia Child" in Columbia Pictures' Julie & Julia. Photo by Jonathan Wenk.

 

Today would have been the great Julia Child's 99th birthday. The revolutionary TV host and author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking brought French cuisine to American kitchens, along with a perfect roast chicken recipe, which she shared with Food & Wine in 1997. In the article, called "Chicken Divine" (not online), Child recommended "listening to the bird as it cooks and attending to its progress, salting and basting as needed."

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