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By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Restaurants

Introducing a Food & Wine Restaurant in Aspen

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Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the 30th Anniversary of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this June, the newly redesigned St. Regis Resort will debut a blockbuster concept we’re excited to announce called Chefs Club by Food & Wine, a restaurant that will serve seasonal dishes created by F&W Best New Chef alums. The super-talented line-up for the first menu includes George Mendes (2011) of Aldea in New York, Alex Seidel (2010) of Fruition in Denver, Sue Zemanick (2008) of Gautreau's in New Orleans and James Lewis (2011) of Bettola in Birmingham, Alabama. The beverage program will be curated by two of our own stars: Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle will select wine pairings for the dishes and Deputy Editor of Food & Wine Cocktails, Jim Meehan, will create signature drinks.

Even if you can’t hit up the huge festivities this summer, the project will make sure there’s a bit of F&W in Aspen all year round. In November, a new group of BNCs will take on the Fall/Winter menu.

Tickets and more info for the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

Related: Best New Chefs 2012

Restaurants

Paula Disbrowe’s Texas Chicken

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Texas may be out of the national spotlight now that Top Chef Texas has ended, but the Lone Star State still has something to celebrate. Today is Texas Independence Day, which commemorates the day Texas split from Mexico to become the Republic of Texas in 1836. Whether you’re in Texas, from Texas or just like big Texas flavors, cowgirl/chef Paula Disbrowe’s Texas Chicken—cooked with annato seeds, sweet carrot juice, vinegar, bay leaves, thyme, garlic and chiles—is a delicious, indoor-kitchen-friendly way to honor of the state’s holiday, especially when paired with a Lone Star beer.

Related: Texas-Style Barbecue
Great Beer Pairings
Amazing Tex-Mex

Restaurants

Mario Batali’s Pang Charity Sandwich

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© Alexander Jorgensen
First Look at the Batali Pang at Num Pang.

By now you must know that F&W loves when chefs work to change the world through charity programs. We also happen to love Mario Batali. And sandwiches. Add that all up, and here’s what you’ve got: Batali creating a limited-edition sandwich for charity at the excellent Cambodian sandwich shop Num Pang in Manhattan’s East Village. It’s the inaugural sandwich for Num Pang’s Guest Chefs Give Back. The program was created by Num Pang owners Ben Daitz and Ratha Chaupoly; look for new big-name cooks and their sandwiches in the coming month.
 
First up, the Batali Pang. It’s an awesome combo of Brooklyn-made cotecchino sausage, balsamic pickled onions and sheep’s milk cheese, mixed with more traditional Num Pang ingredients (homemade chili mayo, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro), served on a toasted semolina baguette. On sale from February 15-March 15, it’s going for $9.75; proceeds will be split between The Food Bank for New York City (one of my personal favorites) and The Cambodian Children’s Fund.
 
For more details and a cute pic of the principal players, go to Midtownlunch.com.

Restaurants

Out of Control French Fries

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© David Malosh

When it comes to French fries, I’m pretty much of a purist. I’m perfectly happy with the Thrice-Cooked Chips (translation: twice fried fries) at New York City’s Breslin. But for many, that’s way too simple. Let’s look at a few enterprising places that get creative with their fries.

Thrasher's French Fries, Ocean City, MD. Thrasher’s has been serving fries on the boardwalk since 1929. The fries come in cup sizes: 16 ounces, 32 ounces and 53 ounces, at which point you’re basically in supersize popcorn bucket territory. Thrasher’s doesn't offer ketchup – only apple cider vinegar. "We have no catsup, because we don't want anything competing with the wonderful taste of the French fried potato," owner Buddy Jenkins has said.

Primanti Bros., Pittsburgh, PA. Here’s why I love Pittsburgh: because they’re not afraid to put French fries right in their sandwiches. In fact they might have pioneered the practice. Primanti first started adding fries to their sandwiches in the 1930s. Now the Primanti’s “Almost Famous” menu includes Pitts-Burgher Cheesesteak, Knockwurst & Cheese, Colossal Fish & Cheese and Jumbo Bologna & Cheese—all topped with french fries, cole slaw, and tomatoes.

Fresh Fries, Los Angeles. The Fresh Fries truck takes their specialty seriously. But maybe serious isn’t the right word for a place that offers their fries —which come in natural cut, sweet potato or curly –in such crazy combinations. Among their offerings: Stinky Pinky (topped with grilled onions and thousand island dressing); Peanut Buttercup (sweet potato fries with nutella and peanut butter); and the most cross-cultural option, 626 (with hoisin sauce, mayo and crunchy noodles).

Big and Little’s, Chicago. Unlike some places in the wacky French fry category, Big & Little’s is primarily known for something besides fries; in this case, their mahi fish tacos. Still, they’re also skilled at putting a serious piece or two of perfectly seared foie gras on top of their perfectly fried fries. For those who find that to be just too much, they also offer truffle duck fat au jus as a side to the fries.

Related Links:

Best Burgers in the U.S.

Best Burger Recipes Ever 


Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S.

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.

(pictured: Bobby Flay's Bistro Fries)

Recipes

F&W Exclusive: Chefs' Super Bowl Smackdown

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Super Bowl

As the big game approaches this weekend, Patriots and Giants fans are making final preparations for their Super Bowl parties. Beyond menus to plan and guests to invite, there are wagers to be made. A group of northeast chefs just revealed the terms of their “Super Bowl Restaurant Smackdown” to Food & Wine, pitting New England vs. New York. Representing the Patriots are Jamie Bissonnette from Boston’s Toro and Coppa, Tiffani Faison from Sweet Cheeks, Matt Jennings from Providence’s La Laiterie and Farmstead and Gabriel Frasca of Straight Wharf and Provisions. They’re facing off against New York chefs and Giants’ fans Harold Dieterle of Perilla and Kin Shop, Lee Anne Wong of Vynl and Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen. This wager is not about money, it’s about maximum humiliation. Here are the terms:

 

 For seven consecutive days, the representatives of the LOSING TEAM must:

-Wear the opposing team’s jersey in their restaurant .The jersey cannot be removed during work hours for any reason.

-Wear a Statue of Liberty hat (Boston) or a lobster hat (NYC) in their restaurant. The hat cannot be removed during work hours for any reason.

-Feature pastrami on rye (Boston) or New England clam chowder (NYC) prominently on their menu with the following wording:

“In honor of the greatest football team on earth the Patriots/Giants, [Restaurant name(s)] is proudly featuring [name of dish]."

-Tweet a picture of themselves in their hats & jerseys eating the featured dish in their restaurant all seven days.

 

The WINNING TEAM will hand deliver the jerseys and hats to the losing teams and taste the featured menu item.

 

As a Patriots’ fan who now lives in New York City, I’m looking forward to sampling some great clam chowder without the four-hour train ride.

 

For those of you hosting at home check out some of my favorite game-day recipes from F&W.

Spicy Chicken Wings

Double Pork Burgers

Sticky Ribs

More Super Bowl Snacks


 

 

Restaurants

A Magnus Nilsson Dinner Without Travelling to Sweden

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© Vila Joya
Magnus Nilsson (center) and his Faviken team at Portugal's International Gourmet Festival.

I tried to map the distance from my house in NYC to Fäviken, Magnus Nilsson’s remarkable super-naturalist restaurant in Fäviken, Sweden. I’m not very good with Mapquest; I’ll estimate that it's more than 4,000 miles away (but only about 200 miles to the Arctic Circle). Nilsson saved me the trouble of going all the way up north to see him by cooking at a festival I went to last week, the super-fun International Gourmet Festival in Portugal.

What did Nilsson and his team haul from Sweden for the meal? Not much: some cheese, reindeer lichen (it’s delicious!) and a few lingonberries. Instead, Nilsson shopped locally, scoring some Atlantic bonito at the local fish market and some awesome pork from Mahladinha, a winery that also raises black-foot pigs. And then he foraged a bunch of ingredients from the beach right below Vila Joya, where his dinner took place. He said I could help him find wood sorrel to garnish his pine bark cookies. How thrilling that I’d get to help one of the world’s most brilliant chefs make dinner. But I bailed (clothes shopping emergency). And then happily ate those cookies and the rest of Nilsson’s dishes.

Here are some highlights from that meal. Special thanks to the Russian billionaire who flew his plane to Paris to pick up some caviar and vodka for the cocktail hour.
 
Blood, Roe and Lichens: This dish featured pig blood tartlets topped with trout roe, two things I don't generally eat together (and one thing I don't generally eat, period). Please believe me—it was delicious.
 
Tuna: Atlantic bonito marinated in mushroom juice and served with a brown-butter-toasted-oatmeal sauce.
 
Porridge: Oat, rye, wheat, flax seeds and sunflower seeds made into a creamy, cheesy porridge and served with kale sauce.
 
Heart and Marrow: A sublime meat salad with pieces of beef heart tossed with chunks of bone marrow and an herb that included herbs foraged from the Algarve.

Restaurants

Adrian Grenier Stars at the International Gourmet Festival

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© Vila Joya
Adrian Grenier, Peter Glatzer and I are psyched about SHFT house wines.

It’s a busy time for food-festival groupies. South Beach Wine & Food Festival is coming soon (February 23–26!), then you've got to get to California for Pebble Beach Food & Wine (April 12–15) and before you know it, it’s the 30th anniversary of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen (June 15–17).
 
Now I’m obsessed with the just-wrapped International Gourmet Festival. The 10-day festival, at Vila Joya in Portugal’s beachy Algarve region, featured dinners with a million Michelin starred chefs. Well, 33 of them, and they came from all over Europe and the US (The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield, SHO’s Shaun Hergatt and Laurent Gras all represented for USA). Also running around were awesome food-loving celebs like Adrian Grenier, who, with filmmaker Peter Glatzer brought his new eco-friendly SHFT house wine (you’ll hear more about it the April issue of F&W), Sheryl Crow and Michael Imperioli. Plus a Russian billionaire who flew his plane to Paris to pick up some vodka and caviar for a party. Here are a few highlights from this year’s International Gourmet Festival.
 
Epic Dinner: In my idea of the ultimate potluck, a dozen elite chefs worth 20 Michelin stars combined to cook a 10-course dinner. That meal ran the gamut from a gorgeous foie gras starter topped with shredded crab and fermented cabbage sauce, from the three-starred Dutch chef Jonnie Boer, to a hearty main-course goulash from the Frankfurt chef Mario Lohninger (whom I still miss from his time at NYC’s Danube).
 
Epic After-Party: Adrian Grenier’s late-night DJ gig at Le Club, one of those awesome, cheesy Euro discos that becomes a lot better when someone’s playing decent music. Extra credit to Grenier—he’d spent the afternoon pouring his SHFT wine, and then woke up early the next day (well, at 1 p.m., which is early in the Algarve) to race go-karts.
 
Epic Day Trip: An expedition to Lisbon (it’s two hours away, when a German guy is driving a BMW). There we got to have the insane, custardy de Belem pastries for breakfast, a killer lunch at chef Jose Avillez’s 10-day-old Belcanto and a ride around the city in one of those adorable 1920s cable cars.

Restaurants

Coldplay + AOC in LA

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© Sarah Lee

What’s better then a sold-out floor seat ticket to Coldplay 2012 tour. If you’re in LA, this: that ticket plus a pre-show meal at AOC, the phenomenal Cal-Med wine (and food) bar from Suzanne Goin (an F&W hero and Best New Chef 1999). Blackboardeats dreamed up the package, which is also rolling out in NYC & Chicago. It answers the prayers of all you who don't want to eat something lame before an epic show.
 
Goin just happens to be a huge Coldplay fan and she’ll be heading to the Hollywood Bowl for the show after the dinner on at least one of the show’s three nights. So if you don’t know the way to the Bowl from AOC, you can ask Goin for directions. You can also ask her if any of the dishes are Coldplay-inspired. (For the Chicago Blackboardeats package, Mercadito is creating a Coldplay inspired tequila cocktail.)
 
If you want to start planning your night ahead, here are more details, including the AOC menu and show dates.
 
The Package: A three-course menu at AOC, a floor seat ticket (and a laminated pass for the memories) is $250, while tickets last. Look out for the email blast coming from Blackboardeats LA on Tuesday, January 17.
 
The Dates: May 1, 2, 4   
 
The Place(s): AOC/Hollywood Bowl
 
The Menu:
Citrus and avocado salad with mint and green olives
 
Grilled market fish with fava beans and savory creme fraiche
OR
Liberty Ranch duck confit with black rice and English peas
 
Bittersweet chocolate tart with mascarpone and pistachios in olive oil

Recipes

Bobby Flay's Phenomenal Chicken Cutlets

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

© Justin Chapple

Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain in New York City features a rich special every Thursday: chicken cutlet, American triple cream cheese, Southern ham and arugula. The deconstructed version of classic chicken cordon bleu also stars in Clarkson Potter's fall release Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook. Our test (left) came out golden brown and unbelievably juicy. But what elevated the dish were the toppings—lusciously creamy cheese (we used Camembert), salty country ham and a fresh peppery arugula salad. The recipe is in Bobby’s book, but if you don't have it yet, here’s a lovely riff on chicken cordon bleu from our own Test Kitchen Supervisor, Marcia Kiesel: Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Cutlets with Mustard Sauce.

Related: Super Bowl Recipes

Restaurants

F&W Exclusive: LudoBites New Reservation System with Urbanspoon

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© Mathieu Bitton

Looking for proof that 2012 is going to be a great year? Here you go. LudoBites 8, the next iteration of Ludo and Krissy Lefebvre’s wildly popular pop-up Los Angeles restaurant, has a new reservation system. Now maybe, just maybe, you’ll have luck snagging a seat for Ludo's terrific menu. If you think Krissy and Ludo didn’t feel your pain when you couldn’t get a seat at LudoBites 1 through 007, you’re wrong. “We were looking for a creative approach to provide a fair opportunity for all,” says Krissy, who watched six weeks of reservations for LudoBites 007 disappear in less than 60 seconds.
 
To the rescue: Urbanspoon. The primo restaurant discovery site is providing a lottery-style reservation system on their site, allowing people to enter requests for 24 hours, starting at 11 a.m. PST on January 11; the system will then randomly assign reservations. “We’re supportive,” says Kara Nortman, GM of Urbanspoon. “We wanted to come up with a democratic solution to get people into LudoBites 8. LudoBites 007 caused finger fatigue here, everyone clicking non-stop to get in.”

 
There’s one more way to get into LudoBites 8. From January 7 through February 7, anyone who makes a reservation for an LA restaurant through Urbanspoon and then tweets it out, is entered in a lottery to win a free (free!! whoopee!!) dinner for four at LudoBites 8 on February 20.


Ludobites 8 Will Have an Awesome New Reservation System.

Here’s LudoBites 8 information, all in one convenient place.
 
Where: Lemon Moon, 12200 Olympic Blvd. (Ludo is excited to be in the kitchen of his good friends Josiah Citrin and Raphael Lunetta, F&W Best New Chefs 1997.)
 
When the Reservation Process Starts: January 11, at 11 a.m. PST, through January 12, 10.59 a.m. PST.
 
Where the Reservation Process Takes Place: www.urbanspoon.com/ludobites8. (The page goes live when the lottery starts on January 11th.)
 
When You Can Eat At LudoBites 8: Jan 18-20, 23-27, 30-31; Feb 1-3, 6-10, 13-15, 17 and 20-22.

One Last Way to Eat at LudoBites 8: There will be 6 walk-in seats each night at the bar. If the weather is nice (and come on, this is LA, there will be additional walk-in patio seating).


Menu: In process. Will be finalized by January 18.

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