Bowls of Cherries, Baskets of Vegetables
Maybe it's because I'm on a desperate (and so far unsuccessful) diet before the start of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen (two days away) and looking for any dishes made without pork belly (increasingly hard to find). But probably it's because full-on produce season is here. Recently, I've been seeing lots of minimalist vegetable presentations at restaurants—namely, updated crudité platters. At Franny's in Brooklyn, where they've just started serving pastas to go with their amazing pizzas (they have other news too—the word is that they're about to open a food market), the raw vegetable platter is accompanied by tonnata dressing—genius. August, in Manhattan's West Village, serves spring crudité with anchovy dressing. Nearby, at the brand new and adorable Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar, the crudité platter comes with a more retro American tahini dressing. I've been seeing fruit version of these platters too. At Cucharamama, the cult favorite South American restaurant in Hoboken, New Jersey, chef and chocolate expert Maricel Presilla (who also has a market in the works, outfitted with a bar for drinking chocolate) offers the biggest bowl of cherries I'd ever seen; they were cold and crisp because they were packed in icy water. The only cherries I've had that were better were the ones April Bloomfield served, also in ice water, at Manhattan's Spotted Pig a couple of days later.