Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Marrow and Overfatten Liver....A Night at Blue Ribbon Brasserie, March 2015, NYC

There have been so many great meals in the last 3 years since my last post.  Thinking back, there's AOC, Sugarfish, Lady Janes, Joan's on 3rd, Street, Pinchès in LA; Casa Luca in DC; Butter, Telepan, and Louro in NYC; Uchi and La Condessa in Austin; the Millburn Deli, and the unbelievable meals in Italy, especially the 13 course, 4 hour meal at 3 Michelin Star restaurant La Pergola in Rome.
However, the one dish I have lately been craving came during a fantastic meal at #BlueRibbonBrasserie on the LES in Manhattan.  My little brother, Ethan, works there and I let him order everything, except the ravioli I wanted and didn't regret ordering one bit...
We had fantastic East Coast oysters to start and between every course.  After pairing the oysters and a clean simple salad with a delicious green cocktail, we had a glass of brut rosè with the foie gras and the marrow course.  Then came the Domaine Tempier Bandol, La Migousa, which had been decanting over the first four courses of oysters, salad, foie gras, marrow..
The Bone Marrow with Oxtail jam was truly incredible.  The thought of it, a month later still makes me salivate and drool.  I wish there had been more oxtail jam.  I've had marrow before (the first time was when I was 20 and the first boy I kissed (at 17) had Osso Bucco at Babbo In NYC and built me a bite).  But this plate was over the top, better than any other experience I've had with the soft red spaces between animal bones.  I don't care how rich it is...I am built for rich foods!  My brother gallantly deconstructed and assembled pieces for me-building each "crostini" to perfection.

Finally, the entreès-Blue Ribbon's famous fried chicken, and a ravioli that was perfect and delicate.  It was an incredible meal.
All in all, a big thank you to my brother and our parents for treating us-and the entire staff at Blue Ribbon.  They are professional, delightful, and skilled bearers of excellent food.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Dessert is not my favorite course. I generally prefer savory to sweet. There are a few exceptions. Pecan Pie. Chocolate Mousse. Creme Brulee. The other night at April's in Nye Beach, I may conclude that the best course was dessert. It was called an "eclair" on the menu, and it was, I suppose, some sort of re-structed eclair.
It was a giant puff of pastry, crisp on the outside, and chilled. It was the size of a generous softball, dipped in a chocolate ganache, and almonds. It was served with steak knives thrust in it's helm. When cut open, the "custard" was more like a whipped vanilla pudding. It was light, allowing for me and Chris to finish it all without feeling like we had ingested as many calories as we actually did.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Foie and Stuff

Interurban, PDX. Ian said the whiskey chicken liver mousse was amazing. 3 weeks later and cravings still persist.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Arizona: Last Week

Broad Strokes:

-Pizzeria Bianco-one of every pie, and some Fontina/Prosciutto Appetizer my genius older brother Aaron ordered, that was like my own specially crafted Crack.

-Catered for Grandma: Rare roast beef, grilled veggies, salmon, grilled spicy shrimpies, and tons of desserts. Marzapan cake, Ice Cream cake, Sangria, Stumptown, Pinot-my lord!

-Patsy Grimaldi's: A white pie, An extra cheese pie (because if you don't say extra, it's a few scant rounds, and something else I can't even remember. Salads, and vino galore.

-If I had taken a picture this trip it would have been of my Jalapeno Margarita from ZTejas. Mom slyly poured my second one into a to-go cup under the table, so I didn't have to chug it. They are stiff drinks. But the Jalapeno is so good. I am a sucker for a spicy cocktail. Mom's bold move, allowed me to take my cocktail to Nordstrom as we picked and purchased my Wedding Dress.

Since returning to Newport, fresh Tuna has poured upon us like Manna from Heaven. Cubed up it looks like watermelon. It is incredible.

Food notes for the last week. Better than nothing. See Aaron, I blogged about it!

Feed Girl

Monday, June 27, 2011

How to Justify Gluttony...

I can't. There is no justification for eating 7 times a day. Not meals, necessarily, but meals and snacks... I have a hollow stomach. And yet, as I turn the pages of my new book "Savor," I feel guilty because I know I am eating when I am not really hungry. BUT EVERYTHING LOOKS SO DELECTABLE.
I am tardy writing about a dinner Chris took me to in the tiny Oregon Coast town of Waldport. We went to Rumi, which had plates that looked like art. They served a crispy chicken dish that had a mushroom ragout of the most savory, buttery flavors.

We had a fantastically simple fresh pea soup to start, and a grilled flatbread with beet gastrique (they have gastriques in Waldport!), bianco sauce, asiago cheese, caramelized onions. Chris had a generously portioned Ribeye that was cooked to perfection. Chocolate Mousse for dessert topped off an almost perfect meal (the salads were overdressed). That was 10 days ago. When we got home that night, I wanted to post all the pictures I took, course by course, but I was so coma-toast, all I could do was drool and dream of that mushroom ragout.

Then there was yesterday on the Tour de Oregon Coast. Chris and I had a whole day off without the kids. This was perfect, because we could take a break from teaching them about "making healthy eating choices" and "eating slowly in appropriate portions." We kicked off the day with my favorite Eggs Benedict in the world, and an equally scrumtuous banana french toast at La Maison in Newport.

And then to the Cheese Factory! At Tillamook, I beelined for the cheese samples, despite everyone's seeming preference for the ice cream. The squeaky curds, Habanero Jack, and Super Sharp/Super Aged cheddar are my favorites. A half hour later we were snacking on smoked Brie and a wine tasting at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. I also bought some chocolate covered marzipan, which had too high of a chocolate to marzipan ratio-but it's damned hard enough to find good marzipan on the coast of Oregon. I need some of my Jewish peoples to knock out some Rainbow Cookies for me!
An hour later we were at the Pelican Brewpub in Pacific City snacking on filler onion rings and a salad...that was "filler" not "killer." The IPA was the best offering they had...but not to worry as Chris drove me to his friend's Jim and Lisa's beach house for some Pan de Cuba, olive spread, goat cheese, fresh basil and Olive Oil. You'd think I'd be done, but when we got home I made noodles and Cottage Cheese to snack on.
Dare I add my breakfast this morning, of Soba noodles with bay shrimp and hoison glazed black cod? Will I admit that I also had half a Rockfish sandwich with salami and pepperoni? Am I making even myself a little sick recounting all this glorious food?????? Maybe.
So maybe I can't justify the gluttony. Maybe I can only enjoy it. I know this is not how I eat every day (I wish). But when I miss days like the one I just recounted, I will crack open the cheese drawer and start thumbing through recipes for Squeaky Curds.

In love, as in gluttony, pleasure is a matter of the utmost precision.
Italo Calvino

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cooking Rats!

Just a fun thing to perk up the day. Some of my favorite things: Muppets, Manhattan, and Food. This scene had Karen and I rolling in stitches as young little Lassies in Jersey.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Breaking Eggs

Recently, I have begun a love affair with eggs. It has been on my mind enough to remember the blog I started almost 3 years ago to pay an homage to food. And so, here I am, back again, my triumphant return to the blogosphere..not for cheese, as one might think... but for eggs!

In their natural state, eggs seem incredibly feral without being made of actual meat. They are one of the oldest, most primitive food sources, and are a complete source of proteins and vitamins. Eggs are a food source and a life source. There is something primal and perverted about eating that which is the organism from which life springs. Enjoying that is one of the many reasons I can not even conceive of Veganism. When you eliminate the vitality of your ingredients, there is a lackluster feeling to the food...which is not to say there can't be delicious vegan-veggie-fruit dishes; but it is to say that all of those dishes would be MORE delicious with some kind of animal bi-product. To discount meat, eggs, and dairy is to reject balance. And balance, as in life, is equally important in cooking, plating, biting, eating...Eggs make me think of balance, of circles, of perfect proportions.
One of the things that is so remarkable about eggs is their versatility. Entire cookbooks are dedicated to different ways you can cook an egg. Entire cookbooks are dedicated to all different kinds of edible eggs. They can be the main element of a dish, the side, an appetizer, the base of a sauce, or the necessary delectable glue that holds sugar and butter together. One of my favorite ways to eat eggs, is the Benedict: eggs poached to a perfect level between easy and medium, enough to have the white firm, but the yolk still becomes an unctuous stream running into a river of Hollandaise sauce-a sauce whose richness is furthered by MORE eggs and butter.
And then we have the Deviled egg. My favorite egg hor d'oeurve. The egg white creates the perfect firm boat to a savory spread of yolk, mayonnaise (another egg creation), mustard, and other personally preferred accoutrements. I also love the way eggs bind to starches to create a decadent bite of dessert. Be it in a bread or noodle pudding, crisped with sugar and a sweet
boozy sauce, eggs are just as crucial to desserts as they are to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Served on top of cinnamon and sugar sweetened, cubed bread, a fried egg with the Walking Man Brewery's Black Cherry Stout was a simple meal I accidentally crafted and fell in love with.
Eggs compliment the sweet and savory dichotomy to a tee. A cornmeal crusted poached egg nestles up to a braised pork belly, atop walnut waffle with dates and a maple syrup glaze, add a small microgreens salad to the plate: Perfection. Harmonious elements creating a balance. These are the moments when cooking and eating take on transcendental tones. An analogy for life and the universe can be made out, as I sink my fork over and over again in to these dishes, and drift further in to an abstraction of life created by food.

"the next time
I break an egg
I'll think of

scramble with

and then turn up
the flame

if I
one." -Nikki Giovanni

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The last few days have been physically trying. When I am sick to my stomach, and too nauseous to eat, I become frustrated. Even ill, I dream of wanting steaks, with a caramelized-by-butter outer layer, and a soft, deep pink center, with a smokey Bleu cheese pouring over the fat-crusted edges. I dream of eggs benedict with yolks over-medium, and a sea of Hollandaise smothering the life out of the Ovum. And my favorites, I dream of carbs and dairy. Potatoes. Cheese. Pasta. Cheese. Bread. Cheese. A perfect grilled cheese, an equilibrium of hot, stringy sharp cheddar tang, and the absorbent sponge of buttered bread.
The disappearance of my appetite is, for me, almost frightening. Sometimes, I feel my life force is directly connected to my literal hunger. And so when I am not hungry, I begin to feel unsettled and scared. Forcing myself to eat is incredibly uncomfortable as well. When my mother reassures me that the body doesn't need food everyday, I don't feel any better. When I think about all those cleanses and liquid diets, I become instinctively dubious. It seems totally unnatural to survive on liquid alone. Food is both necessity and pleasure, and I can think of nothing else in life that is as universally so. Emotional discord that leads to a lack of appetite is such an encompassing threat. These elements of life that cut in to the very act that both nourishes me and stimulates me are rejected. And soon, very soon, I will feast and feed with the vigor and enthusiasm hibernating inside.

There is no love sincerer than the love of food. ~George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In an Attempt to Put Forth Some Effort.

Recently my "godmother" and a best friend of mine both remarked to me on my love of food, and my inclination to communicate well by writing. My "godmother" said that with all of the attention I pay to food, cooking, beer, and wine, I ought to do something with it. I bring my camera to meals, and photograph the dishes and wine. During my darkest times, unable to eat from heartbreak, the only thing that could get my mind off of love and into the saltine crackers at my side, were television shows andaudiobooks about food. In fact, as I go through life, I realize that the culinary arts and the relationship people have with food is truly one of my stronger passions. When the perfect pizza becomes Utopia in it's simplicity, I am consumed. Consumed by that which I am consuming. Run around that for a while.
I believe cooking is like making music, and eating is like listening to a new album. The chef can create all types of food, all genres of music; and it can be as simple and acoustic as 3 ingredients, or it can be a symphonic layering of ingredients. Or it can be a bombardment of ingredients that don't always make sense. And in eating, you get to explore a new offering from our artist. Upon first taste, you may have a song that is clearly your first favorite. The cheese offering is usually the thing that catches me. But as you keep tasting, you hear the violin of the leek, the hum of pistachio paste... and then after enough listens, you may even find that the
track you thought you disliked the most, is actually quite spectacular. I may try those beets again!

As Virginia Woolf said, "One can not think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well..."