- Drinks (83)
- Easy Indulgences (43)
- Gifts (35)
- Media (207)
- Product Reviews (8)
- Recipes (184)
- Restaurant Reviews (113)
Two things happened today that seem too related to be pure coincidence. First, the USDA announced new diet guidelines that recommend people reduce their sodium intake. Then, my doctor told me I could eat as much salt as I’d like. …
I know people get tired of all of the lists around New Years, but I’m a sucker for the declarative if not the definitive. Food and Wine’s January issue predicted the food trends for 2011, but it fell flat in the presentation. The story goes that we, the hapless consumers, don’t know what the next trend is until it hits, so it kind of ruins the suspense if we are told now the trends for the whole year, by month. Psst, I hate to spoil it for you, but oyster bars are going to be blowing up in December. F&W names a few new places to look out for, like the John Dory Oyster Bar, in December, though I suspect they might appreciate a little business this end of 2011.
I’m thinning my herd of magazine subscriptions. Over the years I’ve subscribed to: Martha Stewart Living, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Saveur, Food and Wine, and Cook’s Illustrated.
Savuer was a little too global for my tastes–as in the recipes were way too complicated. Cook’s Illustrated became so repetitive after ten years that I’ve recently let it lapse–also the concept of reviving oldie moldies from bygone eras might not be sustainable. MSL was more complicated. In our current economic climate, its business side made two decisions that have negatively affected the magazine-reading experience: 1) They started running terrible drug company ads; 2) They created a shopping section at the front, which included Martha’s picks for things out of her purview, like bags, clothes, and even make-up. The end result being, it became glaringly apparent that I was not the target audience. And if celebrity magazines are the reality TV of the publishing world, shopping magazines are the commercials.
From the T Magazine blog this week we meet a crazy Australian bartender in Victoria, BC, who is on the forefront of the making-the-cocktail-the-meal movement. I find hearty, savory cocktails intriguing—especially the beef-broth variety—and the Bloody Mary is the most classic example.
So, this guy, Shawn, is running with the concept. He begins by infusing rum with a grilled cheese sandwich. I know I can stop there and you will read it and you should. The Cold Night In is his take on a grilled cheese and tomato soup. (One guess how its conception went: Several guys stand around behind the bar after hours. One says, “I’m hungry,” the next says, “I’m thirsty,” and Shawn says, “No problem. I’m totally high.”) And as ridiculous as the idea is, I’d love to try it. Although the T blogger notably doesn’t mention how it holds up to the taste test.
Basically, I came home with this particular six-pack a month ago, and found a SodaStream Penguin soda maker had been delivered, so now…you see I don’t need the bottles anymore. In fact, their obsolescence is cluttering up the joint.
The Times’ dining section, thankfully, recovers its footing after last week’s stumble. But heads are rolling in response to petfoodcoverstorygate: Mark Bittman announces the end of his Minimalist column after 13 years. (Note, these two events may be unrelated.)
I notice the Times didn’t let him name check his new diet: flexitarianism. Bon Appetit let him write a whole piece on it in their January issue. Basically, the rule is vegan until supper. To Supertastes, this sounds more like flexorexia.
Chef Carlo Middione closed his Pacific Heights Italian, Vivande Porta Via, this New Years after almost thirty years in business. The press release is blunt: “The chief cause is that Chef Carlo Middione lost his sense of taste and smell in an auto accident in Spring of 2007. It was hoped that the problem might improve with time, but it has not.”
This is indisputably tragic, and compels me to tell you now that Vivande Porta Via is where I, in fact, learned to taste and smell.
Over the past few months, The Washington Post has repeatedly reported on the growing fleet of food trucks and the popularity of restaurants offering high-end junk food (the burger, the hot dog, the pizza–only expensive). Last week I attended a menu tasting at the Four Seasons in Georgetown. I was consulting on the menu for an upcoming wedding–a lovely classic menu with a salad, main, and dessert that made sense, fit the space and the service of a high-end hotel. When we got to the passed Hors d’oeuvres, I discovered that the menu I had been working with was out of date. The Four Seasons, I was told without irony, was trying to harness the growing food-cart movement with new apps like lobster and kimchi quesadillas. Mind you, still served by the standard white-gloved professionals under twinkling chandeliers.
High praise goes to this week’s food column in the Times Magazine. I can take or leave the ruminations on kids and how they relate to food. There is a steady drum beat of concern about how our food is …