- Drinks (84)
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I’ve written about a certain spinach and steak salad here, a regular in my house. Recently I decided to make a side of broccoli that went beyond my normal steamed with a little butter, salt, and pepper. (I’m starting to …
Here’s a kitchen truth: You can have too much of a good thing. I recently made a meal whose individual parts were all lovely, but together they left “pleasant richness” in the rear view mirror. I guess we needed some salad in here somewhere. Or a level head guiding the hand in my larder.
I’m still roasting those squashes (and sunchokes!), but I’ve got a new shortcut that makes these vegetable sides into a meal. The first day I made a stuffing that hung around all week, making its way into the acorns and …
Let the vegetable scramble begin. Thanksgiving has very few open slots–in my household they exist only in sides and desserts. The last couple of years brussels sprouts have been the “it” vegetable side. This year, the big carrot lobby won’t …
Things were definitely getting out of control. It started with a butternut and a delicata, which made me feel autumnal, and moved on to acorn, then spaghetti, then pumpkin, which started to make me feel like a hoarder. Soon very little of my dining room table was visible, and no one was eating any of the mounting squash. Every outing added to the heap and I started to feel choked by my good intentions.
When I decided to visit Nashville I knew I wanted to try some of the restaurants I’ve been reading so much about–Music City is Food City the headlines go. So after consulting Bon Appetit and Food & Wine and discovering I needed more than three weeks advance to get into The Catbird Seat, I booked at City House in Germantown. We had a good meal and outstanding cocktails in a bright, buzzy, happening space which I will get to, but these out-of-town forays always leave me thinking foremost about the District’s fare.
For the past few years I’ve participated in a CSA, which meant that once a week I received a farm box of whatever was being harvested. Part of the fun was figuring out how to cook the stuff I’d never worked with before, like spaghetti squash. This year I missed the sign-up, so I’ve been indulging at the farmers market instead. And I have to admit I prefer getting exactly what I want. Tomatoes, nectarines, berries, cherries, apples, potatoes, onions, garlic, squash, peppers, lettuces, beets, carrots, mushrooms, not to mention meat and eggs.
We’re still eating our steaks and potato salad and grilled romaine, but asparagus gave way to squash, which now yields to summer beans. I catalogue this genre as foods that make me feel like a grown-up (see also eggplant parmesan). How could limas be anyone’s favorite, I wondered until last night when I stood over a bowl of the legumes I had made for a friend’s dinner party, spoon in hand, wondering instead how much I could eat without making my contribution look too puny.
I had a shock this morning as I read Bon Appetit’s new restaurant issue. (I know I’m partial to the topic, but I found myself reading every stitch of type. An excellent issue.) Not a surprise, Little Serow gets a top spot for its exciting spicy/sour Northern Thai food in D.C. It’s fun to see Johnny Monis with his wife and partner Anne Marler and to read the interview–it’s like seeing friends make it big. Little Serow is hands down the District’s most adventurous and fun restaurant, and I love being a regular there. (A shout out in Food & Wine’s latest as well probably explains why the line is getting even longer in the normally dead month of August.) That said, as I read the September issue of BA, as the editors remembered their favorite dishes from the past year, my mind went to a meal that I didn’t even write about at the time. And I had it here in D.C. at Acqua Al 2 in Capitol Hill.
Hors d’Oeuvres are fast becoming my favorite meal. The past few days I’ve been enjoying some new additions to my usual spread–that is, salami, cheese, olives, crackers. It turns out Fromager D’Affinois, my latest favorite cheese, comes in a blue variety, and it’s wonderful. (It reminded me of a wheel of cheese at one of the wineries in Oregon I visited: Mix a wedge of blue with a container of cream cheese and cover with dried cranberries.) And that creamy mild blue is excellent with a slightly sweet cracker like the flatbread crackers from Wheat Thins that are a new find at the grocery.