Thursday, December 12, 2013

living milk

alham wood

the quality of even average dairy in the UK is remarkably high. milk generally tastes like milk, instead of water, cardboard, or vinyl. some milk, though, is exceptional.

at last sunday's market, i cast about the stands for some milk in which to poach a freshly purchased side of smoked haddock. the poultry lady hadn't brought any with her, and the regular cheese women by the biweekly mushroom guy had sold out. on the verge of giving up, i saw a few litre bottles at the irregular cheese dude's stand (alham wood seems to only come to market when they feel like it). raw, unhomogenised, organic milk. sold in the light of day.

he was trying, with minimal success, to persuade cheese buyers to try samples from a bottle of raw milk that had been unrefrigerated for 3 weeks. for science, i had a little cuplet: lactic, creamy, thick, emulsified. remember what pasteurised milk smells like when you leave it on the counter for a day or two? it smelled nothing like that.

as he handed me the bottle, the cheese dude said, "real food, buddy, real food. it still exists."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

the food you eat every day

Jean [Troisgros] was never so happy as when we drove down the block to the schlocky café and had the steak frites. He honestly loved that better than going to a three-star restaurant. It was pretty clear, the food you eat every day is the most important food. This is what we do at Zuni.*

Saturday, December 7, 2013

el soplo


if you are in barcelona and you seek spanish wine of A Certain Persuasion that does not taste like french or italian wine of A Certain Persuasion, you already know of l'anima del vi (at which all three are obtainable at fair prices). you may wish also to visit the new wine bar el soplo. triumphant after securing a shipping container just after sunset, i turned down a little alley and, midway through the block, saw a cracked-open door, dusty empties with whimsical labels in the window, and a big beard behind the bar. the establishment is a pair of italians who love natural wine and have fetched up in barcelona because "eh, it is a nice place to live, yes?" they have just opened and—for reasons unknown—appear to be unfindable on the internet and only barely findable in person. but i am here to show the way: el soplo is in el born, on c/ mirallers between c/ sombrerers and c/ vigatans. the current list is, perhaps perforce, admirably short. the skin-contact chardonnay from casa pardet is worthwhile and may surprise and delight those who are just a bit tired of overpaying for brown goop.

Friday, December 6, 2013


dicentrarchus labrax

fish and shellfish are the chief virtues of the boqueria market in what passes for winter in north-east spain. this 2.2 kilogram whole european seabass fit snugly in the roasting pan with only minor modifications. the little still-wriggly parasite attached to the underside of its tongue gave me a moment's pause, but not much will survive 20 minutes at 200C in a fan-forced oven. i made sure to wedge the mouth open with a piece of lemon.

Monday, November 25, 2013

a marketing phenomenon

beaujolais nouveau 2013

the 2013 nouveau from chateau cambon is quite drinkable. (that's the remedy's wall through the meniscus)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


coffee and tv

a low-temperature v60 of los altos jinotega from square mile and a very hot glass of turmeric and black pepper tea.

Monday, October 28, 2013

st. john

light effect

there is so much hype about this restaurant that i didn't think i could enjoy it, but i did. very simple, very satisfying. and—a bonus—much attention paid to what is usually an unconsidered trifle: for instance, the  texture of a buttermilk pudding or an actual trifle. an establishment with a distinct and gentle sense of individual identity.
Here is a cure for any overindulgence, taught to me by my wise father: 2 parts Fernet Branca, 1 part Crème de Menthe, ice. Mix together and drink. Do not be put off by the colour. Be careful, this is so effective you can find yourself turning to its miraculous powers with increasing regularity. Do not let the cure become the cause.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


from anjou and the ardèche. the same, but very much not the same.
1) "ça faye douze" from philippe delmée in anjou, 2012 vintage. a VDF from cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, grolleau noir, pineau d'aunis. on opening, it was frothy from a tiny bit of bottle fermentation; there might have been volatile acidity too. it reminded me of what envol de la fille is like when first opened: light in texture, high-toned bright acidity, juicy berries, a crisp and lightly crunchy tannic profile. but with the leafiness and pepperiness of young cabernet franc (bell pepper) and pineau d'aunis (peppercorns). i could not tell what the cépage was from drinking it, but then i never can tell these things. it was the most perplexingly lively, joyous wine imaginable; a wine to make you smile and take another gulp. i saved much of it to see what would happen after a cold, slow airing. turns out, this wine is toast by day 2. the day after, it was not undrinkable but i wouldn't have gone back for a second glass.

2) "l'epicurien" from gregory guillaume in alba-la-romaine in the ardèche meridionale, 2012 vintage. 100% grenache from what i usually think of, apparently inaccurately, as syrah country. on opening, it was undelicious, with a pronounced funk and a bit of effervescence. i closed it up after a glass and left it in the fridge to air out slowly. on the second day, it was a different wine. slightly ashy with a fuzzy raspiness, it had all the good bits of the earlier cornelissen contadinos. the fruit was intensely present with a lazy sort of freshness just sufficient to stay interesting and not to tire. on the fourth day, it became bizarrely delicious: fresh strawberries, very soft tannins, and—at the very end of every sip, just after the swallow—the delicate puff of intense cherryskin aromatics that drift up through the sinuses and prolong the experience.
ça faye douze l'epicurien

Sunday, October 13, 2013

the apple report

yesterday was national apple day, which means we are now well into british apple season. there were many varieties at the marylebone farmers market, all glistening in the persistent and irritatingly chilly rain. and later, when i ducked into la fromagerie, i discovered box upon box of antique apples from brogdale, home of the national fruit collection. i may have bought too many apples.

the bramleys that no one here buys as an eating apple are firm and crunchy, very very tart—i like the slightly floral aroma of the rose-flushed ones that have been exposed to a lot of sun. very fresh, they are infinitely superior to granny smith. there was also a single box of blenheim orange, an old variety with a spectacularly rich, spicy, winey, high-acid flavour and crunchy-crisp bright white flesh. there is also more flavour variation through each individual fruit than i've noticed in any other apple. the crown gold is a type of jonagold (itself a cross of golden delicious and jonathan) on which the internet is mostly silent—the flavour is mild with moderate acidity but with a refreshing tinge of tannin not often found in the sweeter table apples and the texture is brilliant, lightly crisp and snappy. the grower claims that this is an apple with a long harvest period and which keeps well. one can hope but only time will tell. and i can report favourably about the flavour and texture of the new hybrid crimson crisp apple developed at purdue. not only is it a lurid and saturated crimson as advertised, its crispness is robust (unlike the friable crispness of a fuji or the noncommittal crispness of a red delicious) and the flavour intense and deep.

often what is called progress turns out to be merely a movement in some odd and ultimately fruitless direction; sometimes, it is an apple.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

le coffee report parisien

when coffee comes to paris it comes not single spies but in battalions.

last time i was here, more than five years ago, good coffee could not be found and no one knew what a micro-roaster was. today, it is a new coffee landscape. last week's was a short work visit focusing on the unusual innovation landscape of parisian fine dining (closest city sibling: tokyo), permitting only a limited coffee reconnoitre guided by emperor norton and their unnervingly pubescent dog, fergus. so: two coffee shops that serve good—in fact, excellent—coffee in carefully considered spaces.
in the 1st, télescope has many of the mechanical trappings of the very serious coffeeshop, including the fancy new mahlkönig ek43 grinder (which no one seems to really have figured out yet) and a marco über boiler. they make a finely balanced café creme (= capp; espresso from has bean in london) and their small but light, high-ceilinged space is a good place in which to drink it.

in the 3rd, the broken arm is a select shop with the predictable selection (limited edition nike frees, raf simons, expensive and laboriously designed periodicals). it is attached to a plywood-paneled coffee shop that could be in stockholm and, in fact, the coffee is from solberg & hansen in oslo.
the beans come from Far, Far Away because paris roasting infrastructure is still emerging. i was to visit two roaster-cafés the day i left town—belleville and lomi—but was unavoidably delayed by the extensive calvados collection at caves augé, including a green calvados on which the internet is mute. stay tuned for next time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

drinking high and low

krover letterlay

the beck's you already know about for its quenching quality and sweet malty lageriness. the 2004 vintage of martin müllen's krover letterlay spätlese riesling is what's currently available on the UK* retail market and is considerably less expensive than numerous rieslings that are significantly less delightful. it is thoroughly mosel in the nose—delicately ripe peaches—round and substantial, yet light in the mouth and with apparent (but i think almost no actual) sweetness. when unpacking, it is critical to remain thoroughly hydrated in order to not become disoriented among the mountains of newsprint.

* i've moved to london, fyi. and the müllen wines are only available in london through david motion's quite fine wine store, the winery, located conveniently close by.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

the scabbard is worth ten of the sword


the food at marianne—almost, but not quite, the smallest fine-dining restaurant i have ever seen—is what you eat every day if you are the clean plate ranger scion of an old british family for whom Upholding The Standards is of Paramount Importance, Crassness is to be avoided At All Costs, and Money is No Object. being of peasant stock, my favourite things were the potatoes: 1) a slab of fondant potato, edges precisely chamfered, browned in butter, then   s l o w l y  cooked in chicken stock, and 2) a velvety stiff purée of maris pipers liberally emulsified with brown butter. above, you see a porcelain plate containing some veal reduction, a sorrel leaf and stem, and no potatoes whatsoever.

an excellent establishment to which i intend to return when someone else is picking up the check.

Friday, September 27, 2013

the heel of the boot


waiting at the bar, i hazarded a glass of this, a inky red made from grape varieties i have despised in the past, from the very southern tip of italy: salento in puglia. the 2008 "calassu" from cascina leuzzi is concentrated and intense, all freshly washed dark red cherries and dark blue plums with dry and chewy tannins, yet clean, fresh, light on its feet—a marvelous balance and a joyous wine. a natural wine for the natural wine haters.

Friday, September 20, 2013

sticking a toe into the pool of tradition

clos de l'arlot

the last of a half-case bought after three markdowns. lots of variation among the bottles, with some clearly damaged by heat. but this was quite nice. beautifully integrated wood, white flowers and white flower honey, a little creamy—but nothing a chill can't fix. and then, a bit warmer, rich enough for pumpkin puttanesca.

Friday, August 30, 2013

how it's done


diana kennedy, who knows a lot about mexican regional and vernacular cooking, shows us how it's done.

to make chapulines, which everyone keeps a bag of in the freezer, all you need is a dry pan. salt the pan lightly, toast the grasshoppers until lightly browned to achieve a chitinous crunch and to kill off those pesky nematodes you don't want in you. then add lemon juice off the heat. liberally dispense thoughts about the authenticity of most so-called mexican foods (low) and the future of indigenous mexican edibles (dire). separately, have your cadre of starstruck minions begin to make the sauce. to do this, they will de-seed dried chiles into a bus tub, reserving the seeds for maximum flavour. pan-toast the chile seeds and chile flesh separately, then crush together into a paste with salt, raw garlic, and water. it helps to have a michelin-starred chef from ireland with a sense of humour operate the pestle.

the chapulines would have been great in a soft corn tortilla with finely diced onion and cilantro but copenhagen, for all its virtues, is not a taco town.

Saturday, August 24, 2013



sam and vic left noma and nearly instantly (by restaurant standards) opened their own place. it is not a hushed temple of gastronomy, nor does it stake its identity on precious ingredients. instead, some of the techniques of the new nordic kitchen, lusty cooking, a healthy sense of humour, lots of organs and what would, in a less thoughtful kitchen, be trash. expect an eyeball or two. in both food and service, bror shows where it came from and how it is different.

calm before the storm

the tent

here we are again, at refshaleøen for MAD3. the tent is up and there is a log full of young corn. now let's hope it doesn't rain.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

the scallop reveal

the scallop flitteth silken-sailed

chopsticks peel back a flap of raw scallop to expose an avocado cube, scallop roe, a shaving of not-overripe mango, and a drop of pique—a class of fruit and chili vinegars from puerto rico: new style, new world crudo with the finesse of old-school sashimi, from saison. before, a little bowl of egg custard, topped with gently cooked turnip slices and a tiny ball of wrung-out shungiku. and after, a barely warmed piece of lamb dry-aged for 60 days, lying on a pile of minted grilled eggplant and salt-cured lemon filled with the mediterranean scent of fire, scrub, and preservation.

go for the first courses, the fish, the furniture, and the extensive collection of exquisite glass and ceramic servingware. note: for those who have not yet exited their startups, the wine list may prove hard to swallow.



bread to use up the remnants of many small tubs of assorted flours, a bag of frozen walnut pieces, and a bundle of scallion tops—and not incidentally my last loaf, for now, as a resident of cambridge, mass. of course, this irreproducible, haphazard bread achieved the texture i plan and hope for but always, until now, have fallen far short of.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

the yellow peril

the yellow peril

one of new york city's extensive network of chinese tortillerias. the observant eye will detect a distinct visual similarity to your regular chinese restaurant takeout menu.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

the land of legendary fruit

plate tree fruit the land of legendary fruit

san francisco was wreathed in fog this morning but the sun broke through in walnut creek and it was in the high 80s with clear skies by the time we got to brentwood. thanks to friends in high places, we had the deluxe edition tour of frog hollow farm, a 140-acre tree fruit paradise containing, among other things, mind-altering apricots and a dazzling array of peach, plum, and pluot varieties that i have not yet tasted. i love fruit, and i especially love tree fruit: orchards are about the only form of agriculture that comes close to being genuinely sustainable.

alfred and sarah, co-owners, showed us around the farm. we saw: the new and fancy 10,000 case/day packing line which bruises their fruit because frog hollow picks riper than most growers do. the fragrant cold room, stacked high with cases of ripe fruit. the farm dog, which is an attention-seeking black labrador-esque animal with a cold nose. rows of alluring but unripe peaches, pears, plums, pluots, apples. a team of pickers on their third pass through a row of zee lady peaches (red-skinned but yellow-fleshed, with a rich flavour and good acid). moth pheromone emitters that interfere with moth sex and thus prevent moth larvae (good for the fruit, not so good for the moths). their full-time and seasonal staff, many of which have been with them for decades ("they're the best around: PhDs in picking and packing, every one of them"). many rows of superior-grade house-made organic compost, heavy on horse manure, chipped up old trees, and overripe peaches (managed by a consulting compost expert, turned over by a special compost-turning machine, and moistened by an 1100-gallon water tank on wheels). many fruit culled for not complying with arcane and pointless-seeming appearance guidelines—such as the peach in the picture third from the top, which suffers from "excessive cleavage." gopher holes (they like to chew on the roots of apricot and cherry, but not those of peach; a staff hunter prowls the property picking the varmints off with a shotgun). the aromatic bee gardens designed to attract the native terrestrial bees which nest underground. the neighbour's automated canning tomato harvesting machine in the adjacent field (it sucks up whole tomato plants and pours out the side a cascade of thick-skinned tomatoes at the rate of 150 tons/hour, many still green and underripe). a pickup truck destined for the farmer's market, bed completely filled with cases of ripe peaches and pluots gradually warming in the midday sun.

like a fool, i forgot—until it was far too late—to buy a case of peaches at the farm.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

harvest of the cold months*


a heat wave grips the northeast in its sweaty palm. pastis (lots of ice) is one way to show the heat who's boss. strawberry mascarpone and pistachio ice cream is another: pale pink and vegetal green are the colours of summer. from toscanini's, of course.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

piki bread

piki bread is a hopi ceremonial wafer made from a fine batter of nixtamalized blue cornmeal and cooked on a lightly oiled sandstone griddle. there is much to explore in the process. for one thing, the wafers, despite being both lean and ultrathin, are flexible enough to be folded and rolled into various shapes. for another, the nixtamalization is done on fine-ground cornmeal instead of whole kernels. this video of the process is instructive.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

culturally correct caffeination

hi-collar is a piece of taisho tokyo in the east village. it was a long way to go, even for kodawari coffee.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

california, north and south, 2011

Piedi grandi 2011
martian parallax 2011

piedi grandi i did not find completely successful, but maybe hank and the sierra foothills are learning what a nebbiolo/mourvedre/syrah blend should be. the first day, it was hot as hell and with not much else going on. purple in the glass with brick edges. on the second day, it had calmed down and opened up into some peppery dark fruit, blackcurrant leaf, and some aggressive tannins, but it was still essential to drink it chilled. on day three, it had the fresh elderflower and scrubby aromas of northern california on a hot day and an enticing sweetness that was enjoyable at something more closely approaching cellar temperature. i don't know if i would call this a conventionally complex and complicated wine, but it is a thought-provoking one that recalls the sense memory of a brief time in the mountains of northern california. if i had more bottles and if they were under cork, i would lay some down for research purposes.

the martian ranch parallax, which is all mourvedre from santa barbara county, has the same blackcurrant leaf aroma. most distinctive was the sensation of the wine in the mouth: a creamy, almost starchy quality that i've never encountered before. the fruit was inkily intense but there wasn't much acid to balance it. after a day open, it developed flavours of alcohol-soaked cherries and blackberries. it was unpleasant enough that i left it to sit, undisturbed, for a few more days in the refrigerator, at which point it had gotten over the booziness and was subdued wood and vanilla, delicate cherry, cream, and a little of the tephra ashiness that marks nerello mascalese from etna.

is mourvedre the unheralded terroir grape of the cooler and less fashionable regions of northern california? i would certainly leap at the chance for another stab at la clarine's 2011 cedarville mourvedre. california is 1.44 times the size of italy.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

the worst

lyle fass pulls no punches:
The worst wine in the world has to be really bad Pinot Noir from Burgundy. Thin, stewey, vegetal, green, almost like drinking a puddle, with no finish and weedy. Truly like they got all the dirt, hay and moss and liquified it and added like one small cherry, dyed it red, slapped a label on it and that was that.
it is a good thing to have an opinion.

Friday, June 14, 2013

the miller's grape

jean gabin

thierry puzelat's wines have always pushed my boundaries pleasurably outward. the 2010 le rouge et mis is 100% pinot meunier, a grape i have hitherto knowingly encountered only in champagne. the scent of ripe strawberries and red dates (also characteristic of the olivier cousin grolleau that i've been drinking a lot of) rises from the bottle as soon as it is opened. though low in alcohol and with not much in the way of tannins, it is surprisingly intense. there is much ripe (possibly even overripe) fruit and, most notably, a powerful but not overpowering vinous acidity. unredeemably cloudy but still limpid in the mouth, it is worthwhile to serve it chilled to start and to pour generously. nor would a decanter hurt. a refreshing, joyous, remarkable wine.

maximum capacity

after dinner

over-proof rum should be consumed judiciously, he observed.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

in the mail

in the mail

from sandra and brad, some fruits of natural advantage: golden sweet apricots and crimson lady peaches from frog hollow farm. a box to make you miss california.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


the pass

the cooking is smart, idiosyncratic, and skews sweet with carefully hidden acid balance. as often as not the kitchen brings your food to you. there are no uniforms and the playlist is dominated by ... well, you can hear for yourself.

generous and comfortable in its own skin, asta is worth a visit.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

after service

L: many rum punch.
R: a simple burger with foie gras terrine scraps and pickle chips.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

the straggler

last night, we opened a bottle of cédric bouchard's inflorescence (a blanc de noirs from a single parcel in the val de vilaine). golden and only lightly effervescent, with compellingly mellow and vinous yet lively acid and none of the harsh carbonic acidity of sparklier champagnes and cremants. a remarkably beautiful champagne of depth, grace, and lightness that i actually want to drink—preferably in quantity and after (heresy i know) it has warmed up a little and gotten a bit of air. why did four half-glasses of it get sent off the table to be poured down the drain? at the end of the night, we found a micropour left in the bottle and gave it a good home.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

the perils of variance

Now, he says, "Dominique Saibron is one of the best three or four bakeries in France, but there are so many different factors involved in baking bread. It's different each time." ... When asked to sample one of Dominique Saibron's baguettes, Professor Kaplan turns somber. "I worry about tasting because I want it to be good and on many occasions, it's disappointing."
lennox morrison, "the best baguette in paris"

Saturday, May 25, 2013

sicilian overload


otto is never crowded at lunch, the vegetables are good, and the pastas are usually excellent. bucatini all'amatriciana seems to be a menu staple and is always portioned with restraint and generously supplied with guanciale. the list of wines by the bottle is intimidatingly long, but worth attention. munjebel 8 is 100% nerello mascalese grown on the slopes of mt. etna, from frank cornelissen's 2010 vintage. extraordinarily intense, and with the scent of freshly wetted tephra—carbonic, limestoney, ashy. full of unexpected contradictions, it is rich and deep, brittle and vibratory, dense and weightless. but maybe more dense than weightless. a single glass would have been perfect; three at lunch was perhaps a bridge too far.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

4-napkin snack

i took my bike over to the north end today to spend a lot of someone else's money on wine—which is the best way to do it. but before that, a slice and a panzarotto (potato variant) at umberto, and a plain cannolo, no icing sugar, from modern.

umberto umberto modern

also, public interest announcement: the la clarine "sumu kaw" syrah and piedi grandi (nebbiolo, syrah, and mourvedre) are available at the wine bottega.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

changing my mind about california

cedarville fenaughty

baklava della nonna

idle conversation in dwelltime about how easy it is to make baklava led to baklava made in north cambridge by channeling the spirit of a turkish grandmother who relocated to italy for the weather: the baklava method, applied to ricotta, raisins, and pine nuts. why is there not a thai baklava, stuffed with roasted coconut, crushed peanuts, lime, a bit of sweet fried onion, palm sugar, and topped with powdered shrimp and sweet mint?

what happens at dwelltime stays at dwelltime

Sunday, May 5, 2013

way off strip

it is unfair that las vegas has two of the country's best thai restaurants, and more unfair still that both of them also have lovingly assembled wine lists that allow the rare pleasure of eating great thai food while drinking something other than beer or a thai iced tea. lotus of siam you already know about. the other one is a new spot across town located, as many good vegas restaurants are, in a stripmall shoebox way off the strip. chada thai and wine is the new project by the guy who used to be lotus's wine director. his wine list at chada is smaller but filled with tantalising and fairly priced prospects, none of which i got to try.

he's also cooking the food, and the food was wonderful while being less expensive than a mediocre takeout thai restaurant. intensely flavoured, beautifully balanced stuff in small portions. many elements reminded me of the cooking of southern china and the malay archipelago: less sour, more sweet, more not-chili spice, less heat, more coconut, the use of sweetly acid fruit like plums instead of acidly sweet fruit like tamarind, a different fermentary flavour profile. we were on our way to the airport and only had time to try a few things, but each was a marvel. a dry crab, roasted coconut, and ginger salad portioned into romaine cups; the dipping sauce was unnecessary. fine rice noodles, soaked, wound into skeins, steamed, then served next to a small bowl of turmeric-filled crab red curry. and a spice-heavy kua kling that was a textbook example of how to fry-render ground meat.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

the right order

ordering right

despite the FAA sequester, we managed to converge on the lotus of siam for lunch on friday and i managed to order just enough food.

outstanding: fried dried beef (nua dad deaw), a uniquely textured and tenderly fibrous dish of wok-cooked pounded jackfruit and pork (thum-ka-noon), and a warm salad of fermented sausage and fried rice (nam kao tod).

late in the game, after the lunch crowd had dispersed, we really splashed out. the scholium project's nutty blend of cabernet, merlot, and petite sirah from separate vineyards (the 2005 "satrapies of the east") needed more air than we had time to give it. it was tangy and vibrating but quiet and reflective nonetheless; lighter-seeming than its 15% of alcohol. filled with dark purple fruit and plenty of tannins still, a wondrous, confusing silk purse made from a sow's ear.

Saturday, April 27, 2013



viva las arepas is on the strip a couple of miles south of downtown. i went there to continue my commitment on this trip to getting around entirely by human-powered means while eating only interesting foods. these arepas are freshly griddled, with crunchy outsides and delicate crumb; not dense and leathery masa-pucks. the pernil is rich with flavour and fat, but the grease is well under control. they are generous with the arepa stuffings, to a fault. if you enjoy fresh corn and cheese, you will enjoy their cachapa. it travels poorly, mostly because it is so delicious fresh off the griddle. for dessert, have a guava and cheese pastelito, which they will fry for you on demand. the salsas are outstanding. with your arepas come squeezebottles. one contains a bright green raw salsa of parsley, jalapeno, garlic, lettuce, cilantro and water—a completely pureed chimichurri. the other is a brilliant, lush, cooked salsa of roasted red tomatillos, jalapenos, serranos, garlic, parsley, and chicken stock.

worth the walk through the the tacky wedding chapel district.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

taco de adobada

serious business serious business

i found my way to tacos el gordo thanks to dave feldman, who points out that it's excellent even when it has no need to be. this taco is serious: freshly-made corn tortilla griddled in pork drippings, then filled with just-sliced shavings of chile-spiced grilled pork, dressed with salsas of tomatillo and avocado, chopped onion and cilantro, and topped with a warm raw pineapple baton. i went back for another.

"treat yourself to deliciousness daily!"


the remains of a bowl of khao soi and a plate of nam prik noom, at the lotus of siam. it is worth mentioning that the coconut cream on their sweet sticky rice is lightly flavoured with something that makes it improbably tasty. galangal? and let's not forget their wine list containing a slew of rieslings from rebholz. extraordinary.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


de moor, aligote 2011

every famous wine region has an Underdog Grape. burgundy's is aligoté. malolactic fermentation supposedly went to completion in this vintage, but it sure doesn't taste that way. perfectly clean with beautifully balanced acidity and a touch of austere and dusty herbage. another glass always seems like a good idea. and maybe another piece of something chalky, creamy, and goaty.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

blanc bleu de rizet

blanc bleu de rizet

courtesy of our man at murray's. chalky, unctuous, briny, delicious, good for arteries and cholesterol count.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

creams and ices

with 4x cardamaro, followed by yet another spectacular tart (rhubarb this time) and a cheese whose name i forget.

juniper, buttermilk thyme, and arabic coffee, at bondir

the sausage looked like meatballs, the meatballs like salami

at regina, the correct number of large pizzas to order for a 6-person group is 3, not 4. while some may ask the kitchen for extra oil on the mediterranean, it may be prudent to add it at the table instead.

too much pizza