Sunday, April 25, 2010

Coffee @ RBC in Tribeca

Cortado at RBD in Tribeca - yes the new coffee joint with the Slayer espresso machine. It was pretty tasty and the chocolate chip cookie wasn't half bad either.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bordeaux and Lamb

There are some wine and meat combinations that just excite me - lamb and Bordeaux is one of those things. The only thing missing was a chunk of sharp old cheddar. The lamb was a small hunk from a leg I picked up Whole Foods on Union Square, just simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. And the Bordeaux? A fun little Chateau Bourgneuf 1989 from Pomerol. It was fresh, alive, youthful, structured, with minerals, dark fruits, berries, and smoke. Just the way a Bordeaux should be - and just spot on with the roasted leg of lamb.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ithaca is... Art

I always liked I.M. Pei's Herbert F. Johnson Art Museum at Cornell, but did they improve the art work contained in the building since 1993? I also discovered they are building an extension to the museum using the original I.M. Pei design. Even if you don't enjoy the artwork, the views alone are worth the visit - both from the top floor and the open air sculpture area.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mescal, Lime, Garlic Marinated Wild Florida Shrimp

I keep on writing this, but it really is the simple things in life that seem to taste the best. Medium sized shell on wild Florida shrimp from The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market marinated for about 30 minutes in mezcal, lime juice, olive oil, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
Pan fry the shrimp over medium high / high heat and flame the mescal to burn off the alcohol. The shrimp will be pink and cooked and the marinating liquid will be reduced and delicious. Serve over a slice of crusty country bread. Simple. Perfect.

Ithaca is... Fences

Traveling back to your old stomping grounds can be both surreal and fun. And after a while, it is easy to sound like an old codger when you hear yourself say "back in the day", "I remember when", "what happened to".

This past weekend I visited a piece of my youth - the old college days - with a number of friends. We headed back to Cornell. Cornell has been in the news recently - and not in a good way. The continued reputation as the suicide university has not diminished and the recent spate of suicides resulted in metal mesh fences being constructed over bridge walkways which are over a gorge. No longer is the statement: "Ithaca is Gorges" a true one. Well in the purest sense of the statement, it is, but.... Ithaca is now Fences as the architecture students so aptly described.
Aside from the fences, it was a beautiful weekend. The weather cooperated and even gave us a chance to remember the old days with a very brief snow storm at 2am. The perfect end to our first evening: a trip to Hot Truck, a stumble up Libe Slope, and a snow storm whirling around the clock tower. Does it ever get better than a PMP (or whatever your favorite French bread pizza was)?

The next day was ablaze with sun and provide the opportunity for a hungover, but delightful walk around campus to remember the days of yore.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring Smelts and Peas

As Spring finally begins to emerge from Winter, we get to re-experience all kinds of foods we haven't seen in a while - like catching up with old friends. Wild Canadian Smelts from The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market paired with fresh peas with mint and a bottle of Vare 2004 Bianco Salle Bucce from Chambers Street Wines. A very easy preparation all around.

The Smelts
1. In a bowl combine about 1/2 cup of flour with salt and pepper (and whatever other seasoning might take your fancy such as paprika, cayenne, etc.)
2. Pat the smelts dry and dust them in the flour seasoning mixture.
3. In a saute pan, over medium high heat, add some olive oil to amply coat the bottom of the pan.
4. When the oil is hot and rippling, add the smelts.
5. Pan fry until golden brown on both sides.

The Peas
1. Shell the peas.
2. Add the peas to a pot of salted boiling water.
3. Simmer for about 3 minutes or until the peas are al dente - softer but still have a pop.
4. Drain and in the same pot add a splash of olive oil, chopped mint, season to taste.
5. Toss and serve.

The Wine
Vare 2004 Bianco Sulle Bucce (Pinot Grigio, Ribolla Gialla, Sauvignon Blanc, Tocai Friulano, Pinot Blanc)
Rescued out of the bargain bin at Chambers Street Wines. A Napa Valley 500ml orange wine. You can see why this was not a hot seller for the average California Sauvignon Blanc drinker - especially at about $27 a bottle. But for those that love Radikon style orange wines - this was a real drinker. Very dark, slightly oxidative, great balance, mild tannins, orange peel, grapefruit,