"Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page monitor the pulse of the food world like nobody's business. There's a fantastic database of restaurant reviews, too."
— Babbo pastry chef Gina DePalma
Thursday, October 30, 2008 — Today's YouTube video count: 586. Thanks! And if you're looking for ways to turn tricky foods with wines into delicious treats, please check out our column in yesterday's Washington Post:
"Loud" flavors — hot, spicy and/or acidic — can be tricky to pair with wine. There's no faster way to obliterate the nuances of a wine than to serve it with a dish whose flavors will jump out and make those subtleties disappear.
Still, there's no reason to let such potential peril spook you. Here are some guidelines to make the matches work.
The palate falsely perceives the sharpness of piquancy as "hot," so it's natural to seek cooling relief. As a rule, avoid wines that are high in alcohol, oak and tannin, which can either clash or just fan the flames. For the best pairing, consider the specific ingredient:
Fresh chili peppers: As a general rule, the fresh vegetal flavors of chilies are a better match with white wines than with reds. With dishes featuring jalapeños, New World sauvignon blancs tend to pair best; both herbaceous and grapefruit-driven styles are useful in pairing with similarly flavored dishes. When fresh chilies are served as part of Thai curries, which often feature sweet coconut milk and spicy ginger, we prefer off-dry, spicy and aromatic whites, most often Riesling.
Dried chili peppers: Their smoky earthiness tends to go better with red wines. The combination of red wine and scallops may seem frightening, but that proved to be one of our favorite pairings of the year when we visited Janos Restaurant in Tucson in March. Chef-owner Janos Wilder matched seared diver sea scallops with Spanish chorizo, chipotle Muscat sauce and candied orange zest with a fruity Spanish red: a pinot noir-like 2005 Las Rocas de San Alejandro El Renegado Garnacha ($10 at MacArthur Beverages). With its own hint of smoke, it perfectly mirrored the smoky notes of the dish.
Brian Cook, wine director at Redwood in Bethesda, serves a fruity wine with the restaurant's mildly spicy braised short-rib chili seasoned with ancho chilies. Among the possibilities are a pinot noir, such as Serenity Pinor Noir from California's Central Coast, and a fuller-bodied shiraz with mild tannins, such as Cat Amongst the Pigeons Nine Lives Shiraz from Australia's Barossa Valley.
Horseradish: The choice depends on the dish, of course, but we lean toward bubbles. A non-vintage champagne or rosé champagne will help cleanse the palate. Other high-acid wines work well, too, and with a horseradish-based shrimp cocktail, we've had the best luck pairing with New Zealand sauvignon blanc. If you're the one cooking, add cream to horseradish to make it more wine-friendly. We love the combination of a rare steak with horseradish cream sauce and a fruity, low-tannin merlot.
Hot mustard: This condiment is not only hot but acidic, so make sure the wine has its own acidity to stand up to the food. Mustard is a natural with sausages: With white-meat sausages think white wine (Riesling or unoaked chardonnay); with red-meat sausages think fruity reds (such as Beaujolais, pinot noir or zinfandel).
Wasabi: Because William Washington, manager of Blue Duck Tavern in the West End, likes to pair to a dish's region of origin, foods with fiery wasabi notes lead him to Japanese rice wine. His first thought when pairing wasabi-accented sushi, or even a miso-and-wasabi-crusted piece of salmon, is sake.
Although we love sake at least as much as the next oenophile, rosé champagne is another delicious way to go with that wasabi-crusted salmon. A pinot noir-based sparkler will complement the fish, and the bubbles will help cleanse the palate of the wasabi's bite.
When the perceived heat on the palate is the result of actual spiciness -- as in Indian cuisine, for example -- remember that the root of the word "Gewuerztraminer" is "spice." Indeed, the fruitiness, spice and hint of sweetness in Gewuerztraminer and similar varietals such as off-dry Riesling play beautifully against the spice of aromatic Indian dishes. We'd steer red wine lovers toward a fruity zinfandel.
Dishes high in acidity, whether from citrus or vinegar, can be overpowering. So remember the maxim "acid loves acid," and pair high-acid foods with high-acid wines. For example, we've enjoyed seviche with a virtual around-the-world tour of high-acid whites, from champagne to New Zealand sauvignon blanc to Trocken Riesling to Spanish albariño.
Every one of those matches was, if you'll pardon the Halloween pun, bewitching.
Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, authors of "The Flavor Bible" and "What to Drink With What You Eat," can be reached through their Web site, http://www.becomingachef.com, or at email@example.com. Their Pairings column appears the last Wednesday of the month.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 — It's been interesting to see word get out about our YouTube video for THE FLAVOR BIBLE: On Friday morning, it had 71 views. By the end of the day, it had 305. It hit 400 views on Sunday, and 500 views yesterday. Thanks for helping to "spread the gospel"....
"Fantastic! 21st Century! Karen, wear that blue again and again! I'll send to others...Good job!"
"Cool YouTube book trailer — it looks great, and appears destined to be another best-selling kitchen must-have!"
"It's a great piece! Well done. I want to turn off my computer, and find a pumpkin and bay leaves right now."
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career
it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
by Max Ehrmann
A poster featuring "Desiderata" hung on the wall of Karen's bedroom as a teen, but she hadn't thought of it in years until today fragments ("If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter....") entered her mind.
Living in a city like New York, it's all too easy to feel dwarfed by others' level of accomplishment and financial wealth, even during the current downturn. But then we remember that there are neighbors in need all around us.
It's been especially heartbreaking to hear how far donations to one of our favorite charities — Citymeals-on-Wheels — have fallen this year (as Wall Street firms were among its leading donors), necessitating cutbacks in the number of meals it's able to deliver to the homebound elderly.
Virtually everyone has been affected by the current economy — but if you're still able to share a little with others even less fortunate, we hope you'll consider making a much-needed contribution to Citymeals.
Thursday, October 23, 2008 — Welcome to our YouTube debut! We hope you'll take a moment to check out our brand-new video for THE FLAVOR BIBLE here.
Our thanks to everyone who contributed to the creation of this video, including everyone at Little, Brown (and especially Carolyn O'Keefe), TurnHere producer Kelly Duane and videographer Chris Cassidy, and our amazingly photogenic and passionate readers: West Bank Cafe chef Joe Marcus, Forge pastry chef Jenny McCoy and dancer/choreographer Jody Oberfelder (with a special thank-you to aspiring chef Jasper Oberfelder-Riehm).
The gorgeous photography is the work of THE FLAVOR BIBLE's photographer Barry Salzman, while the gorgeous location is the state-of-the-art kitchen at the Maison des Relais & Chateaux, at 10 East 53rd Street (bet. Madison and Fifth Avenues) in Manhattan.
We had a signing yesterday at the Hastings Farmers Market
Our signing table, overlooking the scenic Hudson River
Entries in the Market's annual Apple Pie Contest
After our judging duties were over, we had the pleasure of
strolling the market...
...to the backdrop of wonderful live music
We even got to meet the woman responsible for the
edible flowers in a photo on p. 257 of THE FLAVOR
Nancy MacNamara of Honey Locust Farm House, who
here with Andrew holding the book
At Dines Farms' stand, we asked Nellie Doyle about her
favorite mushrooms, and were a little surprised when she
chose the mild buttons.
"I'm Irish!" she joked.
Thanks to a tip from Pascale, Andrew brought a knife bag full
of knives to have sharpened by Matt Westall, whose motto is
"Where There's Never...A Dull Moment" He asked where this
photo would be published, and we teased, "Playgirl — is
problem?" Apparently not, since he then good-naturedly
mugged for our camera.
Looking sharp, Matt!
"People are craving community and turning to Facebook, while we've created the real thing right here at the Hastings Farmers Market."
—Pascale Le Draoulec, director, Hastings Farmers Market
Sunday, October 19, 2008 — We logged a lot of mileage yesterday without even leaving the state: Yesterday morning, we took the train to Hastings-on-Hudson for a book signing and discussion at the Hastings Farmers Market, which has been turned into a destination by the multi-talented Pascale LeDraoulec, the award-winning restaurant critic and American Pie author who now channels her passion for food into using it to create community. (Any farmers market whose motto is "The Most Fun You'll Ever Have In a Parking Lot" is our kind of market!)
Talk about "Life of Pi(e)": After our signing, we also served a hurried stint on the judging panel (with Andre, a seasoned publishing executive and apple pie judge who also cooks up a mean vegetable curry!) for the Market's annual Apple Pie Contest, slicing, tasting, evaluating and discussing 19 pies in less than an hour.
Then last night we made our way to Park Slope for the 50th birthday celebration of a dear friend for nearly half those years. While it proved to be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with some mutual friends, we also learned that our friend's oldest daughter — whom we've known since her birth — was just accepted into a PhD program in neuroscience, which made us feel ancient!
Gwenael Laroche of Domaine Laroche and Daniel Boulud
introduce the kitchen
team that prepared a magical lunch
Andrew & Karen w/Chef Daniel Boulud, holding THE FLAVOR
BIBLE (which is dedicated to him, and two other chefs)
"God Does Not Refuse Grace to One
Who Does What He Can" promises a
church sign near Restaurant Daniel
Friday, October 17, 2008 — We were still smarting from some unexpected unpleasant news when we headed off to a luncheon event yesterday for which we'd RSVPed weeks before and had already reconfirmed. So we put on suits and forced smiles and headed to Restaurant Daniel for a tasting of Domaine Laroche's vintage 2006 Premier and Grand Cru Wines. Thus did this extraordinary restaurant work its magic yet again in our lives: The majestic ambiance, professional service, exceptional cuisine, exquisite wines, and warm company magically elevated our moods, confirming the reason we'd dedicated our latest book to chef-owner Daniel Boulud and two other chefs.
After lunch as we strolled down Park Avenue, we came across a church sign that read "God Does Not Refuse Grace to One Who Does What He Can."
So, we're focusing on doing what we can, and hoping for grace...
Singer-songwriter Judy Collins at the piano
Judy Collins on her guitar
Monday, October 13, 2008 — Reading Stephen Holden's review of Judy Collins' tribute concert at the Public Theater on Friday "Judy Collins As a Writer And a Muse" in today's New York Times brought back the goosebumps we both felt to hear her perform at a private concert this past spring. A dear friend's 50th birthday party turned out to be not only a surprise for the birthday girl, but for all of us who gathered for dinner to celebrate it: Before the first course, Collins walked into the room with her guitar and went on to perform some of her greatest hits. Anyone who's lived in the United States over the past 40 years would find her unmistakable folk soprano instantly familiar, and its resonant quality (especially after so long a career) almost miraculous. The goosebumps were involuntary. The standing ovation she received after the first song might have been, too, as all of us almost instinctively seemed to recognize at the same moment that we were sharing the room with a talent who had been part of the soundtrack of our lives consciously or unconsciously for decades, and we wanted her to know that we knew it.
Strolling Manhattan streets to visit bookstores Saturday
THE FLAVOR BIBLE at Kitchen Arts & Letters, where Matt
Sartwell told us they'd already had to reorder a few times
Kendall, Claudia with WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU
EAT, and Karen at Barnes & Noble on Lex near 86th Street
The top-right corner of the menu at Big Nick's on Broadway
book CHEF'S NIGHT OUT: "Very good meat."
Big Nick's Bacon Cheeseburger with "very good meat" indeed!
Sunday, October 12, 2008 — Yesterday we visited a number of bookstores around Manhattan to "check on the kids," as we like to call it. The highlight is always stopping by Kitchen Arts & Letters, where they actually have some idea who we are (as opposed to one Barnes & Noble location where they were so blasé about having authors in that they even couldn't bother looking up to make eye contact) and sometimes even have our book in the window, as was the case yesterday for THE FLAVOR BIBLE. KA&L manager Matt Sartwell then made our day by telling us they'd already had to reorder the book a few times.
Our best-known books until recently had been our first two — BECOMING A CHEF and CULINARY ARTISTRY — so we're used to being known as the authors of either or both of those. But both yesterday and during our recent book tour travels, we've had the new experience of being recognized as the authors of WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, about which many people have been just as passionate — including bookseller Claudia Sorsby at Barnes & Noble, who told us that she'd given it as a gift to her father-in-law. Claudia and her colleague Kendall Boone told us that they're often asked to recommend books, and that they were happy to learn about THE FLAVOR BIBLE.
The day after Black Friday was beautifully sunny in Manhattan, and we both noticed more New Yorkers strolling the streets enjoying an affordable luxury — a soft-serve ice cream cone — than we've ever seen before. Our own indulgence of choice was sharing a bacon cheeseburger at Big Nick's on the Upper West Side. We've been fans ever since some of Manhattan's best chefs had recommended it to us while researching our book CHEF'S NIGHT OUT, and it's nice to have it confirmed that the recommendation of "very good meat" still holds true!
Big Nick's is at 2175 Broadway (near 77th Street) in Manhattan, and is open 24 hours. Web: bignicksnyc.com
Kitchen Arts & Letters is at 1435 Lexington Avenue (near 94th Street) in Manhattan. Web: www.kitchenartsandletters.com. Keep your eyes open when you visit, as there are almost invariably visiting chefs and culinary authors — Matt told us that we just missed running into Jose Andres and Ferran Adria yesterday.
THE FLAVOR BIBLE
Singer Sarah McLachlan with Andrew
Satellite Radio's offices
Thursday, October 9, 2008 — We love our interviews at Sirius Satellite Radio, because we're invariably running into the most interesting people there, from the wonderful hosts themselves to fellow guests.
Yesterday — after our fun conversation about THE FLAVOR BIBLE with hilarious host Frank DeCaro — it was bestselling Grammy-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, whose music we've played so often that if they were LPs instead of CDs, the grooves would have long worn out! She couldn't have been lovelier or more gracious.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 — Our sincere thanks to our two friends who managed to whisk us away from our computers last night for a wonderful dinner (kicked off with perfect Kumamoto and Beau Soleil oysters and a delectable trio of amuses-bouche) at Wild Edibles on Third Avenue — as well as to talented executive chef Paul Jambor who created our feast!
Wild Edibles is at 535 Third Avenue near 35th Street, Manhattan. (212) 213-8552. Web: www.wildedibles.com
Radio host Frank DeCaro is bi...coastal. (As fans of "Seinfeld" might add, "not that there's anything wrong with that.")
Join us as we talk with funnyman Frank about our new book THE FLAVOR BIBLE on "The Frank DeCaro Show" on Sirius OutQ Radio today at 12:15 pm.
Monday, October 6, 2008 — Today at 11:30 am ET, we're looking forward to speaking with Mike Colameco, the popular host of "Food Talk" on WOR Radio (710 AM), about our new book THE FLAVOR BIBLE.
We always love our conversations with Mike, who is a former profesional chef with truly broad knowledge of food and cooking. Join us all on WOR Radio 710 AM in New York City.
Sunday, October 5, 2008 — Today at noon ET (9 am PT), we're looking forward to speaking with Chef Jamie Gwen (and Lana Sills) about our new book THE FLAVOR BIBLE on their radio show based in southern California on 97.1 FM. (You can also listen live online on Chef Jamie's Web site at www.chefjamie.com.)
From today's headlines in The Vindicator:
Rock band selected for Midwest showcase
YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO — Rick Miclea, 22, of Youngstown is finding success as the bass guitarist in the Wheeling-Steubenville based metal-rock band Karen Page. The band has been selected as one of six finalists in the Midwest showcase of the Independent Music World Series. It will play Oct. 16 at the Elbo Room in Chicago. More than 2,000 bands entered the contest. Twelve judges from record labels, music companies, producers and media will be on hand to select a Midwest winner. The grand prize winner will receive an awards package worth $50,000. Karen Page will perform a 20-minute set of its original music. The IMWS was started in 1995 to showcase the best independent music artists in the country.
Karen & Andrew at the Japanese Garden in Portland, OR,
during the sanest moment of our West Coast book tour
Friday, October 3, 2008 — Because of our limited time in each city to "get the word out" about THE FLAVOR BIBLE, we tend to jam-pack each day with as many interviews and bookstore visits as humanly possible, which is exhausting. When we found ourselves with a free hour in Portland, we had a decision to make: head back to the hotel to take a nap, or drive out to visit what's been called the most extraordinary Japanese Garden outside of Japan.
Opting for the latter delivered the single sanest hour of our entire book tour. A passerby offered to take our photo, which we accepted only if she'd let us take hers in the same spot — so the moment was even captured above!
Portland's Japanese Garden is at www.japanesegarden.com.
THE FLAVOR BIBLE in Vancouver
Yam and greens appetizer at chefs Vikram Vij and Meeru
restaurant Rangoli in Vancouver
Our chicken and lamb curries at Rangoli in Vancouver
Crossing Vancouver's Granville Bridge
toward our hotel was
the second sanest moment of our book tour
Karen and Andrew with host Fanny Kiefer of Studio 4
Karen with CBC Radio host Margaret Gallagher, who took us
on our first visit
to the Granville
Market to interview us
A full house at Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks on Tuesday
Global TV host Nathan Fong with Andrew, and Glenys Morgan
Left: The door heading downstairs to the Salt Cellar
Right: Andrew and Karen with blogger Owen Lightly (c.)
Andrew and Karen with bookseller Barbara-jo McIntosh of
Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks in Vancouver
We've never missed visiting chef-restaurateurs Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala's restaurant Rangoli and/or Vij's on every visit to Vancouver. Our dinner two years ago at Vij's was the best Indian meal we've ever experienced in North America. (Manhattan's Devi served up the best we've experienced in the United States, btw.)
We interviewed both Vikram (whom we've met previously in Vancouver, New York and even Chicago) and Meeru (without having met her) for THE FLAVOR BIBLE, and it was a pleasure to finally meet Meeru in person on this trip!
It was also a pleasure to be interviewed in Vancouver by TV host Fanny Kiefer of Studio 4 (whom we like to call "the Matt Lauer of Vancouver") CBC radio host Margaret Gallagher (whom we're grateful took us for our first-ever visit to the Granville Market), and Global TV host Nathan Fong (who graciously hosted our TV shoot in his home).
And no culinary author passing through Vancouver would ever dream of doing so without the support of culinary bookseller extraordinaire Barbara-jo McIntosh of Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks. She and her staff — including the fabulous Glenys Morgan and Mark Holmes — at this wonderful bookstore are treasures! We had not one but two wonderful events, thanks to Barbara-jo: an evening in her bookstore, followed by the next at The Salt Cellar (an impressive ode to charcuterie and wine), where it was a pleasure to finally meet blogger Owen Lightly, with whom we'd corresponded about his admiration (and that of his fellow posters) for our book CULINARY ARTISTRY.
Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks is at www.bookstocooks.com
CBC Radio airs host Margaret Gallagher's "Flavour of the Week" on the show "Early Edition." Web: www.cbc.ca
Rangoli is at 1488 11th Avenue West in Vancouver. Vij's is right next door. Web: www.vijsrangoli.ca
The Salt Cellar is literally in the cellar of the Salt Tasting Room on Blood Alley in Gastown. Web: www.salttastingroom.com
Studio 4 is the long-running talk show hosted by Fanny Kiefer on Shaw TV at www.studio4.ca.
Thursday, October 2, 2008 — That's it. We don't stand a chance at ever catching up: on email, on thank-you notes, on anything. Or at least that's how it feels today, after returning home from the most recent leg of our book tour.
But we'll keep trying. A few quick things:
* This afternoon from 4-5 pm ET, you can hear our interview with Martha Stewart's Lucinda Scala Quinn about THE FLAVOR BIBLE on "EatDrink" on Sirius Radio. (Not yet a subscriber? It takes less than 60 seconds to sign up for a free three-day trial so you can listen in, and it doesn't even require a credit card!)
* Want to see the smile on Andrew's face while tasting his first-ever "chee-borger" at the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago? (OK, you'll probably only get the reference if you were a fan of "Saturday Night Live" a few decades ago....) Don't miss Chicago Sun-Times' Dave Hoekstra's October 1st column "Savor the Flavor: Pair Creates Food Encyclopedia That Makes Sense of Foods and Their Pairings."
* Our own column in The Washington Post two weeks ago that applied the Enneagram personality typing system to wine is the subject of Queens librarian Laura Lutz's September 25th Blog. You can read our column "Picks with Personality" that inspired it here.
flanked by Seattle bloggers Ron of Cornichon, Michael
Keren of Frantic Foodie,
Lunch, and Jake of Daily Munch
Photo credit: Traca of Seattle Tall Poppy
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 — We slept in our own bed last night for the first time in more than a week, after being on tour with our new book THE FLAVOR BIBLE. We've returned with delicious memories of seeing old friends, meeting even more new ones, and discovering some fantastic bites we can't wait to share. Our thanks to everyone who made our stops in Vancouver, Portland and Seattle this past week such a pleasure!
A special thank-you to Keren Brown, the Seattle food blogger behind Frantic Foodie who — despite being eight months pregnant — managed to organize an impromptu gathering of a half-dozen fellow food bloggers to meet with us over coffee at Muse Coffee Co. in Queen Anne shortly after we arrived in Seattle. Thanks to all the bloggers — including Ron of Cornichon, Michael of Herbivoracious, Mark of Plate Lunch, Jake of Daily Munch, and Traca of Seattle Tall Poppy — who welcomed us so warmly to the city!
Talk about warm welcomes: Minutes after our arrival in town, Karen had her nails done at Etherea by her first-ever male manicurist, who turned out to be the handsome and charming Peter Crook, a Juilliard alum who is starring in the one-man play "The Fever" by Wallace Shawn at New City Theater next week. (If we were still in Seattle, we wouldn't miss it!) Meanwhile, Andrew picked up a couple of half-bottles of wine for our hotel room at Pike & Western, an impressive wine shop that impressed him even more when they pulled out their trusted copy of our book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT from behind their counter!
We'll be sharing more tales from the book tour trail in the days to come. In the meantime, you can view photos on our Web site's News & Events page here.
Two pastry chefs stopped by to have their copies of our book
THE FLAVOR BIBLE signed at Chicago's Green City Market
Aurora of The Book Stall in Winnetka with Karen
Andrew with Jean of The Book Stall in Winnetka
Sunday, September 21, 2008 — Most of the year, we spend a lot of time in front of our computers thinking about our readers and their needs. So what we love most about going out on book tour is having the chance to actually connect with them "live," to see their smiling faces and hear from them what they're most interested in. These exchanges are invaluable in prodding our own thinking along and even sparking new ideas (and, yes, selling copies of our latest book!).
Having just returned from Chicago, we're very grateful for our visits with readers who are already so enthusiastic about our new book THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our signing at Chicago's wonderful Green City Market on Wednesday morning, including Tim from Blackbird and Paul Virant from Vie restaurant. And a special thanks to Aurora and Jean of The Book Stall in Winnetka, who were so lovely to chat with as they handled book sales at the market.
Disappointed to miss us in Chicago? Not to worry — we're due to be back in mid-November, and we'll hope to see you then!
For details on our upcoming appearances in Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, Washington, DC; Chicago, and elsewhere, please see our News and Events page.
The Book Stall is at 811 Elm Street in Winnetka. Phone: (847) 446-8880. Web: www.thebookstall.com
NoMI Wine Director Fernando Beteta pours
novelist Loraine Despres a glass of Brut Rose
Starting dinner for 4 at NoMI with a sushi / sashimi platter
2007 Domaine Sigalas Santorini (Greece)
NoMI's Burgundy Truffle and Foie Gras Creme Brulee with
Caramelized Hazelnuts and Petite Herbs
2007 Max Ferd Richter Riesling Zeppelin (Germany)
Butter Poached Maine Lobster with White Asparagus, Jamon
Iberico, and Burgundy Truffles at NoMI
2001 Domaine Fougeray de Beauclair Marsannay
Sommelier Fernando Beteta introduces us to Purple Angel
Dry Aged Beef: Four Story Hill Farm Rib Eye, Bacon Beignet,
and Smoked Onion at NoMI
2005 Montes Purple Angel (Chile)
Strawberry and Cream "Field" with Crispy Strawberry,
Cheesecake in Textures and Sorrel
The Los Angeles-in-Chicago setting of NoMI's 7th floor
outdoor Garden called for a chilled glass of Tavel Rose
NoMI Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Avocado and Jicama
NoMI quartet of sorbets (our favorite was the creme fraiche)
and a candied paper-thin lemon slice
Two other diners just as happy to be dining at NoMI
While in Chicago, we experienced an unforgettable dinner at NoMI at the Park Hyatt Hotel overlooking Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan. NoMI's Wine Director Fernando Beteta expertly paired some intriguing wines to accompany Execuitve Chef Christophe David's dishes — which sent our already-high pleasure levels soaring!
After kicking things off with glasses of NV Champagne Regis Fliniaux, Grand Cru a Ay, Brut Rose, we were introduced to Beteta's fascinating concept of having a "pacer wine" that is likely to be a pleasing accompaniment to many of the courses served. In our case, he made it a 2003 Domaine Rolly Gassman Gewurztraminer. Then, certain courses had another recommended pairing, to allow a delicious point of comparison with the "pacer wine."
The experience was truly global (Guatamalan native Beteta serves wines from around the world to accompany Lyon native David's cuisine), contemporary (with avant-garde touches that added interest without distracting from the clarity of the flavors), and — best of all — excellent.
In fact, we enjoyed dinner so much that we returned to NoMI for an informal lunch (in its outdoor Garden) of gazpacho (showcasing the winning combination of tomatoes + avocado + jicama) and a peekytoe crab sandwich with fries, both beautifully accompanied by chilled Tavel Rose. The calendar may read "Autumn," but anyone looking to extend the pleasure of the season is advised to squeeze in lunch outside at NoMI during the last warm days of "Indian summer"!
NoMI is on the 7th Floor of the Park Hyatt at 800 North Michigan Avenue (near Chicago Avenue). (312) 239-4030. Web: www.nomirestaurant.com
A special thank-you to Park Hyatt Concierge Karen Giobba, who impressively connected us with a frozen Giordano's spinach pizza to take home to New York City in a matter of minutes!
The candlelit dining room at Inside Park at St. Bart's
Our waitress at Inside Park explains the "Little Bites" that
are served three for $18
Andrew loved Inside Park's pappardelle with braised rabbit
Inside Park's signature souffle was also a huge hit
We loved Miran Shim's hand-stretched apple
more than we loved saying "hand-stretched strudel"
After our "friends and family" dinner, Cynthia is diligent in
sharing her comments on the experience with Inside Park
The upstairs room at Inside Park displays a rotating series
of slides depicting scenes from New York City parks
Inside Park at St. Bart's is at 109 E. 50th Street (inside St. Bart's Church) at the corner of Park Avenue in Manhattan. (212) 593-3333. Chef: Matthew Weingarten (ex-Savoy). Pastry Chef: Miran Shim. After a delay of more than a year, Inside Park finally opens to the public as of September 23rd.