Enjoy the luxurious two-star Michelin restaurant RIA in the fabulously chic Waldorf Astoria Chicago with one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2012 Danny Grant. Then go try Balsan – RIA’s hip casual-yet-sophisticated little sister, sharing the same kitchen.
Balsan’s rustic artisanal menu, crisp easy-going service, and a gregarious atmosphere for which Chicago is known make for a winning combination. Looking for a place to hang out when you attend the National Restaurant Association SHOW next month?
This is the place.
Continue reading “Where to Eat Next in Chicago: Balsan”
Chilled Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Soup
Mashed Avocado with Lime, Tomato Concassé with Shallot
Fresh Mint, Chili Oil & Creme Fraiche Garnish
A vendor at the Farmers’ Market was handing out samples of fresh-from-the-vine sugar snap peas. Telling people just to eat them as is, no cooking necessary. They were sweet & exploding with flavor, crunchy, the color of spring. Few of us could pass up buying a basket or two. Once home, I turned to my favorite vegetable cookbook Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables for inspiration: Sugar Snap Pea Soup. A simple and refreshing chilled soup. With avocado for richness, tomato for sweet acidity, mint for brightness. Spring. Bliss.
Continue reading “Spring Bliss: Sugar Snap Pea, Avocado, Tomato, Mint”
Leftovers of Peking Duck with Steamed Buns
Accompaniments: Scallion, Pickled Daikon, Cucumber, Sugar, Hoisin
The concept of a “doggie bag” or taking home leftovers from a restaurant meal is not an American invention. It’s been around since the sixth century B.C. when Romans would wrap up goodies from a banquet meal and take home the leftovers in a cloth. It showed respect and honored the host, implying the food was good and was worthy of taking home. Food preparation way back then could not have been easy, so, seriously, whose ancestors wouldn’t take the bountiful offerings from the big buffet back to their humble abode?
Continue reading “When to “Doggie Bag?” Your Thoughts?”
Manhattan Beach Post
POST BANGIN’ BRUNCH
She called it one of the most surprising openings of the year. As one of the Best Meals of 2011, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic S. Irene Virbila lists her experience at M.B. Post as one of 2011’s most memorable. The upscale Water Grill in Downtown LA with Chef David LeFevre at the helm for years has been our favorite seafood restaurant, and that hasn’t changed. But now this Michelin-starred chef is in the South Bay, our neck of the woods, down at the beach, and we’re thrilled.
M.B Post serves imaginative, artisan global-style dishes in a casually sophisticated atmosphere that purposefully lends itself to a “social house” setting. It’s a fresh brilliant concept where sliding doors open onto the street, with beach-town ambiance, but in a non-stereotypical fashion.
The Chef began offering his Post Bangin’ Brunch in January. Hooray.
Continue reading “Brunch. Manhattan. Beach.”
Roasted Baby Golden Beet, Gala Apple, Kumquat
Raw Sheep’s Milk French Roquefort, Pistachio
Dandelion, Butterhead, Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette
Tricolor Viola & Wild Mustard Flower Garnish
Roasted tarragon-scented sweet soft baby golden beets are paired with tart-crisp apple, bitter-spiky dandelion, creamy-smooth butter lettuce, zingy kumquat, tangy Roquefort, rich pistachios and a playfully-spicy poblano chile vinaigrette. It’s a very refreshing, harmonious, and somewhat surprising salad – which I submit to this month’s 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group Challenge featuring BEETS.
The 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group hosted by Natasha the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! is an outstanding monthly event for sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations. It continues to be a great source of inspiration and my absolute pleasure to be on the team. Please visit their blogs this coming Friday to enjoy the round-up of super-creative beets recipes from this talented cooking group.
Continue reading “Resplendent Baby Golden Beet Salad”
A Toast to Abraham Lincoln
Excerpts from the Address of Hon. Robert G. Cousins
On the Twelfth of February, Nineteen Hundred
In every part and in almost every city in America, on this last anniversary
in the century which produced him, a grateful people meet to pay their homage to
the memory of Abraham Lincoln.
Not that it is possible for human speech to add to his renown,
but rather that we may dedicate ourselves and the Nation which he loved
to a better understanding of his character and the principles for which he lived and died.
Continue reading “A Special Dinner Honoring President Lincoln”