You think I'm kidding!
What's trending? Here you go, the good, the new and the ugly!
- Chicken livers, fried chicken, chicken and waffles, well, chicken.
wish I had thought of that!
- Farm to table, nose to tail. Ask me why.
- Local, duh. Hopefully, it is not a trend, and "thank you" Chef Alice Waters.
- Pig Face. But not anytime soon with these parts, in these parts.
- Sweetbreads. See above.
- Pickled and preserved things. Just watch. (More "our" speed)
- Global Sandwiches (Say whaaat!)
- Kale following Brussel sprouts, but soon cauliflower.
And, don't count out broccoli for a return to vogue! (Sun chokes? Maybe someday)
- Umami. Good luck with that one.
- Fishy fishes. (Ask me why)
- Tapas. Latin. And Mexican. (Since, like, La Alamo, but, on and on!)
- Smoke, maple, barrel aged.
- House made vinegar.
- Mezcal, sours, gins, bitter, pressed juices, shrubs.
- Sherry as a mixer. Hell yes.
Stay tuned for more. And, the ability to share with the community. "Any day now"
Share with me?
Thoughts, additions for the list,questions, complaints or concerns, be it personal or relative to our restaurants, here's your opportunity. Click here and get busy!
Though I try to keep this blog mainly centered on the F+B, and the R+D, on a regular basis my scribbled notes on cocktail napkins find their way into type.
Though, furthermore, I try to steer clear of politics and political conversation, for so many reasons--some obvious (the buffoonery) and some not (bad for business), lately, a few pieces of "interest" inspire the following;
- While traveling recently, I shared wine, pinchos and conversation with a couple of Australians who made two salient observations about Aussie politics vs the great nation of the United States. The 1st, that in Australia, if you do not vote, you pay a fine. How about that? Imagine living in a country where EVERYONE'S opinion matters! Another great and meaningful point of view: When one party wins the vote, vs the other, everyone shakes and moves on--in an attempt to create unity and progress, accepting defeat as the will of the people. Yet another "foreign concept" to US.
Congratulations in Lowell, to the new City Council, and our friend Corey Belanger. In what I imagine was a politically motivated decision, Corey decided not to celebrate his victory at his own Majors Bar, but instead chose the Jade East. A nice place for drinks and cocktails, in the Tewksbury "neighborhood" of Lowell! (hmmm?)
Also in Lowell, it kind of sucks, that we had TWO Cambodian candidates run for a seat, in the city with the 2nd largest Cambodian population in the country, yet, neither one made the top 9. I guess that's what happens when only 20% of the people vote. Kind of sad...
Re: Stacie Hargis, a friend and awesome person...though the voters didn't represent for her nearly enough, I would hope she keeps at it, and gets in next time. That would be good for the City, I am certain.
Rita Mercier topped the ticket again! (That's like, 20 years in a row or something ridiculous!!) Go Rita!
Congratulations to the resilient Rodney Elliott. Dude is another time-and-again winner and Lowell devotee, who will finally sit in the Mayor's seat--Hats off to him, for having such incredible fortitude. Doing what he does, I would have been arrested years ago for attempted choking of any number of past speakers, elect-ees, gavel pounders or the pontificating!
Finally, for today...can you imagine trying to engineer and execute a health care system for the entire country!? Ye Gads! I can't even get a dangerous, liability-loaded, non code, infuriating tiny piece of street paved, after (4) meetings and countless letters and emails! NOT because people don't care, by the way. We simply live in a climate of fear and "just say no" as the easiest and "safest" way out. Status quo means, "you can't blame me."
The dentists next door to us blocked access to their parking lot first, then the Masonic Center next door did the same, so now, people drive in to the skinny dead end, pile up, and back out, "blind" into traffic to escape being "trapped", but hey, the consensus seems to be... "Not my problem"
I vaguely remember my 1st born's 1st steps, and then, 1st words. Such exciting times, and pleasant memories. I remember holding her small body to mine, dancing around the room and singing my favorite song of the day in her ear. I remember years later, her poise and thoughtfulness in forming conversation, and beyond that, the realization that her "honors" status meant, she was fast approaching being full-on smarter than her old man. I remember the day it was SHE telling ME of a great new song on the radio, and the recognition that my baby had great musical awareness--This father's dream come true!
And, now, 27 years later, I will never forget that for my 50th birthday, my baby gifted "us" Pearl Jam tickets, scheduled to rock last week's VOODOO Fest in New Orleans--complete with rented apartment and a 3 day trolley pass, and Saturday night reservations to the newest, hottest restaurant in The Big Easy. "Dad...you just need to get yourself there!"
Woot hoo! What a precious gift.
A shout out to the Boston Red Sox and that whole, seemingly unshakable Boston spirit.
Boston's grit was legendary BEFORE the Marathon bombing, but has surely been hugely reinforced by that tragedy.
And here comes those bearded "idiots"..who play the game like kids after school, (with Papi chaperoning!) who paid no attention to the predictions, the naysayers, the odds...
I have been traveling this week--through NYC, to Mount Airy NC (where Chili's is "the place"), to Charlotte, to Savannah ("Hey, where is the best place to watch the game?" "Well, y'all might want to join the crowd at the Wild Wings"), and now Tampa. No matter the city, no matter the venue--the crowd was seemingly 100% rooting for the Red Sox. My B wearing traveling companion has heard a "Boston Strong!" salutation at every stop along the way.
I'd have to say, from my own perspective...it sounds much better than "Bean Town".
One of my all-time favorite restaurants, in the whole wide world, is Balthazar in NYC's SOHO neighborhood. An icon--marrying casual dining with a quasi-upper scale feel--fun, fast, and amazing, and killer-busy!
The below is an excerpt from Willy Staley of the New York Times, from this week's NY Times Magazine annual food issue.
Welcome to my world, times 10!
"By 10:30PM, the dining room is more crowded than it has been all day" "At around 11... the (kitchen pick up window) fills up with dishes, but none of the food runners are present. This could prove disastrous, the sort of domino effect, that a kitchen might not bounce back from: dishes could go out cold and be returned to the kitchen for refires, clogging up the line for the rest of the night (as cooks have to re prioritize and lose the order of things, creating delays, angry customers, cuss words and worst of all...comps! The sous chef paces, showing signs of stress. He walks out of the kitchen to yell, "RUNNERS!" through the swinging doors. And sure enough, the machine kicks back into gear. The runners return from the floor, or wherever they had been, as the (window) is emptied again in two minutes. A new stack of (orders) get spiked. By the end of the day...the line has produced 111 steak frites, 90 French onion soups, 88 Baltazar bar steaks, 69 burgers, 68 omelets, 62 goat cheese tarts, 56 chicken paillards, 51 chicken clubs, 48 seared salmons, 46 heirloom tomato salads, 44 chicken liver-and-foie-gras terrines, 43 duck confit, 39 steak au pivres, 39 eggs Norwegian, 38 steak tartare, 32 escargot, 31 moules-frites, 29 grilled trout..."
"The closing manager...boots the (drinking staff) and steps outside at 2:30AM (to lock the doors)....In just a few hours, delivery trucks will return and it will all start over again (with the prep cooks arriving at 5AM)"