Monday, November 26, 2007

Highlights from the past week

My fish monger Dan, in Portland Maine, sent me these beautiful wild oyster mushrooms. They were foraged just outside of Portland and were huge & meaty. They smelled like Maine also, a hint of pine and a sea water freshness. We simply roasted them whole and deglazed the pan with a little mushroom stock afterward for the sauce-a real treat.

A new addition to our pate roster is the duck neck terrine. Jamie came up w/ this one and it's great. We confit the duck necks, then pull the meat and press it w/ brandied raisins & wrap it all in the neck skin. Served with pickled beet greens, and a raisin chutney.

The charcuterie plate has been chock full lately as well. Seen here with house cured coppa, lomo, duck prosciutto, as well as our country pate, and a lamb/hog head cheese.
Perfect Maine day boat cod, served with baby fennel, fingerlings, escargot and a herb fumet.

Nina newest addition to the dessert menu. Polenta quince cake, pomegranate granita & creme fraiche with fennel pollen.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Taste of the Hudson Valley

We had a table at the taste of the Hudson Valley this past Sunday. It was at the Grandview in Poughtown this year instead of at the CIA where is has always been before.

We were paired with Chateau & Estates, and were pouring Trimbach Fredrick Emile Riesling 2000 & 2001. I love these wines! Nobody makes dry Riesling the way Trimbach does such austere minerality, bright acidity & lush mouth feel. The 2000 was drinking pretty close to perfect, the 01 was still a little tight but will no doubt be great in a year or two.

We whipped up some pates for the occasion. A classic pairing in my mind.

Country pate made from ground pork shoulder & duck liver as well as a duck & chicken liver mousse pate. Delicious and low maintenance on site.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Roumier-The master of elegance

Nina & I drank an 04 Roumier Bourgogne Rouge last night. It was incredible. If you have ever seen my wine list at Swoon you know I am a HUGE Roumier fan. I think he is making some of the purest, most elegant & beautiful Burgundies of any winemaker today-Period! The 04 Bourgogne Rouge is a baby Chambolle Musigny-where Roumier is based and his heart is centered. The nose-dirt, wet stones, cherries & plums(fresh plums not stewed plums like some over ripe pretentious Carneros pinot). Fabulous in the mouth as well, starts w/ spicy earth & fruit, rounds out mid palate w/ decent weight for a Bourgogne Rouge, and finishes long w/ great minerality.

This wine is not easy to find, but worth seeking out, like any Roumier. I could get only one case, we now have 11 Bottles left.

Monday, November 5, 2007

What Happened to the Martini as a Cocktail/Aperitif???

Tonight I start a new "Label" that will allow me to express my opinions on drink, which are at least as strong as those on food. A Martini has long been a great aperitif, but in recent years it has become not an aperitif or even a cocktail, it's straight chilled alcohol, be it gin or vodka. If you order just a "Martini" in a restaurant these days there is no vermouth it's just booze shaken or stirred w/ ice. This is not a cocktail or an aperitif , it's a chilled shot in a martini glass & usually way too big, the supersize me, Sams Club mentality has even taken over the cocktail. What's the point of a 14oz Martini if its warm by the time you are half way through?? & at $13-$14 a pop? why not a traditional portion at a more reasonable price, that is still cold on your last sip? I enjoy a proper Martini as an aperitif before dinner. My Vermouth of choice is Vya, it is made by Andrew Quady, a California winemaker best known for his sweet wines. This Vermouth BLOWS AWAY Martini & Rossi or any other high production-mass market vermouth out there. Vya's floral & herbal notes bring the martini back to the aperitif it was meant to be! Don't worry it's not sweet, it's not cloying, it has FLAVOR-Depth & Finesse. Try a Proper Martini I think you will enjoy it as much as I do!

It doesn't hurt to have a little Neal's Yard Stilton & crusty bread to go with it!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Few Highlights From The Weekend

Here are a few of the plates I got a chance to shoot over the weekend.

Our version of a Green Tomato "BLT"

Tuna Tartare, Seasoned w/Harissa & Tangerine, Local Celery Broth

I know tuna tartare is totally over done, but this is fuckin delicious & sells great.

House Cured Gravlax, Pickeld local baby beets, cucumbers & creme fraiche

Nothing innovative, a nod to the Eastern Europeans.

My Favorite Entree of the weekend

Pan roasted Monkfish, w/ squid, chickpeas, merguez & celery leaves