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DIGEST: NYTimes Dining Section and Supplements


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#121 SobaAddict70

SobaAddict70
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Posted 04 January 2004 - 07:26 PM

NYTimes Weekend Report
Friday, 2 January 2004 -- Sunday, 4 January 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section and the Sunday Magazine

"We can make the veal any way you want: francese, marsala marinara, scallopini, Milanese, with tomatoes and arugula, with shiitake, " said Ramon Pallone, one of the owners. Prices for the specials are not mentioned, which might lead you to think that they are as reasonable as the printed menu, on which the top main course is grilled steak at $20. They are not. The Dover sole meunière special was $34.


Diner's Journal: Cantinella (Marian Burros)




Schrafft's was by then an institution of middle-class comfort. Its first ''store'' (as even the restaurants were called), offering candy and confections, opened in 1898 on Broadway, thanks to Frank G. Shattuck, who had been the top candy salesman for W.F. Schrafft & Sons. It lost money until his sister Jane was recruited from Syracuse to create a brief menu. ''It was a much more genteel time then,'' his great-grandson Frank M. Shattuck said. ''Everyone wore hats and hand-made suits. And if you were a lady, it was safe to sit at the soda fountain and drink gin from a teacup.''


A Redoubt of Middle-Class Food (Jonathan Reynolds)

Recipes in today's section:

1. Schrafft's Lobster Thermidor
2. Simmering Irish Stew With Dumplings






Restaurants: Where You Can Celebrate Tet

Sidebar: Wine Bargain of the Week





B. Travel

Here the yam is worshiped like something that fell from the sky, not yanked from the earth. The ungainly vegetables are stored in beautifully painted houses with pointy roofs. People whisper yam magic spells.


Yam Mojo (Jeffrey Gettleman)





C. Elsewhere in today's Times

The Atkins-inspired dishes include Tuscan spinach dip, sizzling chicken with broccoli and grilled chicken Caesar salad.

Consumer research at T.G.I. Friday's found that 19 percent of those who dine often at casual restaurants like Friday's are using the Atkins approach.


The Atkins Revenge (Julie Dunn)






Canada is investigating a complaint by McCain Foods Ltd., one of the country's largest food makers, that companies in the United States are selling frozen pizzas with self-rising crust at illegally low prices.


The Pizza Caper (Bloomberg News)






Mad cow poses a challenge to testers because it is so different from most diseases. Most infections are caused by bacteria and viruses. Tests for them can show the infectious agents themselves, or the immune system's reaction to them. But most scientists believe that mad cow disease is caused by agents that are far more elusive — misfolded proteins called prions.


Uncertainty In Mad Cow Solution (Sandra Blakeslee)






"We're purists," said Joseph Bavuso, a 40-year-old lawyer, and a charter member. "Myself, I'm looking mostly for high-quality meat, rare to medium-rare. The burger should be unadorned, too, so you can taste a balance between the char and the beef."


eGullet Burger Club's 15 Minutes Of Fame (Alan Feuer)

Click here to see what our Burger Club is all about and join in the discussion.





A new book, "Keep It Off: Use the Power of Self-Hypnosis to Lose Weight Now," sanely sidesteps the specifics of high protein, grapefruit, Zone, South Beach or any other diet and goes straight to the mind-over-matter struggle of all weight loss plans. This book's trenchant promise is that any diet works, as long as you can stay on it. Hmm.


The Can-Do Diet (Linda Lee)







The dining room is 21st-century diner style: industrial steel and gloss white, with a roll-up garage door that opens the restaurant to the street. Three flat-screen televisions electronically billboard the top of the bar. The menu is sun-dried, roasted and grilled. And the drinks list has a page of martinis, a page of specialty cocktails, 45 vodkas (including flavors), 18 tequilas and 7 single-barrel bourbons. It reads like a wine list.


H.K. (William L. Hamilton)

Click here to discuss this article.



Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#122 SobaAddict70

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 09:48 AM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 7 January 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section

We also sought out many of Washington's high-end artisanal wineries because we were curious about the best that Washington had to offer. Many of these bottles may be hard to come by, but they give an important idea of the potential of Washington wines.


Bordeaux-style Reds In Washington State (Eric Asimov)

Sidebar: If you go to the NYTimes Dining In/Dining Out web page, you can hear a presentation given by Eric Asimov, Amanda Hesser, Mark Golodetz (contributing editor of Wine Enthusiast) and David Gordon (wine director at Tribeca Grill) on red wines of Washington State. Click on the box marked "Wines of the Times" to begin the presentation.




The cabbage salad is really a version of a Vietnamese chicken salad that I love to keep in the refrigerator to pick at when the alternative might be a much less wholesome toasted bagel or piece of toast. The crunchiness of the cabbage remains, even when it's a day or so old, and the crab meat gives a sweet richness that positively sings within the lime-sharp acerbity of the dressing.


At My Table (Nigella Lawson)






Sherry comes from the area around Jerez (pronounced he-RETH, which is supposed to sound something like sherry), a town in southern Spain. It starts its life as white wine made from the palomino grape but for some mysterious reason produces a yeasty substance called flor, which gives it its unusual character. It is then "fortified" — its fermentation stopped by the addition of extra alcohol — so it is a little more potent than normal table wine.


The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)






Bits and Pieces (Florence Fabricant)







"It was like pig candy," he said. Mr. Lima, he said, had called the device "a chinee box."


How To Roast A Pig In Four Hours (Sam Sifton)







Duck confit made shepherd's pie definitely worth ordering, the duck seasoning the mashed potatoes, a black chanterelle sauce pulling it all together. The crisp duck skin on top of the pie made it irresistible.


Jubilee 51 (Marian Burros)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.




I loved the fried kutabi..., a thin pastry skin stuffed with meat. An Azerbaijani specialty, it was beautifully spiced, with ground pomegranate seeds, I was told, and had a lovely smoky flavor.


Pop's Pierogi (Eric Asimov)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.





A product of Norway, it is made by boiling the whey left over from traditional cheese production. It is stirred and condensed over heat until reduced to one-quarter its original volume. The sugars in the lactose caramelize, and the cheese becomes thick enough to pour into rectangular molds.


Gjetost (Kay Rentschler)






Los Angeles is a town packed full of beautiful little culinary secrets. One of them is the Friday night dinner ride through Griffith Park, beginning at the Sunset Ranch at the base of the Hollywood sign in the Santa Monica Mountains. Although there are other stables that offer rides on the park's trails, the Sunset bills itself as the the only horse ranch in Hollywood.


The Griffith Park Ranch (Charlie LeDuff)







Pairings (Amanda Hesser)

Recipe: TARTIFLETTE






Letters






Correction






Recipes in today's issue:

1. Clams in Sherry Sauce
2. Gjetost Dessert Tartlets
3. Baked Ricotta
4. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
5. Vietnamese Crab Coleslaw



B. Elsewhere in today's Times...

Carbohydrate counters, for example, are encouraged to eat a double order of scrambled eggs for breakfast, an option that the McDonald's Corporation says contains less than five grams of carbohydrates.


Healthy McDonald's?!? (Sherri Day)






Parmalat, meanwhile, has hired two prominent bankruptcy lawyers, Martin Bienenstock and Marcia Goldstein of the law firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges.


The Rise and Fall of Parmalat: Epilogue (Reuters)







The Washington cow is the second mad cow case found in cattle born in Alberta. The first was on May 20, 2003, on a different farm, and led to a ban on Canadian beef exports. Canadian officials said the first animal most likely contracted the disease by eating contaminated feed. Officials said it was unlikely that these two Canadian-born cows had eaten the same infected feed.


Canadian Mad Cow Confirmation (Elizabeth Becker)






"The change is that Americans are eating more like the Japanese — seasonal ingredients, small plates, more fish and vegetables." Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit, whose first new venture in years is Riingo, a Japanese-American experiment expected to open next week, said: "The New York chefs I know have always been obsessed with Japanese food. It's a challenge, because it's so different."


The Furikake Revolution (Julia Moskin)

Sidebar: Accompanying this article is an online audio presentation given by Julia Moskin, staff writer for the Dining In/Dining Out section of the New York Times. Click on the box marked "Beyond Sushi" to begin the presentation.

Click here to discuss this article.



Soba

#123 Pan

Pan
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Posted 14 January 2004 - 12:39 AM

NYTimes Weekly Update

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

A. In today's New York Times

FOR generations," said Nigel Elder, a former paratrooper in the British Army who now tends the vines at Martinborough Vineyard, "we exported our best produce. We didn't taste it, so we didn't know how good it was."

Well, that's not true anymore, and the evidence was there on the table: sweet, sensual scallops from Whitianga, a little fishing port on the Coromandel peninsula, so fresh they threatened to jump off the plate, showered with basil, coriander and lemon grass; unashamedly wild-tasting rack of lamb from Hawkes Bay, tender and rosy-red; three New Zealand cheeses, including Waimata Farmhouse Blue, a tangy, buttery delicacy that could readily stand comparison with Roquefort or Maytag; and luscious fig and Arataki honey ice cream.


The Other Down Under (R. W. Apple Jr.)

Ms. Planck started her job as director of Greenmarket last July. She was fired on Dec. 23.

To some, her dismissal came as no surprise. "There was a sense of distress in the community, and I think Nina created it," said Eugene Wyatt, the owner of Catskill Merino, a sheep farm, and a Greenmarket farmer. "It was a relief to have her gone."

To others it was yet more evidence of troubles that have long stalled Greenmarket's potential. "They didn't know who they hired: someone who was really ready to make changes," said Mary Cleaver, the owner of the Cleaver Company, a caterer that buys from Greenmarket farmers.


Apple Cart Upset: Who Runs Greenmarket? (Amanda Hesser)

Click here to discuss this story.

A major commercial lime industry will probably never return to the United States. But growers like Eric Christensen of Rising C Ranches in the San Joaquin Valley are prospering by raising exotic varieties.

"The ethnic population of this country has a craving for their homeland fruits, which they're not getting, and they're willing to pay," Mr. Christensen said recently over dinner.

He also focuses on mainstream markets, however, selling to stores in New York like Fairway and Gourmet Garage. To stay ahead of the curve, he experiments with varieties like the Rangpur lime, which looks like a tangerine and has a rich, distinctive flavor.


Latest Green Fashions Come in Many Styles (David Karp)

Click here to discuss New York-relevant aspects of this story.

And if you want to order limes directly from suppliers:

Sources: On the Exotic Side

I am more than willing to forgive Bread Tribeca for its bland soups, its charming but not always focused serving staff and the lack of spoons for its saltcellars — I hate to think how many fingers have taken a pinch or two — because most of the food is a pleasure.


Bread Tribeca (Marian Burros)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.

Note: Post-script:

• The Restaurants column in the Dining section yesterday, reviewing Bread Tribeca, at 301 Church Street in Manhattan, carried an erroneous star rating. The critic assigned it two stars, not one.

The review also misstated the reservation telephone number. It is (212) 334-8282; for delivery orders, (212) 334-0200.


January 15, 2004 Corrections

I have always said that holidays are very dangerous," said Edward Serotta. Old Jewish women are always looking to stuff a nice Jewish bachelor like him. Still, Mr. Serotta, 54, takes his chances because holiday meals are essential to his work, documenting what remains of Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe.


"Someone served me a piece of brisket the size of a telephone book with big boiled potatoes. It felt like home," he said. "Then I realized, it is the old country, and these were the recipes of my grandparents in Poland."

He vowed then to capture the family stories of these people. Three years later, he sold everything he owned and moved to Budapest. He has produced three books and four documentary films. His photographs are in the permanent collections of many American museums.


Brisket Was His Madeleine (Joan Nathan)

When the liquid was barely trembling, not even a real simmer, he slid the pot, with a loose cover of foil, into the wood-burning oven. "The Zen of braising is all about the courage required by patience," Mr. Hayward said. "You're looking for a breakdown of the connective tissue and a release of collagen to make the meat slippery, rich and moist. You want the tissues to liquefy without melting them away."

He paused a minute. "Braising is an art," he said.


The Chef: The Zen of Braising (Nancy Harmon Jenkins)

In this country, ribs tend to be summer food: we grill 'em. But in much of the rest of the world, they have been braised more often than not. When braising, of course, you sacrifice the crisp crust that is such a big part of the appeal of grilled meat.

But look at all you gain: flexibility in timing (you can braise far in advance), a cooking process that needs little attention, guaranteed tenderness and the ability to integrate vegetables of all types into the dish. Not to mention the fact that, to braise, you don't have to go outside.


The Minimalist: Spareribs, Unflamed (Mark Bittman)

Economists and others who should know are saying that the economy's upturn in recent months has bypassed the working class and particularly benefited the country's elite.

Recent sales figures for high-end Champagne and sparkling wines, the traditional celebratory beverages of the economically favored, tend to bear that out. As of October, French Champagne sales for the first nine months of last year were up 15 percent over the same period in 2002, industry analysts say. Top California sparkling wines, made by the traditional Champagne method, were doing even better. Roederer Estate was up 26 percent over 2002, Schramsberg 35 percent and Iron Horse 25 percent, according to The Wine Market Report, a trade publication.


Wine Talk: Giddy Times for Champagne Makers (Frank J. Prial)

Food Stuff (Florence Fabricant)

Nowadays, by my unscientific count, the East Village has more Italian restaurants than unemployed guitarists, surely a sign that the balance has changed. And yet Col Legno soldiers on, offering essentially the same Tuscan trattoria menu as it did when it was new, at prices that are not much different.


Col Legno (Eric Asimov)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.

Letters

Corrections

Recipes in today's issue:

1. Braised Lamb Shoulder

2. Chicken Paprika With Dumplings

3. Braised Spareribs With Cabbage

B. In the magazine (Published: January 11, 2004)

Tod Murphy, the man behind the breakfast, literally and figuratively, sits in a green vinyl booth in his 60-seat eatery, the Farmers Diner, on North Main Street in Barre, Vt., and deconstructs my meal. ''The potatoes come from Will Allen's farm over on the Connecticut River. We get our bread from a bakery in Northfield, and believe it or not the eggs come from a little egg farm right in downtown Stowe. Earl and Amy out in Strafford supplied the milk and butter, or rather their Guernseys did. And the bacon came from Andrew.'' Andrew is 15 years old, and in his first foray into hog farming he produced what your correspondent is ready to nominate the finest bacon on the planet.


A Short-Order Revolutionary (Russell Shorto)

C. Good Eating (Published: January 11, 2004)

Roads Less Traveled

Places covered: Bahia, Eight Mile Creek (**), Kabab King Diner, Lomzynianka, Madiba, Pamir, Tibetan Yak.

D. Diner's Journal (Published: January 9, 2004)

Don't judge Zona Rosa by its peanut-butter frozen tequila margaritas. Enough of them are likely to have the same impact brandy Alexanders had on a couple of my relatives at a wedding years ago: during the reception two women, both of a certain age, either decided to roll down a hill or couldn't help themselves.

The rest of the Nuevo Mexicano food at the restaurant is well conceived and savory.


Zona Rosa (Marian Burros)

Click here to discuss this informal review or contribute your experiences.

#124 Pan

Pan
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Posted 21 January 2004 - 11:42 PM

NYTimes Weekly Update

Thursday, January 22, 2004

A. In today's New York Times

To see if the premise lives up to the promise, I asked four companies — Ikea, Boffi, Expo Design Center and the Home Depot — how they would propose to renovate the kitchen of a friend, Lara Suarez, in NoLIta. Armed with a sheaf of photos and a rough floor plan, I gave each company the same guidelines: show me the best value, and tell me what it should look like.

What I found is that, during hourlong initial consultations, the designers provided by each company were more patient and courteous than I am as they explained the relative merits of things like drawer slides.


Room to Improve: The Ready-Mix Kitchen (Marco Pasanella)

B. In the Wednesday, January 21 New York Times

[C]ooking a fish on the bone — with its head and tail fin intact — is among the most rewarding ways to experience fish at home, producing a clarity of flavor and a texture unrivaled by the precut, disembodied fillet. Moreover, cooking a whole fish is a breeze, far easier than our usual Sunday pork shoulder and on a par with a typical Tuesday roast chicken.


When the Whole Is Greater Than Its Parts (Matt Lee and Ted Lee)

Two weeks and counting. On Feb. 4, some 100,000 square feet of marble floors will shine behind a facade of 90,000 square feet of glass, and more than 3,000 guests in formal attire will enter the soaring atrium of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle to celebrate its opening and the arrival of widely anticipated new restaurants on two floors.


Famous Chefs! Sumptuous Food! Luxuriant Settings! (Florence Fabricant)

Click here to discuss this article.

Rob Hurlbut, the president of Niman Ranch, said it best: "Bacon should be listed as an aphrodisiac."


For a B.A. in Bacon, They All Chewed the Fat (Linda Lee)

Sources: Where to Get B. for the B.L.T. (Linda Lee)

A lot of Upper East Siders like the idea of a wine bar and bistro for grown-ups. If this one were more reasonably priced, it would make a fine neighborhood restaurant. I think maybe the best way to enjoy Taste is to sit at the bar and try out some of the wines by the glass with some of the excellent potato chips.


Taste (Marian Burros)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.

If you were to ask me to name the best wine region in the world, or the most underrated one, I'd have to think a long time. But if you were to ask for the most exciting wine region, I'd have an answer right away: Languedoc.


Wines of the Times (Eric Asimov)

Click here to discuss this article.

At My Table: In January, Comfort on the Stove or in a Bowl (Nigella Lawson, talking about soup)

Food Stuff (Florence Fabricant)

The Minimalist (Mark Bittman on Biriyani)

Click here to discuss this article.

Celebrating the Year of the Monkey With the Heat and Spice of Sichuan (Florence Fabricant)

Sichuan peppercorns are one of the staples mentioned in this article, and you can click here to discuss them.

The all-the-steak-you-want diet is no more. If the Atkins diet people are to be believed, it never was. But hundreds of thousands of adherents thought otherwise and reveled in their freedom to eat as much red meat as they liked.

They were shocked and more than a little upset to learn that for five years, according to officials of Atkins Nutritionals, the company set up by Dr. Robert C. Atkins to sell Atkins products and promote the diet, the company's nutritionists have been traveling the country, telling health professionals, but not dieters, to eat no more than 20 percent of their calories from saturated fat. The rest should come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, largely from vegetable oils and fish.


Eating Well: The Post-Atkins Low Carb Diet (Marian Burros)

Click here to discuss this article.

In too-perfect contrast to this fiery tableau is a sticky front door, which stays open almost every time someone passes in or out of the storefront restaurant.[...]

Though sorely tested, I kept my faith in Chanoodle. I had only to breathe deeply and inhale the wonderful, warming smell of freshly cooked rice, an aroma that does not get nearly enough credit. And, of course, I had only to eat, because this is the sort of food that can be good enough to cause a double take.


Chanoodle (Eric Asimov)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.

Pairings (Amanda Hesser presents a Porcini and Barley Risotto recipe and recommends a pairing with Languedoc wine)

Correction

Other recipes in the January 21 issue:

1. Fennel-Roasted Red Snapper

2. Chinese-Style Steamed Black Sea Bass

3. Chicken Biriyani

4. Tom Yum Soup

5. Easy Pea Soup

6. Yellow Split Pea and Frankfurter Soup

7. Hot and Numbing Chicken Slices

8. Dry-Fried Green Beans

At slightly less than 60,000 square feet, the Whole Foods supermarket opening on Feb. 5 in the new Time Warner Center will be the largest supermarket in Manhattan. It will take up most of the space on the first lower-level concourse of the complex, reached by escalators just inside the main entrance on Columbus Circle.


Black Tie Is Not Required (Florence Fabricant)

Click here if you want to discuss samplings at Whole Foods stores, generally, and here if you want to discuss this new Whole Foods store and Whole Foods stores in New York.

C. In the magazine (Published: January 18, 2004)

Food: Hearth Strings (Jason Epstein; includes a recipe for Chicken Potpie)

It has become fashionable to bemoan the state of French cuisine in its natural habitat, particularly in Paris: its top chefs are said to have lost their creative edge, and its restaurants are deemed too expensive.

Hogwash. Paris is the best eating city in the world. Far from being the Fabulous Invalid, its restaurant scene is based on what may be the world's most solid bedrock of talented, well-trained chefs. The city has the best, the largest and the broadest selection of really good restaurants offering great price-quality ratios. The list of places where you can get a seriously good three-course French meal for $60 or under a person is nearly inexhaustible.


Choice Tables: Comfort Food at Comforting Prices in Paris (Jacqueline Friedrich)

Click here to discuss this article.

#125 Pan

Pan
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  • Location:East Village, Manhattan

Posted 28 January 2004 - 12:00 AM

NYTimes Weekly Update

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

A. In today's New York Times

[M]ost people don't seem to worry about what experts say is a petri dish for food-borne illness: the home kitchen.

"Everybody is so acutely aware of mad cow disease," said Janet Anderson, a clinical associate professor of nutrition and food sciences at Utah State University, "but people aren't aware of the fact that they don't even wash their hands when they enter their kitchens, which is a much greater risk."

Professor Anderson filmed more than 100 people preparing dinner and found that only two did not cross-contaminate raw meat with fresh vegetables.


Squeaky Clean? Not Even Close (Amanda Hesser)

Tips: Wiping Up May Not Be Enough

Krug is a small Champagne house, producing less than 50,000 cases of wine a year. The Krugs would like to grow, "particularly in America, which was the biggest Krug market before Prohibition — but not at the expense of quality," Rémi Krug said.

"We could double our American sales," he added, "but not at the expense of quality."

"Often people say to us, `I remember the first time I had Krug.' I never want to hear anyone say, `Krug was not what I expected.' Our clients expect so much of us. We feel we have a commitment. This is very personal with us."


Wine Talk: They Make the Champagne of Champagnes (Frank J. Prial)

"Not too full now, or it may burst when you tie it off," the chef warned. When he judged the moment right, with the sausage perhaps three inches in diameter and two feet long, he fixed a forcepslike clamp at the open end to hold the stuffing in.

Finally, with all the care of a seamstress in a couture house, he made a network of half hitches down the length of the sausage, tied off the open end and finished with a loop from which it would hang in the aging cellar. To eliminate air pockets, he pricked it all over with a multipin gizmo.

The finished product, all pink and white, looked good enough to eat. But of course it wasn't ready yet; it still had to go through its "dripping phase," hanging for 72 hours at 80 degrees while shedding water, and then spend the next 120 days or so in the cellar.

Mr. Bertolli stroked the sausage like a man petting a beloved dog.


Sausage Aged for Three Generations (R.W. Apple, Jr.)

Click here to discuss this story.

For this weekend's Super Bowl[...]we asked a couple of chefs, one from the Carolinas and one from New England, to give us their favorite one-pot game-day recipes.

We got a couple of blockbusters in return. And if Sunday's game isn't half as good as this food, it will not matter much: contented diners will probably be happily asleep on the couch.


Sunday on the Couch With Chicken and Beans (Mark Bittman and Sam Sifton)

Food Stuff (Florence Fabricant)

This week, "A Taste of Texas on the Sidewalks of New York" was part of "Food Stuff," and you can discuss it here.

Before refrigeration, of course, cabbage needed to be preserved through the winter: sauerkraut was the result. It is a utilitarian product, but a delectable one, too.

"I'm fascinated with how sheer necessity came up with things that are absolutely delicious and that stay in our foodways for generations, long after the need has passed," Mr. Hayward said.


The Chef: A Forkful of History Wrapped in Kraut (Nancy Harmon Jenkins)

The Minimalist: Tunisia Talking (Mark Bittman)

Choi sum gai fan, stir-fried Chinese broccoli and chicken on rice, is a humble dish. But in the same way that a consistently sublime burger separates the classic diner from the common greasy spoon, the chicken-and-broccoli plate is a litmus test for budget restaurants in Hong Kong. If a chef cranks out a delicious plate, his other menu offerings are probably worth ordering.


Temptation: A Humble Dish Worth the Effort to Find (Brian Palmer)

Click here to discuss New York-relevant aspects of this article.

For the last 10 years, Karen Klein has had the most powerful people in New York at her fingertips. She has been responsible for setting up the seating charts at the Four Seasons restaurant.[...]

Ms. Klein's restaurant career began 18 years ago, when she was in acting school. "To me, the restaurant is like theater," she said, "every night is an opening night."


Time to Give Up Control of the Seats of Power (Florence Fabricant)

Click here to discuss this article.

Ever tasted a raindrop and wondered, Why doesn't someone bottle this stuff? Well, someone has and called it, aptly, Rain Water.


Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall. Why Not Bottle It? (Nora Krug)

Trahana is the humblest of pastas, a descendant of an ancient recipe for preserving dairy and grains during lean winter months. Back then, cooks made a porridge out of hard cracked wheat and soured dairy, molded them into various shapes and dried them on rooftops. Mr. Botsacos replicates that rustic tradition in his oven.


Inside a Greek Meatball, a Secret From Antiquity (Dana Bowen)

The federal Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to rule this week on whether to protect beluga sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act, a move that would ban sales of beluga caviar in the United States.


U.S. to Rule on Beluga Caviar (Florence Fabricant)

Food Chain (Q&A about food and cooking by Denise Landis)

Correction

Recipes in today's issue:

1. Braised Lamb With Honey and Almonds

2. Roasted Sauerkraut and Bacon

3. Carolina Chicken Bog

4. Boston Beans and Pork

5. Keftedes With Trahana

I have never been to the restaurant as a regular patron: I have known two of the owners professionally for years. But having been spotted at restaurants throughout my reviewing career, I have learned one thing: the owners cannot improve the food for the reviewer's sake. They can improve the service; they can make sure the food is hot. But if it does not taste good, they cannot make it better.

So, recognized or not, I found many more tasty little things to eat than those that still need work.


Casa Mono (Marian Burros)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.

As the opening of Pearson's approached, desire and expectation heightened. Alas, the food was a letdown. How could it not be? As Danny Meyer learned at Blue Smoke, you cannot achieve immediate barbecue greatness through technology and money, no matter how careful the planning and earnest the effort.[...]

The good news is that Pearson's is slowly but perceptibly improving. As specialists in Texas barbecue, Pearson's centerpiece is rightfully the beef brisket, Texas's great contribution to fine dining. Pearson's brisket[...]will never be mistaken for, say, a good Texas version, or even for the brisket at Pearson's Queens outpost, now housed in a sports bar in Jackson Heights. It is certainly smoky enough. But it is bedeviled by inconsistency.


Pearson's Texas Barbecue (Eric Asimov)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.

B. In the Monday, January 26 New York Times

With its smoke-stained walls, paper tablecloths and grandmotherly cooking, Chez Paul doesn't take kindly to change.

But the French government's crackdown on unsafe driving has had a sobering effect on wine consumption at this century-old, street-corner bistro just off the Bastille, as it has at restaurants and bars throughout France.

So Daniel Karrenbauer, the owner, joined what might be called the guerrilla war of the grape. Last month, he introduced doggie bags for wine.


Paris Journal: Garçon! The Check, Please, and Wrap Up the Wine! (Elaine Sciolino)

In the Magazine (Published Sunday, January 25, 2004)

In New York there are two kinds of successful chefs. There are those who work their ways up through the kitchens of elite restaurants like Daniel and Jean-Georges and then break out and form their own branding machines.[...]

Then there are the stealth chefs, those who require dedicated diners to keep their ears to the ground, listening for their every move. They tend to move a lot, because they don't own their restaurants. They are the soul searchers, the gypsies who leave trails of abandoned jobs in their wakes as they seek their culinary voices and search out owners who will nurture their creative powers (i.e. leave them alone). They build followings and hope that some day the stars will align and investors will plunk wads of cash in front of them so they can open their own places. Scott Conant, the chef at the celebrated L'Impero, was once one of these.[...]

Sara Jenkins is another. Since she arrived in New York six years ago, she has worked at I Coppi, Il Buco, Patio Dining and Chez Es Saada. In August, she was hired by Paola Bottero, the owner of the restaurant 50 Carmine in Greenwich Village. Jenkins changed the menu from standard offerings like pumpkin ravioli and arugula salad and added the kind of uncomplicated but perfectly executed dishes she is known for: braised rabbit with chickpeas, ribollita, blood-orange olive-oil cake and hazelnut and lemon biscotti. The results were instantaneous -- the number of diners jumped from a mere handful to more than 100 a night. And now comes Phase 2: a shake-up of the kitchen staff.


Food: Chef to Go (Amanda Hesser)

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#126 SobaAddict70

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 02:47 AM

NY Times Weekly Update
Wednesday, 4 February 2004

Thanks to Pan for covering the NYTimes DIGESTS for the past few weeks. I'm still not doing well, but I'm doing a lot better than before. For those of you who've been wondering what's been going on, a few weeks ago I fractured my heel and have been taking it easy ever since. Whilst I'm still taking it easy, pending further evaluation, I'm ready to resume DIGEST duties at this time. Painkillers definitely don't suck.

Anyway, on with the show. --Soba


A. Dining In/Dining Out Section

Ms. Lu planned her class by looking over the options on Ms. Sydney's Web site; together they tailored the menu to a six-person dinner, accounting for the guests' dietary prohibitions and preferences. "I had never cooked with porcini mushrooms," Ms. Lu said, "so we decided to include them in a squash soup. Jamie convinced me to do a potato gratin; I had never made one because I thought it would be a pain to slice the potatoes thin enough. And I did want to make a really good roast chicken."


Not Quite The eGCI (Julia Moskin)




It doesn't hurt that his 160-seat restaurant sits right next door to the St. James Theater, where Nathan Lane and Mr. Broderick have brought the crowds back with a vengeance during these winter months when business usually drops along with the thermometer.


Angus McIndoe (Alex Wichtel)





"Unfortunately, the popular Sichuan peppercorn is banned from import into the United States due to its classification in the citrus family," Dore Mobley, a spokeswoman for the department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said in a statement. When asked whether there had ever been a case of peppercorns contaminating citrus trees since the ban was imposed in 1968, Ms. Mobley did not point to any.


The Vast Sichuan Peppercorn Conspiracy (Denise Landis)






While the Australians have successfully produced almost every other sort of wine, from dry riesling to powerful cabernet sauvignon and shiraz to rich tawny port, pinot noir is the rare grape that does not come to mind.


Wines of the Times (Eric Asimov)

Sidebar: If you go to the NYTimes Dining In/Dining Out webpage, you can hear an online audio presentation given by Eric Asimov, Amanda Hesser, Florence Fabricant and Joshua Wesson of Bestsellers on Australian and New Zealand pinot noirs. Click on the box marked "Down Under Pinots" to begin the presentation.

Sidebar: Pairings: Blanquette de Veau (Florence Fabricant)






The day-boat sea scallops "Benedict" bring out Mr. Burke's whimsical side. The scallops sit on potato pancakes — stand-ins for English muffins — topped with sunny-side-up quail eggs, slices of chorizo replacing the ham, with olive tapenade sauce and a little chorizo oil. There's foam, too, a weird last-year touch, this one made with lobster broth.


David Burke & Donatella (Marian Burros)

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your experiences.




If you like meat fried until it can be fried no more, the parrillada for two ($25), is perfect. It includes carne fritta, or long twists of beef fried to the consistency of jerky, chunks of pork fried until crisp, mild yet irresistible longaniza sausage, savory fried yuca, and, best of all, pica pollo, pieces of chicken fried until the crust is crisp and crackling, yet full of flavor.


Bohio (Eric Asimov)






In recipes like the fritters here, which are popular in Spain and throughout the Caribbean, and for my little salt cod salad, the cooked cod should be shredded. The easiest way to do this is to chop it into small pieces first and then rub it between your fingers.


The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)






In cooking, this topping turns into the most fabulous crunchy corn bread — more a crumbly dry biscuit — that you push into the chili as you eat to absorb the hot juices. You need do nothing more to this golden dish than sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro and a dollop of palate-salving sour cream over the top.


Comfort Food For When You're Pressed For Time (Nigella Lawson)






She wrote subtexts for each selection — yellow split pea is "soup to embrace the moment"; Berkshire borscht: "soup to connect with our roots."


In The Beginning, There Was Borscht... (Dana Bowen)






Bits and Pieces (Florence Fabricant)







It is hard to believe that life expectancy in the United States, and indeed in much of the Western world, has increased manyfold, even while we fail to microwave our sponges, scrub the blades of our blenders before we put them in the dishwasher and fail to wash our hands when we enter the kitchen.


Washing and Nuking Your Sponges: Letters To The Editor






Corrections







Recipes in today's section:

1. Salt Cod Fritters (Bacalaitos)
2. Salt Cod in Tomato Sauce
3. Salt Cod Salad
4. Salt Cod Mousse (Brandade de Morue)
5. Vegetarian Chili With Corn Bread Topping
6. Spiced Beef in Red Wine




B. Elsewhere in today's Times...

At Perfection Bakeries, based in Fort Wayne, Ind., which markets the Aunt Millie's brand of baked goods, bakers are making fewer traditional and low-fat products in favor of low-carbohydrate versions. Perfection is marketing six low-carbohydrate bread products and plans to introduce reduced-carbohydrate buns for hot dogs and hamburgers.


Render Unto Atkins What is Atkins'... (Sherri Day)

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your opinion.




On Dec. 9, at Vern's Moses Lake Meats in Moses Lake, Wash., Mr. Louthan killed the only mad cow found in the United States.

Two weeks later, he says, he was dismissed after four years as Vern's slaughterer when he talked to the television crews outside and told them he was sure the cow, ground into hamburger, had already been eaten. The plant's owners did not return calls seeking comment.


Mad Cow Slaughterer (Donald G. McNeil, Jr.)

#127 SobaAddict70

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 02:57 AM

NYTimes Weekend Update
Friday, 6 February 2004 -- Monday, 9 February 2004

Thanks again, Ms. Burros, for gracing us with your presence last week during our Q&A. For those of you who missed last week's event, the relevant fora can be found here. Although the Q&A is now closed, please feel free to continue discussion on any of the threads. --Soba

A. Dining In/Dining Out and the Sunday Magazine

As a result, wholesale prices for the "black diamonds" have surged to more than $1,250 per earthy kilogram, compared with about $25 for Chinese truffles. A kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of fresh truffles at specialized boutiques like La Maison de la Truffe in Paris now costs nearly $3,200, making truffles one of those rare agricultural products more profitable than opium.


Let Them Eat Truffles (Craig S. Smith)

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your opinions.




Long Island Pinot Noir (Howard G. Goldberg)





The patchwork of hamachi and bluefin tuna was not only stunning and pristinely fresh, it was also delicious. As for the cod with warm pepper and snow pea salad with soy ginger butter, it had all the earmarks of the best of Le Bernardin. Other dishes, like the filet mignon, need work.


Geisha (Marian Burros)

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your experiences.




''When I was a kid, my parents would ask me what I wanted to eat for my birthday,'' he told me, and I anticipated that he'd dive into a chocolate mousse or possibly one of the chilled fruit soups for which Ilo is famous. ''I'd always say, 'Artichoke.''' And not fancied up either -- ''Just steamed.'' Sober child! ''I've always been careful not to repeat ingredients on the same menu,'' Laakkonen says, ''but I make an exception with artichokes because I love them.''


Not For The Faint Of Heart (Jonathan Reynolds)

Recipes in today's issue:

1. Artichoke Soup (Adapted from Ilo Restaurant)
2. Baked Tuna Belly in Porrata (Adapted from Lupa restaurant)
3. Warm Vanilla Cakes (Adapted from Citarella Restaurant)





Restaurants: Valentine's Day Specials

Sidebar: Wine Under $20 (Howard G. Goldberg)






B. Travel

For two hours we wandered amid dazzling piles of flawless produce: ripe plum tomatoes, golden guavas, shiny black beans, verdant tomatillos in papery husks, lively bunches of cilantro and mint, handsome pineapples, tiny dried shrimp, mountains of scarlet, green, mahogany and black chilies.


Market Day In Cuetzalan (Florence Fabricant)






C. Elsewhere in this weekend's Times...

Nonetheless, even plants specializing in broken-down dairy cows did not conduct tests. Vern's Moses Lake Meats, where the diseased cow was found Dec. 9, did not perform tests until October. Midway Meats, where the carcass was sent, was the only meat plant in Washington out of six there to do testing.

Also, some federal meat inspectors say they have never been trained in spotting the more subtle mad cow symptoms: tremors, facial paralysis and a hopping gait.


Where's The Beef (On Testing For Mad Cow Disease)? (Donald G. McNeil, Jr.)






One of the busiest stores was Whole Foods, whose 59,000 square feet make it the largest supermarket in Manhattan, with a wine store, sushi bar, juice bar, 248-seat cafe, 42 cash registers and 390 employees. Mr. Himmel smiled as a Whole Foods employee, posted at the entrance to the basement store like a bouncer, regulated the hordes of shoppers elbowing one another out of the way, to better ogle the $50 beef tenderloin and order Jamba Juice smoothies.


Opening Week At The Columbus Circle Mall (Corey Kilgannon)




Samuel M. Rubin, who was known as "Sam the Popcorn Man" for making popcorn almost as popular in New York City movie theaters as jokes and kisses, died on Thursday. He was 85.


Obituary: Samuel M. Rubin (Douglas Martin)



Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#128 SobaAddict70

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 04:47 AM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 11 February 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section

What's a chef to do? At Jefferson, Simpson Wong has embraced the controversial Chinese truffle (tuber indicum), a relative of the European black truffle, which was selling for $6 an ounce. He calls it a Himalayan truffle on the menu and shaves it over dumplings stuffed with Asiago cheese, leek, ginger and chives. The results taste like the love children of Chinese won tons and Italian tortellini. "When my cooks from Nepal saw how we treat the truffles, they laughed," Mr. Wong said. "In the Himalayas, truffles are cheap; people put them in curries when they can't afford meat."


All About The Cult Of The Truffle (Julia Moskin)





The closing of Lutèce, along with the announcement that La Côte Basque, another old-line Manhattan French restaurant, will close in March and with the opening of the glossy new high-end restaurants in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, cements the changing of the guard in New York restaurants that has been taking place since the early 1990's.


The End Of An Era (Eric Asimov)






When Mr. Williams, a building contractor who fell in love with anything he had ever seen in a French kitchen, opened his first store in Sonoma, Calif., in 1956, most American home cooks could not buy garlic presses, lemon zesters, grapefruit knives or pepper mills. Or copper pots, sauté pans, gratin or soufflé dishes.


Mr. Tastemaker (Alex Wichtel)






He turned to a small bowl heaped with sweet and spicy Italian pork sausage and a quarter-cup of diced pancetta, the beginnings of the duck's stuffing. These he dumped into a medium-size mixing bowl. He then scraped small piles of diced celery and carrot into it from a hand-painted serving plate. He added a cup of Tuscan bread — crust off, cut into cubes.


The Chef: Cesare Casella (Matt Lee and Ted Lee)







When Mr. DiSpirito is on, he turns out little triumphs — for instance, succulently sweet scallops with sea urchin, a touch of heat from mustard oil and a touch of acid from tomato water. It is one of his simplest dishes.


Union Pacific (Marian Burros)

Click here to discuss the article or to contribute your experiences.





A simple green salad...gains a special touch with soft chestnuts and a black pepper caramel dressing, which is not at all sweet. Grilled escarole..., dressed with pungent bagna cauda, and tender spinach salad with pickled egg and smoked trout...are superb salads.


Alias (Eric Asimov)





You can make the brown butter sauce in the same pan where you cook the skate. Lightly flour the pieces of fish, brown them on both sides, then remove them. Then brown the butter. Since capers and vinegar are a part of the sauce as well, I like to add just a little bit of honey.


The Minimalist: Skate (Mark Bittman)






Bits And Pieces (Florence Fabricant)






The Mediterranean diet exalts olive oil, recommends restraint around red meat and makes ample allowance for pasta, which Michael Romano, the executive chef at the Union Square Cafe in Manhattan, described as a safe harbor in a confused culinary universe with "layers of mad cow disease and crazy chicken disease."


Pasta Fights Back (Frank Bruni)






Wine Talk (Frank J. Prial)






The new Michelin guide will award a third star to three restaurants in France and demote one restaurant to two stars.


Michelin In Flux (Florence Fabricant)






Cocoa butter, along with cocoa powder, the main component of chocolate, is made, Ms. Born said, of fatty acids, including palmitic acid, a 14-carbon chain; stearic acid, a 16-carbon chain; and oleic acid, an 18-carbon chain. She said the mixture of fat in cocoa butter has six stable stages — distinct consistencies — which is why processors have to temper, or heat and cool, chocolate, to attain the desired consistency.


The Lab For Chocolate Science (Katie Zezima)






Recipes in today's issue:

1. Skate With Brown Butter, Honey and Capers
2. Orange Roasted Duck (Anatra All'Arancia)




B. Elsewhere In Today's Times...

In the commercials, the weird-looking Spongmonkeys appear on screen, superimposed over photographs of impossibly gorgeous food items known in the industry as beauty shots. The poorly drawn characters with their ill-fitting teeth, popping eyes and incongruous hats warble jingles that make the Oscar Mayer tune "My bologna has a first name{hellip}" sound like a Cole Porter verse. One jingle describes the sandwiches this way: "They are tasty. They are crunchy. They are warm because they toast them." The song ends with the characters observing that Quiznos offers customers "a pepper bar."


The Spongmonkey Ad Campaign (Stuart Elliott)





In response, all sales of live poultry have been suspended in Delaware. And because the virus is thought capable of spreading from flock to flock through bird droppings picked up on machinery or farmers' shoes, all sales or auctions of farm equipment and all farmer- and grower-related meetings have been canceled as well.


Chicken Flu In Delmarva (Associated Press)






The latest twist is the publication in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday of details from Dr. Atkins's confidential medical report. The report concludes that Dr. Atkins, 72, had a history of heart attack and congestive heart failure and notes that he weighed 258 pounds at death.


WHAT Killed Dr. Atkins? (N. R. Kleinfield)






Rocco DiSpirito, the engaging chef of "The Restaurant" reality television show, is being sued by his restaurant partners, who claim he has failed to provide food and service of sufficient quality.


The Restaurant, Part The Second (Sabrina Tavernise)



Soba

#129 SobaAddict70

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 06:28 PM

NYTimes Weekend Report
Friday, 13 February 2004 -- Sunday, 15 February 2004


A. Dining In/Dining Out and the Sunday Magazine

But after tomorrow, a Gage & Tollner waiter will no longer hold high a glowing wax candle wick and methodically light the 36 gas lamps in the venerable dining room, ending a nearly continuous run stretching back to 1879, when Charles M. Gage opened the original oyster and chop house at 302 Fulton Street.


The End Of An Era, Part 1: Gage and Tollner [1879 - 2004] (Glenn Collins and William Yardley)




The closing of Lutèce, along with the announcement that La Côte Basque, another old-line Manhattan French restaurant, will close in March and with the opening of the glossy new high-end restaurants in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, cements the changing of the guard in New York restaurants that has been taking place since the early 1990's.


The End Of An Era, Part 2: Lutèce [1961 - 2004] (Eric Asimov)






Because there is great promise in nori-wrapped foie gras, served next to a neat piece of watermelon topped with a finger of vinegar-washed, salt-cured Boston mackerel, and in the sheer simplicity of a hunk of smoked char sushi or delicate, wildly fresh fluke.


Riingo (Sam Sifton)

Click here to discuss this article or contribute your experiences.





Here, chef Lee Anne Wong, executive chef of the International Culinary Theater at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, offers three classic tagine recipes: lamb with honey, almonds and dried apricots; chicken with lemon and olives; a vegetarian version; and a recipe for the accompanying couscous.


Cooking With The Times: The Food Of Morocco






It was there that I first had braised duck with olives, one of the few Parisian dishes of the period not covered with bechamel or veloute or allemande. I asked for the recipe and for years made it at home in New York.


Trans-Atlantic Cuisine (Jason Epstein)

Recipes in today's issue:

1. Braised Duck With Olives
2. Magret de Canard With Colonel Hawker Sauce



B. Travel

The main course our cheerful young waitress recommended, for good reason, was pork Bicol. Pork tenderloin is stuffed with shrimp, bacon and pineapple and glazed with coconut adobo. Served with spicy mashed yucca, the dish comes from a region in the Philippines known for its peppers and coconuts.


Choice Tables In Chicago (Dennis Ray Wheaton)





C. Elsewhere in the Times...

Italian banks, Italian bondholders and foreign creditors will be invited to take part in the committee to give them a role in the reorganization of Italy's biggest food company and a say in how its new management tries to pay off $17.8 billion in debt, Mr. Marzano said.


Parmalat Update (Bloomberg News)




Two cocktails, in most women, is enough to elevate alcohol levels in the blood to 0.07 percent, he said. The animal studies show that in unborn mice this concentration is enough to kill developing brain cells.


No Cocktails For You! (Associated Press)





Joining a growing chorus, federal advisers on Friday urged the government to increase testing for mad cow disease greatly to better gauge if the United States has a problem, and if so, how widespread it is.


More Testing For Mad Cow (Alicia Ault)





The most common glass for Champagne 50 years ago, the coupe has gradually been supplanted by the flute, whose slender upright form is now deemed far more proper and elegant.


Coupe Style (David Colman)




The Sir Francis Drake, served at Hearth, a restaurant on East 12th Street, is a shot of sherry, topped off with Clamato juice. It's delicious.


Mr. Mraz's directive from Paul Grieco, the general manager, who was formerly the service and wine director at Gramercy Tavern, and from Marco Canora, formerly the chef at Craft, was to create cocktails with three ingredients or fewer.


Hearth's Newest Cocktail (William L. Hamilton)

Click here for a discussion of this article.



Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#130 SobaAddict70

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 12:13 AM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 18 February 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section

Making pot-au-feu is no simple matter. The bouillon is best if made by plunging meat into cold water. Brought to a boil, simmered, then skimmed and strained, the resulting liquid serves as the cooking medium for the pot-au-feu. A generous assortment of vegetables and meats, including at least one gelatinous cut for richness, is needed for optimum flavor complexity.


Exquisite Pleasures (R. W. Apple, Jr.)

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Do not look for Pepsi, but expect to find micro-brewed root beers. Do not even think of asking for Count Chocula cereal. The shelves are given over to brands like Nature's Path, Peace Cereal and EnviroKidz, a line that includes Orangutan-O's and Cheetah Chomps.

The great food halls of London's department stores served as a model for the Time-Warner operation, but Whole Foods has a clean, brisk, all-American atmosphere that is miles distant from the heavy sumptuousness of Harrods. In tone and philosophy, it resembles its counterpart down in Chelsea. The wide open spaces of Columbus Circle, however, have allowed for fancy add-ons, like the wine shop, and a more theatrical, eye-popping approach to display.


A Venusberg of Gustatory Temptations (William Grimes)

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"It's the absolute essence of the sea," Steven Jenkins, a partner in Fairway Markets, said of a good anchovy. "It's the most true representative of seafood. It's fish essential. It's like eating the sea."


All About Anchovies (Amanda Hesser)





But if baking requires obedience, it does not require Soviet-style obliteration of individuality, as my earlier prejudice had led me to believe. Once you understand what the component parts of a recipe are, you can play with them.


At My Table (Nigella Lawson)





Nonetheless, Armagnac producers, like Champagne producers, reserve their best, most distinctive lots for single-vintage bottles, which are, not coincidentally, much more expensive than the blends. Our No. 2 Armagnac, the Domaine D'Ognoas of 1985, was exceptionally flavorful, with an assertive quality that some might call rustic, but which is characteristic of fine Armagnac.


Spirits of the Times (Eric Asimov)

On the NYTimes Dining In/Dining Out web page, you can hear an audio presentation among Eric Asimov, Amanda Hesser, Florence Fabricant and Garrett Oliver (brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery) on a selection of artisanal Armangacs. Click on the box entitled "Armangac: Cognac's Country Cousin" to begin the presentation.

Sidebar: Pairings (Sam Sifton)





The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)






Bits And Pieces (Florence Fabricant)






The barbacoa, slow-roasted spice-rubbed lamb wrapped in avocado, banana and hoja santa leaves, was at the delightful falling-apart stage and quite tasty served with excellent warm flour tortillas and three toppings: tomato jalapeño salsa; cilantro and onion; and tomatillo with avocado.


Lucy Mexican Barbecue (Marian Burros)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.





Here and there slogans are painted on the wall, like "No cervezas, no trabajo," no beer, no work. Lining the shelves around a pillar in the center of the small room are colorful bottles of Jarritos, the Mexican soda.


Cubana Cafe (Eric Asimov)






This is partly modesty, and partly something else. Mr. Glustein is a believer in the evil eye. To put his name before the public, he said, is to risk unspecified personal disaster.


Not A Fan Of Restaurants (Howard Kaplan)




Corrections



Recipes in today's issue:

1. All-in-One Chocolate Cake
2. Fruity Banana Bread
3. My Favorite Cookies
4. Shrimp With Lemon Anchovy Mayonnaise
5. Lamb Shoulder Chops With Anchovy and Mint Butter
6. Endive, Watercress and Radish Salad With Anchovy Dressing
7. West Lake Fish Soup



B. Elsewhere in today's Times...

"The verdict is a disappointment to our company and thousands of cattle producers who want to maintain the right to market cattle the way they want," the company said in a statement. "We do not expect today's jury decision to materially impair our liquidity or affect operations.''


$1.28 Billion Judgment Against Tyson Fresh Meats (Elizabeth Becker)





Calisto Tanzi has said in testimony to prosecutors that he took about 500 million euros ($640 million) from Parmalat and transferred it to several of his family's companies, including Parmatour. He has also said that his daughter knew nothing of the money transfer to Parmatour, a statement that other former Parmalat managers have disputed. They have said in testimony that Ms. Tanzi ran Parmatour and closely followed the company's finances.


Parmalat: The Mystery Of The Missing Euros (Eric Sylvers)




The study, financed by National Institutes of Health grants and by Mars, involved 27 healthy people ages 18 to 72. Each consumed a cocoa beverage containing 900 milligrams of flavonols (a class of flavonoids) daily for five days. Using a finger cuff, blood flow was measured on the first and fifth days of the study.

After five days, researchers measured what they called "significant improvement" in blood flow and the function of the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels.


Chocolate As Medicine (Elizabeth Olson)







While the strain has been found in only two Italian cows, both apparently healthy, scientists in Europe and the United States said it should provide new impetus in Washington for the Department of Agriculture to adopt the more sensitive rapid tests used in Europe because it may not show up in those used in the United States.


Italian Mad Cow (Donald G. McNeil, Jr.)






You may not have to drink eight glasses of water a day to be well hydrated, and you can count caffeinated beverages in your total water intake, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine, the group that sets desirable levels of nutrient intake for Americans of all ages.


Personal Health (Jane E. Brody)




Olives are strong growers that need frequent pruning to stay shapely and productive, but fruit is borne on the older wood, so you have to strike a balance. As soon as new shoots have seven sets of leaves, cut them back by three-fourths.


How To Plant And Care For An Olive Tree (Leslie Land)



Soba

#131 SobaAddict70

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 02:58 PM

NYTimes Weekend Report
Friday, 20 February 2004 -- Sunday, 22 February 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section and the Sunday Magazine

An electrical fire on Saturday afternoon has knocked Per Se, the ultrahyped restaurant of the celebrity chef Thomas Keller, out of business for at least two weeks. Per Se, which had opened in the new Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle only six days earlier, already boasted a two-month wait for reservations. The damage was minimal, though again the concept is relative. The only injury was to a firefighter’s finger, sprained while knocking out a wall, but among the doused objects was the Porsche of kitchen stoves: an $85,000 cooktop and oven, custom-made by the French company Bonnet (pronounced boh-NAY).


Sacre Bleu! Fire At Per Se (Andrea Elliott and Florence Fabricant)

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"I'm an independent thinker, and I guess that sometimes means I can be reckless," he says. "I'm still trying to perfect a balance between the creative and the commercial. As a creative person who lives in a commercial world, I understand it's not all about you. No chef is a pure artist; somebody has to want to come in and eat the food you cook and pay for it and like it. If there's people who think I'm not longer an artist and I've sold out, I'd say that the good chefs sell out every night: their dining rooms are sold out every night."


Rocco Sings The Blues (Robin Finn)





The menu is from Emiglia-Romagna, as is Mr. Quadalti. Thus are plates of delicate, fragrant gnocco fritto, or yeasty, pillow-shaped fritters, served alongside dabs of Stracchino cheese or fans of salume: coppa, mortadella, salami, silky prosciutto di Parma.


Bianca (Sam Sifton)

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your experiences.




Restaurants: Historic New York

Sidebar: Wine Under $20 (Howard G. Goldberg)





When I was growing up, I knew tuna salad exclusively as that excellent mixture of water-packed white tuna, mayonnaise, hard-boiled eggs, onion, celery and sweet pickle that my mother made and that resided pretty much perpetually in our refrigerator. I ate it in the summers standing at the kitchen counter, in sloppy forkfuls straight out of the bowl. During the school year I toted it in my red plaid metal lunchbox, spread on white bread wrapped tightly in Saran Wrap and accompanied by a Baggie of Lay's potato chips. I was almost 30 before I realized that tuna salad (the mayonnaise-based variety) existed in many other forms.


Canned Classics (Julia Reed)





If Mr. Pataki's measure passes, it would eclipse a decision this month by a federal appeals court in Manhattan that upheld the state's ban on direct shipments of out-of-state wines to consumers, an issue apparently headed for the United States Supreme Court.


Proposal From Albany: Shipping Wine Directly To New York (Howard G. Goldberg)




B. Elsewhere in the Times...

The 19th century saw, for example, the emergence of the Rev. Sylvester Graham, a promoter of vegetarianism for whom the Graham cracker was named. Graham insisted that people could rise above hunger and cravings if they would just stop being slaves to their stomachs. His followers favored fresh fruits and vegetables, grown without fertilizers, and made bran bread. They established "physiological boardinghouses" where people could live the Graham way. Skeptics were scathing. Dinner at a Graham house, they said, featured delicacies like "straggling radishes," "a soggy bunch of asparagus" and "corpses of potatoes," washed down with "a tumbler of cold water."


Thou Shalt Not Covet The Atkins Diet (If You're A Vegetarian) (Gina Kolata)



Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#132 SobaAddict70

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 02:08 AM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 25 February 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section

First a dish of gougères, or Gruyère-filled choux pastry, is slipped onto the table. They are tiny as buttons — crisp little poufs, spiced with a whiff of cayenne. The flaky pastry collapses on your tongue.


Asiate (Amanda Hesser)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.




"My mom's food is what I grew up with, and I love these sauces and stews," Mr. Ouattara said on a recent evening as his mother and his sister Kady cooked dishes from Ivory Coast in this reporter's kitchen. "But I have dated girls who can't stand the smell of things like dried fish. Americans have set things in their mind."


Motherly Culinary Influences (Joan Nathan)





Michelin calls Mr. Remy an extortion artist with a vivid imagination who demanded money not to publish and was fired for violating the company's confidentiality rules.


The Remy Diaries (Elaine Sciolino)





Cooks are a wandering lot, seeking advancement, experience and a chance to participate in the creation of a great restaurant. But waiters and managers are rarely eager to leave secure jobs with benefits at top restaurants.

A good waiter or captain in a top restaurant can make more than $100,000 a year in salary and tips, and is likely to have benefits, including health coverage that can cost employers $700 a month. But most earn considerably less. An experienced restaurant manager may make $75,000 and is not entitled to participate in the tip pool.


How To Be A Waiter In A New York City Restaurant (Florence Fabricant)

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Mr. Casella was preparing a hearty salad of scrambled eggs, pancetta and lettuce in a test kitchen two floors above Beppe, the Manhattan restaurant where he is the chef, research director, archivist, government liaison and genius loci. Although pancetta and pecorino are delivered right to his door, Mr. Casella has proved himself as persistent as his father in a somewhat different realm: the paper chase.


The Chef (Matt Lee and Ted Lee)





The three that interested me were 2001 whites from the producer Olivier Leflaive: a Puligny-Montrachet Champ-Gain and a Meursault-Perrières, both premier cru, and a grand cru, Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet. The Chablis were from Christian Moreau; the attractive Mâcon wines from the Château Fuissé.


Wine Talk (Frank J. Prial)






Bits and Pieces (Florence Fabricant)






When considering tiny Natchez, it is hard not to wonder whether New Orleans will once again be a fleeting fascination. Formerly Mugsy's Chow Chow, an East Village institution, this dreamy little dining room, with its floor of tiny black and white tiles and open kitchen, in 2002 became Patio Dining, a way station for the chef Sara Jenkins. She left after a year, and it plodded on briefly before morphing late last year into Natchez, with Shawn Knight as chef.


Natchez (Eric Asimov)







"Salt is the new olive oil," said Thomas Keller, the chef of the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., and the new Per Se in the Time Warner Center in Manhattan.

Given the considerable expansion of the salt rack, some chefs are also advocating new ways of cooking with salt, especially when making meat dishes. Common belief — indeed, cooking-school doctrine — has long been that meat should be salted just before cooking and not a moment before.


Salt Is The New Olive Oil (Emily Kaiser)






Like many dishes that rely on combinations of spices, a tagine, which is a slowly braised stew, may look more intimidating to cook than it is. Even with shortcuts, the results are exotic in flavor and appearance. My version of this tagine may not compare to those that begin with toasting and grinding spices and peeling grapes, but it is easily executed and, I think, divine.


The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)







Crosnes, which average an inch in length, are similar to water chestnuts in texture. The French variety tastes a bit like potato. The American variety is smaller and nuttier. The delicate flavor suggests jicama or Jerusalem artichoke. Unlike most tubers, crosnes stay crunchy when cooked.


All About Crosnes (Pavia Rosati)






Correction






Recipes in today's section:

1. Chicken and Chickpea Tagine
2. Pontormo's Salad
3. Ivory Coast Salad
4. Spinach-Peanut Stew
5. Oven-Roasted Tilapia With Spicy Tomato Sauce
6. Winter Chicken



B. Elsewhere in today's Times...

A senior scientist at the Department of Agriculture says its scientific experts have been pressured by top officials to approve products for Americans to eat before their safety can be confirmed.

In particular, the scientist said, approval to resume importing Canadian beef was given last August before a study confirming that it was safe. Canadian beef was banned after mad cow disease was found there in May.


Mad Cow? What Mad Cow? (Donald G. McNeil, Jr.)





The Chinese government announced Monday that it had approved the import of genetically modified crops, a victory for the American biotech industry that will make it easier for the United States to export more food to China.


China Allows Import of Genetically Modified Crops (Keith Bradsher)






The judge, Charles A. Posner of Criminal Court, found that the state law banning the sale of beer from 3 a.m. to noon on Sundays was unconstitutional because it is based in religious beliefs - specifically Christian ones - and thus violates the separation of church and state.


Sunday Morning Beer Sales In New York? Possible...But Not Likely (Now) (Andy Newman)





Madison Avenue was challenged again yesterday over the way it markets food to children, as a new report was released suggesting that advertising contributes to childhood obesity.

The report, by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, summarized existing studies on obesity and the media like television, video games and movies that capture children's attention. Although it endorsed no solutions, it did discuss possible policy changes, like regulating or reducing food advertising aimed at children.


The Need For Responsible Marketing In Children's Food Advertising (Nat Ives)




Soba

#133 SobaAddict70

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 10:00 AM

NYTimes Weekend Report
Friday, 27 February 2004 -- Monday, 1 March 2004


After an apple-cinnamon sorbet between courses, we addressed thick, succulent slices of duck breast over red onion marmalade and tender fillet of Irish beef set on a tasty julienne of bacon and onions, both cooked about half a notch more than requested but otherwise delicious. Meanwhile, there was quite a bit else going on: flavored breads and vegetables served family style, including a gratin of garlic-flavored sliced potatoes, cumin-flavored carrots, salsify and green beans.


Choice Tables: Eire (Maureen B. Fant)





No strangers to American culinary achievements like Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Krispy Kreme and the occasional 1950's theme restaurant like Johnny Rockets, Londoners have gained a sudden and improbable enthusiasm for food that until recently many here considered vile: ribs, gumbo, collard greens, buttermilk biscuits — even grits.


When Gumbo And Grits Became British (Warren St. John)

Click here for a discussion of the cuisine of the United Kingdom and related topics.





There is on the dinner menu a perfectly excellent rendition of slow-roasted duck. It has crispy skin and meltingly tender meat and is served above a pretty and flavorful stir fry of Chinese long beans (very good), lotus root (bad idea), shiitakes (well, a shiitake, to be precise) and shunkyo (it's a kind of radish). Absent the lotus root, and served alongside some delicious polenta fries, it's the sort of entree that could be a calling card: a steak frites for the new American bistro. But ask a waiter about it. "It's O.K.," ours said before the meal, looking blank.


Zoë (Sam Sifton)

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For the first time, New York's annual statewide wine contest is going to take place in Long Island wine country. The contest, which will be open to the public, will be held on the North Fork on Aug. 2 and 3, a high point in the wine-tourism season, said James Trezise, president of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the sponsor.


Long Island Vines (Howard G. Goldberg)






''When the idea of a chocolate menu came up, I wondered if it could be done without imitating the Mexicans, who use it in a very pronounced way,'' Whittlesey says. ''The Aztecs considered it a sort of ancient Viagra. Supposedly, Montezuma drank 20 to 30 cups a day. But he had several wives to satisfy.''


Aztec Viagra (Jonathan Reynolds)

Recipes in today's section:

1. Wild-Striped-Bass Tartare With Chocolate 'Ivoire'
2. Velvet Manjari Chocolate Ganache





New Yorkers greeted the first wave of news with a healthy stoicism: the landmark Brooklyn restaurant Gage & Tollner had closed, its allure predictably lost on the younger generations of Fulton Street.

But to replace it with a T.G.I. Friday's?


Out With The Old And In With A Chain (Andrea Elliott)

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Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#134 SobaAddict70

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 12:30 AM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 3 March 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section

The tuna appetizer is divided into four parts, each delicious. Fried capers are sprinkled over minced tuna. A sliver of anchovy bisects a cube of tuna sashimi. Tiny dice of tuna is flecked with preserved lemon and sea salt. And a piece of cooked tuna is dressed with tuna sauce.


Hearth (Amanda Hesser)

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The best is now increasingly scarce and costly, frighteningly so. Inevitably, inferior substitutes abound — farmed fish, foreign fish, frozen fish. I saw a farmed Dutch turbot on sale for $29.50, and a wild local turbot, of the succulent variety the Venetians call "chiodato" or "nailed," because of its bony, nailhead-like protrusions, priced at $59.50.


Mummified Tuna In Venice (R. W. Apple, Jr.)






For the uninitiated, a bris is a Jewish ritual, the circumcision performed by a mohel (pronounced either MOY-ul or MOH-ul) on the eighth day after a boy is born (or later, but never before) and the occasion when the baby also receives his Hebrew name.


What To Serve At A Bris (Alex Wichtel)






The Manhattan restaurant scene is booming, but not where you think.

Though the publicity lasers have been beamed of late on the restaurants in the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle, there is an even greater ferment 40 or so blocks to the south, where the meatpacking district, the northern edge of Greenwich Village and the southern border of Chelsea, around Ninth Avenue, segue into one another.


Restaurants, Restaurants Everywhere (Florence Fabricant)






Not all cold-weather greens are lettuces. Kale and collard and mustard greens are brassicas, members of the cabbage family. Mild red and green chard are beets.


A Challenge For Modern Salad Palates (Kay Rentschler)







Part of that fear must come from the fact that fish live in an environment in which we can not: it is alien flesh. Animals that roam the land, breathing the air we breathe — that we can understand. Children are innate fish haters: most refuse any form of seafood, except perhaps an entirely denatured fish stick. Adults are not so different, wanting their fish descaled, sauce-swathed and essentially transfigured.


At My Table (Nigella Lawson)







Where paella usually relies on chicken stock, wine and tomatoes, kayaku gohan (along with, it seems, about a million other dishes in Japan) uses dashi as a liquid. Dashi, which has a smoky but fresh flavor, is the least fussy of the world's important stocks, and can be made and used in 10 minutes. But you need two uncommon ingredients: kelp, a dried seaweed also known as kombu, and dried bonito flakes (bonito is related to tuna).


The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)






Salads are superb, most memorably a special of braised endive..., still crisp, served with sautéed cauliflower — my current candidate for most underrated vegetable — and blue cheese. Thick chickpea pancakes..., like blini, make a great combination with prosciutto, tangy pickled onions and roasted peppers.


Chestnut (Eric Asimov)

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your experiences.





Bits And Pieces (Florence Fabricant)






Actually, the perch and smelt that Mr. Gebo has been hauling up daily from holes in the ice in Lake Champlain were not really considered delicacies until he started selling them to the market in this affluent community about seven miles south of Burlington.


Wintry Delicacies At Lake Champlain (Paula Routly)






Pairings (Florence Fabricant)

Recipe: TAGLIOLINI WITH RADICCHIO AND SHRIMP

Wines Of The Times (Eric Asimov)

Sidebar: If you go to the NYTimes Dining In/Dining Out web page, you can hear an audio presentation given by Eric Asimov, Howard Horvath (wine director at Esca), Charles Scicolone (wine director at I Trulli) and Tara Q. Thomas (senior editor of Wine & Spirits magazine) on a selection of pinot grigio wines from Italy.





Corrections




Recipes in today's section not included above:

1. Cod Baked With Prosciutto
2. French Lentils With Garlic and Thyme
3. Smoked-Fish Risotto
4. Braised Chicken With Escarole and Sicilian Olives
5. Belgian Endive Gratin With Black Forest Ham and Green Garlic
6. Japanese Seafood and Rice



B. Elsewhere in today's Times...

Coffee drinkers, get ready for $150 million or more worth of java jive, courtesy of the world's best-known sellers of coffee and coffee makers. The ambitious goals of their advertising and marketing campaigns: persuade millions of consumers who increasingly prefer to leave home for their coffee fixes to stay home - and add another appliance to crowded kitchens.


Madison Avenue Style Kaffeeklatsch (Stuart Elliott)




Soba

#135 SobaAddict70

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 08:10 PM

NYTimes Weekend Update
Friday, 5 March 2004 -- Sunday, 7 March 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section and the Sunday Magazine

Halibut Cha Ca La Vong recalls the Hanoi restaurant of that name, with the fish cooked in a marinade of turmeric and fish sauce, with an herb salad and nuoc cham on the side.


Spice Market (Sam Sifton)

Click here for a discussion of Spice Market.





A Selection of Restaurants: Sushi and Sashimi, Oh My!






Amateur-turned-professional has become a familiar résumé among North Fork vintners. But in today's competitive climate, traces of amateurism are not quickly evident in new brands coming to market.


Wines of the Times (Howard G. Goldberg)







Is there a better meal than breakfast? Just name it. There is no such thing as a bad one, and that includes the sodium-mainlining Japanese version with fish, the chitterlings and sausage in Smyrna, Georgia, and the sardine sandwich downtown at Bonbonniere. It heralds a new day, when optimism is at its zenith and anything is possible, so it is the most cheerful of meals, even if all you're having is a Danish and a cup of Joe on the run.


All About Breakfast (Jonathan Reynolds)

Recipes in today's issue:

1. New England Spider Cake
2. Soufflé Omelet
3. Poached Apricots

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your recipes.






It started with a peach. Not just any peach but a Frog Hollow Farm peach, coaxed into its fullness by the rich loam of the Sacramento River Delta. A golden peach suffused with a lover's blush, a hint of erotic give at the cleft, its juice sliding down the chin at the gentlest pressure -- it was a peach that tastes the way peaches once did, the way they should. It was the peach with which Alice Waters, the founder of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, the chef who revolutionized American fine dining, imagined she would transform children's lives.


The New American Revolutionary (Peggy Orenstein)

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B. Elsewhere in today's Times...

Each of those start-ups has gone further in the frills department than JetBlue, which still does not offer meals. On Song, passengers can buy a variety of snacks, including pricey chocolates from Dylan's Candy Bar, a Manhattan shop. On Ted, there is even an official beer, Foster's Lager, and passengers can buy souvenirs like a stuffed bear named - what else? - Ted.


The Low-Fare Airline Market Wars (Micheline Maynard)





This past weekend McDonald's fattened the wallets of 15 customers with million-dollar prizes, payouts from an instant-win giveaway in which anyone got a chance to win just for wandering into one of the fast-food restaurants on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. But, because the $15 million giveaway was sparked by scandal, few customers seemed aware they could become a millionaire.


The McDee Millionaire Sweepstakes (Nat Ives)







The meals come one a day, Monday through Friday, with an extra frozen meal for the weekend. One day it is a pork chop with broccoli and mashed potatoes. The next it is meatballs and macaroni. Then lemon chicken with baked potato and spinach.

To Marge Marcone, who lives in the Fordham section of the Bronx, the doorbell signaling the arrival of her food is often the highlight of her day. She is 76, and recently deteriorating health has largely confined her to her apartment. She had a heart attack, and her vision has been failing, making her leery of using the stove. She is legally blind and too unsure of herself to venture out other than to visit a doctor. She qualified for the city's Meals on Wheels program that brings a hot meal to her door five afternoons a week.


Lunch For One (N.R. Kleinfield)







Hundreds of thousands of chickens on two commercial farms in Maryland are being slaughtered after a case of avian influenza was found there, officials said Sunday.


Delmar Epidemic: Chicken Flu (Associated Press)






In a sometimes heated hearing on Capitol Hill, lawmakers said the agencies had failed to tell thousands of residents promptly that elevated, in some cases dangerously high, lead levels had been discovered in their houses last year. The agencies seemed disconcertingly uncertain about the problem's causes, scope and solutions, the lawmakers and expert witnesses said.


Congressional Oversight In Washington, D.C. (James Dao)







Since Dr. Robert Atkins's death last April, from a fall on the ice outside his Center for Complementary Medicine on the East Side of Manhattan, conspiracy theorists have whispered: Was it really just a slip or something he ate? In the meantime, the low carb and high protein diet revolution he cooked up has mutated into a lifestyle, a zeitgeist shift of elephant proportions. Now, 40 percent of Americans, people in the diet business say, are watching their carbs, making a cranky population with bad breath and an irrational fear of a nice piece of toast. They are eager, no, desperate, to spend, the same authorities suggest, up to $25 billion this year on things like low-carb Skippy peanut butter and low-carb European barge cruises and hotel get-a-weighs. There is even a magazine, LowCarb Living, out since January.


Low Carb Literature (Penelope Green)







While it's hard to go wireless in a stop-gap rental, this apartment has other advantages, and some nice restaurant karma. At 1,300 square feet, it's twice as big as the studio apartment the two — and then three — were sharing on Bleecker Street last year. It's nestled in one of the four town houses that make a poignant old New York stage set between the elephantine 20th century commercial buildings that now flank them (the scale differential can make you dizzy).


A Chef's Apartment In The South Village (Penelope Green)



Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#136 SobaAddict70

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 11:50 PM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 10 March 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section

What is at stake nationwide is an almost $2 billion slice of the $16 billion bread industry. Last year, sales of artisanal and artisan-style bread in supermarkets and big chains nationwide grew faster than any other part of the bread business: four times faster than the business as a whole, and almost 20 times faster than white bread, according to Mintel. (Bread sales have not fallen in the face of low-carb eating, but they have leveled off.)


When Artisanal Breads Became Artisan-less (Julia Moskin)

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A $25 meal in Tokyo doesn't leave you stuffed or bloated. But it can buy you happiness. Be warned, though, prices often double in the evening and a $15 lunch may be a $30 dinner at the same restaurant.


How To Have A $25 Meal Per Person -- In Tokyo (Elaine Louie)

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your experiences.





Two bills before Congress would require restaurants to provide diners with nutritional information about meals. Last week, Ruby Tuesday announced that in April it would become the first chain to provide such information on menus in its 700 casual-dining locations. The amounts of fat, calories, net carbohydrates and fiber will be provided for every dish. "Instead of saying you can't give full nutrition information, we saw this as a way to get ahead of our competition," said Sandy Beall, founder and chief executive.


Eating Well (Marian Burros)





He set a large, empty saucepan over an unlighted burner and slicked the bottom of the pan with extra virgin olive oil. Turning to a cutting board, he gathered thin slices of garlic and dropped them into the oil. "I put the sliced garlic in cold oil because you get more flavor, more intensity, when you heat them up together," he said.


The Chef (Matt Lee and Ted Lee)






The chardonnay was not unattractive and probably could match other California chardonnays at twice the cost. The pinot noir showed once again that it is difficult to make good pinot noir in this price range. All the Mirassou wines have a suggested retail price of $11 and the packaging is attractive.


Blue "Bottle" Specials For Wine Bargain Hunters (Frank J. Prial)






Miso soup is gentrified, with a dense fragrance of enoki mushrooms and truffle oil. My spoon went in search of tofu and found, instead, a delicately poached oyster, clam and slices of tuna that shock with the flavor of iodine.


Riingo (Amanda Hesser)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.






Fried clams are one of those seashore dishes that for some inexplicable reason are hard to find well executed in New York. Shore's fried clam roll..., served on the traditional buttery top-sliced hot-dog roll with a bitter watercress salad, is pleasing because the clams are crisp and full of flavor. But it is disappointing because it uses clam strips rather than bellies. The inspiration seems more Howard Johnson's than Ipswich.


Shore (Eric Asimov)






The challenge came after I prepared a traditional Fourth of July barbecue complete with smoked brisket and beer-can chicken at our home in Martha's Vineyard for a Japanese television show.

Then came the ultimate trial by fire: an invitation to appear on the Tokyo Broadcasting System's "World Bari Bari Values" to face off against Rokusaburo Michiba, the first winner of the Iron Chef competition.


BBQ Iron Chef (Steven Raichlen)

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"I'm not going to say that a mealworm on a celery stalk with a dollop of cream cheese is that expensive," he said. "On the other hand, if I take four inch-and-a-half mealworms, prepare them in a vol-au-vent pastry with escargot butter and bake it with a roasted two-and-a-half-inch scorpion in there as a hidden secret, you're talking an $18 appetizer."


Even Insects Have To Look Their Best (Thomas Vinciguerra)

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Bits And Pieces (Florence Fabricant)




The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)





Corrections





Recipes in today's issue:

1. Tuscan-Style Pork Spareribs
2. Stir-Fried Lamb With Green Peppers and Black Beans




B. Elsewhere in today's Times...

Barbara Smith, the restaurateur, and Katie Brown, an author of decorating books, who have both put in their time on cable television, say they have been barraged by calls from networks, venture capitalists, furniture companies and people from Hollywood scouting the contenders to Ms. Stewart's throne.


All Hail The New Queen Of Taste...Whoever She Is (William L. Hamilton)

Click here to discuss the article.





It also closely traces the steps of a competitor, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco, which since 1999 has been selling exotic blends of Camels that add unusual notes of flavor to the traditional tobacco blend: Crema, which hints at the taste of cream; Dark Mint, a chocolate and mint flavor; Izmir Stinger, inspired by cocktails that mix brandy and crème de menthe; and two citrus blends, Mandarin Mint and Twist.


Flavored Cigarettes (Nat Ives)






"We're really getting killed over here," Eddie Gordon, president of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, said in a telephone interview from Mount Pleasant, S.C. "Prices are so low that our boat owners can't even afford to go out shrimping, and that's because the product is being sold against what all our trade agreements are."


Trade Tiff Between America And Brazil (Larry Rohter)



Soba

#137 SobaAddict70

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 09:04 AM

NYTimes Weekend Update
Friday, 12 March 2004 -- Mondau, 15 March 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section and the Sunday Magazine

You might submit to a char-broiled burger or some sticky barbecue shrimp or a pastrami sandwich or a chicken-fried steak. You might eat coleslaw and drink black coffee and talk through the indignities of a week's work at the D.M.V. on Rockwell Place. You might pick at the steak fries because they aren't very good, and you might drink rail bourbon and think it delicious.


Junior's (Sam Sifton)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.





Six producers who were judged to form the high-quality core of Long Island's wine industry offered insights into their wines' past, present and possible futures on Monday night. They were Channing Daughters and Wölffer, on the South Fork, and Bedell, Lenz, Paumanok and Raphael, on the North Fork.

The producers collaborated in a $350-a-ticket fund-raising seminar and dinner attended by 34 paying guests held on behalf of Slow Food U.S.A. in a salon at Le Bernardin, the celebrated Manhattan seafood restaurant.


Long Island Vines (Howard G. Goldberg)






Soaking the chops for a day or two in a water bath with sugar, salt and spices makes them much more tender and flavorful, but if you haven't planned ahead, much the same result can be achieved by rubbing them with salt and herbs and letting them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours.


A Cut Above (Julia Reed)

Recipes in Sunday's issue:

1. Pork Chops With Dijon Sauce
2. Brine-Cured Pork Chops
3. Joe Major's Stuffed Pork Chops





Restaurants: St. Patrick's Specialties





B. Elsewhere in the Times...

Spice Market's cocktail menu includes a mai tai, the drink invented in 1944 by Victor "Trader Vic" Bergeron at his restaurant in Oakland, Calif. But the rum cocktail that is more to the point is rum tamarind punch, a Spice Market original, which extends the tradition of exotic punches popularized by Trader Vic's international franchise in the 1950's with pedigree and surprise. It is two ingredients, aged rum and tamarind nectar, a juice beverage, and it is sensational.


When The Dalai Lama Became The New Trader Vic (William L. Hamilton)





Will she twist willow reeds into autumn wreaths? Heavens, no. Will she weave cardboard strips into placemats, or whip up a batch of popovers? Not a chance.

"You'll never see me do that," Ms. Hoppen, 42, said in a telephone interview from London on Friday. "I'm never going to be weaving or sewing or plastering. I'm just not like that."

"I don't even cook," she added. "I just pick up the phone and call up the caterers."


The Upscale Martha Stewart (Tracie Rozhon)

Click here for a related discussion regarding possible replacements for Martha Stewart.





The technology for commercial aseptic processing has been available for a half-century and took hold in Europe in the early 1960's, but it was not approved for food in the United States until 1981. Parmalat, the Italian conglomerate now in bankruptcy and embroiled in an accounting scandal, embraced the technology early and became the world's most widely distributed brand of milk.


Aseptic Food Packaging (Kate Murphy)






Dr. Rader and others say, for example, that there are people who have high levels of H.D.L., but the H.D.L. does not function properly. Instead of being protected from heart disease, these patients may be particularly vulnerable. A simple H.D.L. measurement does not reveal whether a person's high level is good or bad.


When Good Cholesterol Became Iffy... (Gina Kolata)

Click here to discuss the article.




The new testing system could take effect March 29 if it gets final Bush administration approval, said Andrew Rhorer, senior coordinator of the Agriculture Department's poultry improvement plan. The plan was approved on March 5 by a committee of federal, state and industry officials that oversees the program, he said.

Until now, low-path bird flu had gotten a low priority from regulators. The disease is found in nations worldwide, and governments are not required to notify international livestock health officials when an outbreak occurs. High-path flu, on the other hand, does require notification, which triggers poultry export embargoes.


Increased Testing For Bird Flu (Associated Press)






Genetically engineered corn has made its way into Mexican fields from modified American seeds and could ultimately displace native corn varieties unless the government moves to protect them, a multinational panel of researchers warned Thursday.


Mexican Corn: The Newest Endangered Species (Elisabeth Malkin)






Yet at an Eos production meeting last month, Mr. Alden, whose work has been seen at the New York City Opera and Glimmerglass but never at the Met, effortlessly resituated all three acts of "The Valkyrie" in a kitchen where the only props are a stove, a refrigerator and a green Formica table with four metal chairs. Elements of continuity with the "Rhinegold" were apparent. The same mezzo-soprano, Linda Pavelka, sings Fricka. The meddlesome emphasis on dysfunctional family dynamics still holds sway. Mr. Sheffer again relies on Jonathan Dove's chamber orchestration, which originated with a 10-hour "Ring" presented in 1990 by the City of Birmingham Opera in England. The English translation is mainly the work of Mr. Alden and Mr. Sheffer.


The Kitchen Valkyrie (Joseph Horowitz)




Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#138 SobaAddict70

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 12:44 AM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 17 March 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section

A dish of braised tripe looked a lot like shreds of carpet in a brown sauce (how does one make tripe attractive?) but hit all the right notes. It was hearty and savory — a scattering of fava beans and chips of black truffle lurked within.


Montrachet (Amanda Hesser)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.






La Nacional understands the crucial point about paella, that the rice is the single most important thing about the dish, not the additions. So, while pungent piquillo peppers, along with sweet little cockles, shrimp, mussels, squid and just a few pieces of chicken, are just what I want in a paella, it is the rice — plump, tiny grains cooked in a fine chicken-and-shellfish stock touched with saffron — that carries this dish.


La Nacional (Eric Asimov)






You can buy chocolate cheesecake in your local supermarket, and in the Whole Foods at the Time Warner Center. There is (Swedish) cheesecake at Aquavit, and (Mexican) cheesecake at the Bright Food Shop in Chelsea, and an attempt (Japanese) at Sui in SoHo.


THE BEST: Cheesecake (Ed Levine)

Sidebar: If you go to the New York Times Dining In/Dining Out home page, you can hear Mr. Levine give an audio presentation regarding his quest for the perfect New York cheesecake.






Yes, indeed. As it has been since 1866, every single drop of Jack Daniel's, seven million cases a year, is made here in Cave Spring Hollow, amid the gentle hills about 75 miles south of Nashville. Trucks laden with grain roll off I-24 into Lynchburg (pop. 361, as attested on every bottle), and four years later.


Home of America's Whiskey (R.W. Apple, Jr.)







"It's one of those experiences where if you have to ask how much you probably shouldn't go," Mr. Keller said. "The food is astounding but that's only part of it. Masa brings you into his world and it's hard to put a price on something like that. You're feeling the sushi bar, almost a satiny kind of feeling, you're watching when he grills a matsutake mushroom in front of you and he puts parchment on top, the paper turns colors, he lifts it and you see a beautiful silhouette. It's almost like art. But some people will go and not be ready for it, not understand it. He's very specific. It's like going to see a great performer."


Where Perfection Reigns Supreme (Alex Wichtel)

Click here to discuss this article.







Just cut a small onion into fine half-moons and fry it in a scant amount of oil in a skillet until soft, with some salt sprinkled on to stop it from burning. Then add a waxy potato, with skin washed but not peeled, then diced. Add a little cayenne or any other spice you feel like and cook slowly, turning every now and again until the potato is tender.


At My Table (Nigella Lawson)






Various models and makes of mandolines are available at a range of prices in stores and on the Internet. But in many restaurant kitchens, cheaper models are often used — they do the job and can be thrown away when the blades grow dull.


A White Elephant That Can Slice Your Fingers In Half (Denise Landis)






Just as today's New Beetle is a more expensive high-tech automobile with only a passing resemblance to what was once the people's car, so too is modern barbera often a tricked-up, enhanced wine with ambitions that far outdistance the nightly dinner table. In the last 20 years, more producers have come to view barbera as a grape that can make not just good everyday wine but serious wine, aged in small oak barrels and costing $50 or more.


Wines of the Times (Eric Asimov)

Sidebar: On the New York Times Dining In/Dining Out home page, you can hear an audio presentation given by Mr. Asimov, Amanda Hesser, Fred Plotkin (author of "Italy for the Gourmet Traveller") and Ed McCarthy (a prolific author, including "Italian Wine for Dummies") on barbera wines of Italy. Click on the box entitled "Barbera: Aromatic Harmonies" to begin the presentation.

Sidebar:

Mr. Plotkin also suggested bagna cauda, a warm sauce of butter, olive oil, garlic and anchovies, which is served with vegetables like radishes, radicchio and peppers. Barbera, he said, "would stand up to the fattiness of the oil, to the different pronounced flavors of the vegetables."


Pairings (Amanda Hesser)

Recipe: Bagna Cauda






Bits and Pieces (Florence Fabricant)







The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)







Corrections






Recipes in today's section:

1. Chicken Noodle Soup
2. Potato and Onion Hash with a Fried Egg
3. Tiny Pancakes for Caviar
4. Tofu and Onions in Caramel Sauce





B. Elsewhere in today's Times...

Alexis Stewart may not want her mother's job, but in other ways, mother and daughter seem not so far apart. "I'm a better cook and more of a perfectionist than my mother," she told Mr. King.

"You are better?" he asked.

"Yes," she replied.


Unlike Mother, Martha's Daughter (Constance L. Hays)





The change of heart by the companies could reflect changing priorities in the agricultural biotechnology industry. A few years ago the companies, commanding budgets that public-sector scientists envied, were far ahead in the search for genetic information on important crops. But in the last few years the government has been financing gene sequencing projects for crops, helping the public sector catch up.


Corporate Aid Re Agricultural Biotechnology (Andrew Pollack)






"Mexico's beverage taxes are discriminatory and protectionist," he said. "This administration will continue to work to make sure Americans are treated fairly and that there is a level playing field for our exports."


Just Say No! -- To The Soft Drink Tax (Elizabeth Becker)







The Agriculture Department's plan for a tenfold increase in testing for mad cow disease was greeted yesterday with a mixture of optimism and skepticism.

The plan, announced Monday, involves testing half the nation's 446,000 "downer" cows — animals deemed at higher risk of having mad cow disease because they cannot walk or because they show signs of nervous system disorders. It will also test 20,000 older, apparently healthy cows at slaughter.


Mixed Reaction Over Mad Cow Testing (Sandra Blakeslee)







The gardening cognoscenti tend to look down on her stiff, almost bland aesthetic (a style Mr. Fischer called "haute Connecticut"). And it is true that a decade ago, in the original days of Martha Stewart Living, the only gardens shown were Ms. Stewart's own in Westport, Conn. Though beautiful, they were far from groundbreaking.


Gardens And Gardeners In A World Without Her Royal Domesticity (Ken Druse)




Soba

#139 SobaAddict70

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 12:21 AM

NYTimes Weekend Update
Friday, 19 March 2004 -- Monday, 22 March 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section and the Sunday Magazine

A dish of steamed cod reads like something composed by a grade-school class in immigrant-rich Flushing, Queens; the fish itself comes from the icy waters of Casco Bay, Maine, and is paired with East Coast Manila clams and chunks of Mexican chorizo. It's delicious. Steak chews the scenery a little; it's served with a terrific though utterly over-the-top side dish of braised short ribs in a horseradish cream sauce, with excellent potato fries.


Océo (Sam Sifton)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.





Restaurants: Central Park Delights






For classic cafeteria ambience, nothing beats Smith's Bar and Restaurant at 44th Street and Eighth Avenue, which has been around forever. It's friendly and loud, with its worn terrazzo floor and walls that have long been a stranger to paint. You get your choice of hot meats and chickens that have been cooking for three or four years, big, fat meat sandwiches and libations from a full bar a few steps away. W. would probably fit in best here, eating lamb shanks as good as any in town with his fingers, slapping the customers on the back and nicknaming all the bartenders.


Cafeteria Politics (Jonathan Reynolds)

Recipes in today's issue:

1. Cafeteria's Meatloaf (Adapted from David Honeysett)
2. Tomato Relish
3. Condé Nast Cafeteria's Raspberry Pudding (Adapted from Danita Halt)




B. Elsewhere in this weekend's Times...

Chances are if you are driving around Los Angeles and pass a slick concrete facade with bamboo fronds, polished pebbles and expensive cars out front, Dodd Mitchell designed it.

Mr. Mitchell is the human machine churning out nightclubby restaurants that have popped up around Hollywood with sleek, one-word names, cutthroat waiting lists and a celebrity clientele.


Hollywood's Adam Tihany (Julia Chapin)





"I didn't grow up with double kitchens," Ms. Pedulla said, "but Jerry did, like cousins of mine, and his cousins and aunts. I think it's an Italian tradition, and it's about feeding lots of people." Ms. Pedulla said she can feed 12 in her upstairs dining room and 30 in the basement.


After The Renovation: 2 Kitchens (Penelope Green)





"A kitchen condenses the universe," Betty observes early on, comparing the room to a battlefield. "Cooking is a brutal business. If we are to live, others must die." Cows, chickens, turkeys, catfish, lobsters.


Theater Review: "My Kitchen Wars" (Anita Gates)






Canadian officials have traced to two mills the feed that probably caused North America's two cases of mad cow disease, one in Canada last May and the other in the United States in December.

The feed from the Canadian mills could have contained infectious protein from imported British cattle, said Dr. George Luterbach, an official of a mad cow working group in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Canadian law prohibits disclosing the identity of the mills, Dr. Luterbach said.


Canadian Mad Cow (Associated Press)






So even while President Bush advances a plan to invite legal guest workers into American fields, farmers for the first time in a generation are working to replace hand laborers with machines.

"The rest of the world hand-picks everything, but their wage rates are a fraction of ours," said Galen Brown, who led the mechanical harvesting program at the Florida Department of Citrus until his retirement last year. Lee Simpson, a raisin grape grower in California's San Joaquin Valley, is more blunt. "The cheap labor," he said, "isn't cheap enough."


When Cheap Labor Became Automated (Eduardo Porter)






But once on the dinner plate, they are sweet and flaky, said Dr. Schreibman, a Brooklyn native himself. "Two things Brooklyn water is good for," he said, reciting another of his catchphrases. "Making bagels and growing fish."


The New New York Industry: Fish Farming (Corey Kilgannon)



Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#140 SobaAddict70

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 12:17 PM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 24 March 2004

Dining In/Dining Out Section

'Suvir Saran, chef at the ambitious new Indian restaurant Amma, in Midtown, has never tasted the restaurant's tandoor-grilled lamb chops. "My family in Delhi have been vegetarians for generations," he said. "At least since the 15th century. Before that we are not so sure." Jehangir Mehta, the pastry chef at Aix on the Upper West Side, grew up in Mumbai, where about 30 percent of the 12 million residents are vegetarian. "The vegetarian cooking of India is excellent training for a pastry chef," he said. "It teaches you how much range can be achieved with spices and herbs."


An Ancient Vegetarian Cuisine In A Post-Modern Setting (Julia Moskin)





"Charlie Rose comes in several nights a week and never wants to sit near a speaker; it's just too loud for him," Mr. Friedman said. "I used to turn the whole thing down. Now, I can sit him over here and turn it down, but keep it up over there."


When Shooting The DJ Is Not Enough (Eric Asimov)

Sidebar: Click here for related discussion regarding appropriate music and loudness in restaurants.






Mr. Casella rubbed his hands together, placed the saucepan over a burner set to medium-high and, with his index finger, tapped minced rosemary and minced sage from a palette of seasonings on a dinner plate into the oil.


The Chef (Matt Lee and Ted Lee)





Asemla is a simple Swedish treat. Take a briochelike bun, slice off its top, scoop out much of the inside, and mix what has been removed with ground almonds, sugar and milk. Pack it back in, pile whipped cream generously on top and replace the top. Though semlor (the plural) are meant to be eaten on Mardi Gras, just before Lent, the Swedes indulge in them, evidently without guilt, through Easter.


Bits And Pieces (Florence Fabricant)






Chicken soup is a product of every cuisine in the world with access to chickens, though it took a lot of eating on my part to realize that the Jewish-style brew I grew up with seems among the world's least interesting.

On the other end of the spectrum is the kind of stuff you get in Mexico, garnished with diced raw onion, avocado, tomato and a squeeze of lime.


A Spicy Chicken In Every Pot (Mark Bittman)






Many dishes are street food as invented by Spice Market. If this seems to be taking too much liberty, you must remind yourself of the headwaiter in the Letterman T-shirt. This isn't a precise cultural tour. This is a Vongerichten fantasy.

And in that fantasy, fat tapioca pearls loom large. They are simmered with Thai chilies, Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon and chipotle, then paired with slivers of raw tuna in a cool coconut broth sharpened with kaffir lime. The dish is eaten with a spoon.


Spice Market (Amanda Hesser)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.






All of these would pique curiosity about any restaurant. But the Spotted Pig succeeds because it does not settle for star power. Instead, it relies on a winning confluence of casual yet imaginative food served in an easygoing, almost rustic atmosphere, where worn-velvet banquettes are strewn with pillows and pig paraphernalia adorn the walls. Music is loud but not too loud, a good match for the exuberance of the patrons.


The Spotted Pig (Eric Asimov)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.






Grits, particles of ground corn that cook into shiny, barely articulated little beads, holding forth in a stout pudding, have had legendary appeal in the South. But it is only in the last decade that they have been discovered by top chefs elsewhere. Grits cookery is not difficult, but these are not ordinary grits, and the chefs know it.


At America's Table: Grits (Kay Rentschler)

Click here for related discussion regarding grits cookery.






Small sand-colored blocks of halvah may be a familiar sight on the counters of delis and Middle Eastern markets all over New York City, but not even diehard fans would call it candy with cachet. Falling into the same category as pastel strips of sugar buttons and sticky jelly rings — things your grandparents ate as children — halvah is as much about nostalgia as it is about dessert.


All About Halvah (Melissa Clark)






The party, the San Francisco Zinfandel Festival, is an annual affair organized by Zinfandel Advocates and Producers, better known as ZAP, a nonprofit group dedicated to, in its own orotund words, "advancing the public knowledge of and appreciation for American zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history." In other words, to tirelessly plug the wine, an exercise which has been wildly successful. I must note here that the organization means red zinfandel, and definitely not that wimpy, pale pink stuff known as white zinfandel.


Wine Talk (Frank J. Prial)






When he needed sugar and pastillage replicas of a Venetian mask to use as decorations for a party, Alexandre Bourdeaux, the pastry chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, contacted Michael Joy.

Mr. Joy, the owner of the Chicago School of Mold Making and Casting for the Arts, created an intricately detailed silicone mold using the model supplied by Mr. Bourdeaux.


Silicone Magic For Pastry Chefs (Barbara Revsine)






Recipes in today's section:

1. Tuscan Onion Soup (Carabaccia)
2. Creamy Grits With Fontina Fonduta and Mushroom Stew
3. Halvah Honey Sauce
4. Flourless Chocolate Cake With Halvah Honey Sauce
5. Chicken Soup With Chipotle Sauce



Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#141 SobaAddict70

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 01:17 PM

NYTimes Weekend Update
Friday, 26 March 2004 -- Sunday, 28 March 2004

Dining In/Dining Out Section

When I found out that La Cote Basque was closing its doors, I was sad -- irrationally so, since it later occurred to me that I hadn't actually eaten there in almost 14 years. I remember the occasion clearly because it was the birthday of my ex-fiance, almost a year to the date that I sort of, more or less, left him at the altar. Still guilt-ridden (but happily about to leave New York for an extended stay in New Orleans), I thought I should create a celebration, one in which we'd emphasize his birthday rather than my departure and finally close the door on what was left of our relationship.


The End Of An Era: La Côte Basque [1958-2004] (Julia Reed)

Recipes in today's issue:

1. Oyster Velouté with Black Caviar (Adapted from Paula Wolfert)
2. Lemon Caramel Pots de Creme (Adapted from ''Luscious Lemon Desserts,'' by Lori Longbotham)

Click here to discuss the article.







Last year, a spinoff from Sprite called Sprite ReMix made its way into the market, offering drinkers a ''tropical'' take on Sprite's flavor. It seems to have got off to a good start, selling 55 million cases in 2003 -- a very respectable debut, according to John Sicher, publisher of the Beverage Digest newsletter. But there will be no building of loyalty to the tropical flavor, because it's being done away with: Sprite ReMix, the name, will carry on, but it won't taste the same.


Branded For Life (Rob Walker)






The seafood raw bar is a tradition that dates back to Colonial times in New England, yet this regional specialty never goes out of style. In Boston there are a number of institutions, like the Union Oyster House and Legal Sea Foods, that are renowned for their raw bar offerings. And at many of the city's most stylish restaurants, raw shellfish is a standard item. But in the past few years, there has been a flurry of raw bar openings. A few fit the classic formula, while others, run by Japanese chefs, add a new dimension to the New England raw bar concept.


Boston Raw Bars (Nina Simonds)






Restaurants: Journey's End






So our wine naif is familiar with the better wines of an obscure Italian region best known for an undistinguished plonk called Verdicchio? He can hold his own in a debate that's been roiling the wine world for years? And what's this about one kind of wine for Europeans and another for Americans? Is wine An Issue? As in the widening culture gap between America and Europe? And what does that ''mental masturbation'' crack mean? Isn't being able to judge wine the sine qua non of a thoroughly modern sophisticate? Perhaps these are deeper waters than we expect.


The Reign of Terroir (Tony Hendra)

Sidebar: If you navigate your web browser to the page of the article above, you can hear an online audio interview given by Lawrence Osborne, author of "The Accidental Connoisseur: An Irreverent Journey Through the Wine World". Click on the hypertext link provided next to his picture to begin the presentation.






There is not much in the way of à la carte ordering of fish at Bar Masa, but a stunning presentation of vibrant, pristine sushi "canapés" for $28 — on one recent evening, diced tuna tartare, yellowtail with black truffles, scallops with sweet shrimp, and diced salmon tartare — takes the notion of sushi deluxe to an entirely new and welcome level. Sushi and sashimi tasting menus, at $85, can take it even higher, depending on what fish are on ice for the evening — ask.


Bar Masa (Sam Sifton)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.





Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#142 SobaAddict70

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 10:46 AM

New York Times Weekly Update
Wednesday, 31 April 2004

Apologies for the late update, hence a truncated DIGEST. --Soba

Dining In/Dining Out Section

For New Zealanders, lamb has always been integral to the daily diet. In their breathtakingly beautiful country, so narrow that no place is more than 70 miles from the ocean, hardly a mountain range or a sparkling green plain is undotted with sheep. Some sheep stations, accessible only by four-wheel drive, have thousands and thousands of sheep that see no human for weeks on end; other farms, right in the middle of small towns, raise no more than a few hundred.


New Zealand Lamb -- It's What's For Dinner (Marian Burros)




Ruth Hendricks Schulson, Mrs. Henry's great-granddaughter, is legally blind, so she will not be reading this culinary archive, in the back room of her apartment, when preparing for the Passover Seder on Monday night. But it doesn't matter; she knows the recipes by heart. As I read out a recipe for Passover "meal" cake — sponge cake — from the 1879 book, Mrs. Schulson, in her early 80's, said, "That's what I make."


Heirloom Recipes Reveal Kosher Roots (Joan Nathan)

Click here to join a related discussion on Passover.





Tucker Shaw, 35, is a writer who grew up in Denver and went away to Maine for college and moved to New York in 1991 for the reasons people do. Since Jan. 1, he has photographed everything he has eaten.

He has taken more than 600 photographs so far, in restaurants, in the kitchens of friends, on street corners and in the dim light of his own home at 11 at night, when he often has a final bowl of cereal before bed.


When Food Pix Becomes Art (Sam Sifton)






There is something to be said for food that is simple and familiar. But not when an appetizer costs $15. Surely John DeLucie, the chef, has better ideas than tricolor salad with young Gorgonzola cheese.


La Bottega (Amanda Hesser)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.






On the night we ate the banquet dishes, Mr. Wu asked if we would like to taste a special dessert, which he called fried soup. Though already full, we eagerly accepted. Out came a platter of what looked like small beignets dusted with black sesame powder. I took a bite and was transported by the lightness and fragility of the vanilla-scented interior. Mr. Wu disclosed it was made entirely of cornstarch. Just one of many delicious tricks up the sleeve of the chef, Zong Xin-tu.


Shanghai Pavillion (Eric Asimov)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.





Bits and Pieces (Florence Fabricant)







First, press on the cloves of garlic with the flat side of a knife, which will release the skins, making them easy to remove. Pop them in a freezer bag with the salt, close the bag and have at them, comedy-style, with a rolling pin. When you have smashed the cloves to a nubbly pulp, place them in a bowl and add the ground cloves, caraway seeds, lemon juice, pepper and chili oil (or regular oil and some pepper flakes). Crumble in the bay leaves and whisk with a fork until you have something you can press into the pork.


At Nigella's Table (Nigella Lawson)






Since becoming a fan of braised duck a few years ago, I have latched onto every recipe I could find. Braising solves several of the challenges of cooking duck: it renders the fat completely and reliably; it browns the skin without spattering; and it makes the meat tender.


The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)







There's more. In Israel, kosher laws require vineyards to be left fallow every seven years, a severe economic strain for almost any winery. Of course, not even the most critical winemaking chore can be performed on the Sabbath. And for wines to be called kosher for Passover, additional stringent standards must be met. Only certain strains of yeast can be used in the fermentation, and the wine cannot come into contact with any leavened product.


Wines of the Times: Taking Up the Kosher Challenge (Eric Asimov)

Sidebar: If you navigate your web browser to the New York Times' Dining In/Dining Out home page, you can hear an audio online presentation given by Eric Asimov, Amanda Hesser, Howard G. Goldberg and Jose de Meirelles (executive chef and owner of Le Marais) on kosher red wines for Passover. Click on the box marked "Kosher Reds" to begin the presentation.






The Organoleptic Hops Transducer, as its inventor, Sam Calagione, calls it, is an industrial-grade water filter, three feet long, that can be packed with a pound of fresh hops and attached to a draft beer line between the keg and the tap.


An Organoleptic Beer (Matt Lee and Ted Lee)






Vincent Scotto and his sister, Donna Scotto, sat in Gonzo, their Greenwich Village trattoria, eating Chinese takeout and arguing about their grandmother's savory Easter pie — pizza rustica.

Mr. Scotto, the chef, likes to serve it with tomato sauce. "The tomato sauce pairs well with all the meat," he insisted.

"I just like it plain," rejoined Ms. Scotto, the traditionalist who manages the restaurant.


Pizza Rustica (Dana Bowen)






Except for the wine. The many excellent kosher red wines enhance simple but hearty Passover main dishes like juicy roast capon, lush braised brisket of beef, herb-stuffed breast of veal or roast rack of lamb far better than the old-fashioned stuff that tasted like Kool-Aid with a kick.


Pairings (Florence Fabricant)

Recipe: Ragout of Spring Vegetables with Morels






Corrections






Recipes in today's issue:

1. Lamb with Anchovy and Garlic
2. Lamb with Parsnip and Pancetta Mash and Pinot Noir Sauce
3. Pinot Noir Sauce
4. Roast Loin of Pork with Caraway, Lemon and Garlic
5. Baked Custard
6. Matzo Krimsel
7. Stewed Apricots and Dried Plums
8. Braised Duck with Green Beans, Thai Style

#143 SobaAddict70

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 10:28 PM

New York Times Weekend Update
Friday, 2 April 2004 -- Sunday, 4 April 2004

Dining In/Dining Out Section and the Sunday Magazine

I took it happily but wondered, what happened to the bao? And then it hit me. In Macao, a former Portuguese colony that since 1999 has been a special administrative region of China, there was "bao," the Chinese bun, and "pao" the Portuguese bread (pronounced, in Cantonese, the same way). I held in my hand fresh-from-the-oven evidence of how the Macanese have, for nearly 400 years, commingled European culture with Asian.


When In Macao... (Daisann McLane)





On the side, Mr. Tourondel does not stint on simplicity: sautéed hen of the woods mushrooms, smoky with the scent of a forest dawn, arrive with little fanfare, in a tiny pot. Crunchy hash browns, likewise, with the potato interior soft, almost silky with butter. And creamy spinach is just that, unadorned and uncomplicated and richly delicious.


BLT Steak (Sam Sifton)

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your experiences.





An array of Molyvos's Lenten specialties has been spread before us: a crunchy-soft sea scallop breaded with panko, the Japanese crumb with so little moisture it just about guarantees crispness; an octopus pie wrapped in phyllo that will change your mind about the octopod; a jumping, impeccable taramosalata -- carp roe, olive oil, potato, garlic and almond, pureed and smeared on crisp pita triangles; a bracing salad with pickled pearl onions and candied beets; a vegetable moussaka that not only shuns ground beef but also the customary yogurt bechamel, replacing them with a dairy-free mixture Viagra-ed with garlic.


Grecian Feasts (Jonathan Reynolds)

Recipes in today's issue:

1. Taramosalata
2. Chicken Magiritsa (Chicken and Lemon Soup)
3. Avgolemono (Egg-Lemon Sauce)





Restaurants: Lamb, Lamb, Lamb Everywhere...

Sidebar: Bargain Wines (Howard G. Goldberg)




Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#144 SobaAddict70

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  • Location:Hobbiton, the Shire

Posted 07 April 2004 - 02:32 PM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 7 April 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section

Fish sauce, countered by lightly caramelized sugar and fortified by a host of typical spices, is the backbone of clay pot, a classic Vietnamese dish. It's a childhood favorite of Mr. Phan, one he has on his menu at all times.

"We do clay pot with catfish, with pork, with chicken, shrimp, even sardines," he said. "In fact, you can use this technique for anything, and in Vietnam people do.


Clay Pot Cuisine (Mark Bittman)

Sidebar: The Minmalist (Mark Bittman)




As recently as 1999, only 6 percent of supermarkets in the United States had self-checkout lanes, according to a survey by the Food Marketing Institute. Last year, the number rose to 38 percent. Half the survey respondents said that they planned to add or introduce self-checkout lanes, compared with 24 percent in 2002. IHL, a consulting group that advises retailers on new technology, has estimated that 95 percent of American supermarkets will have self-checkout to some degree by 2006.


Life In The Checkout Lane (William Grimes)





The aspirants hope to be among the bare dozen successful candidates out of about 80 worldwide who are to take the Master of Wine exam this June. (As a first-year candidate, the soonest Ms. Canterbury can take the exam is 2005.) Only 19 Americans — two of them women — have graduated as Masters of Wine since the exam was opened to non-British candidates in 1987. The Institute of Masters of Wine, in London, administers the program. There are only 244 Masters of Wine worldwide.


Masters of Wine (Sam Perkins)

Sidebar: Sample Questions for the Wine Erudite Among Us




Bits and Pieces (Florence Fabricant)






"The wholesale price of vanilla beans has increased from about $40 a kilogram to more than $500," or $227 a pound, said Matt Nielsen, a vice president of Nielsen-Massey, a company in Waukegan, Ill., that has specialized in vanilla since 1907.

Eli Zabar, who uses pure vanilla extract in ice cream and baking at his stores on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, estimated that his annual cost of vanilla has soared to nearly $100,000.


More Precious Than Gold...Or Saffron (Florence Fabricant)






Cooking that used to be blunt and brawny has grown more elegant. She now relies on singular flavors, like preserved lemons, to make a statement, as they do in baby clam and grilled rabbit arrabbiata. Preserved lemon oil perfumes the slices of rabbit and spicy sauce on the clams.


Compass (Amanda Hesser)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.





It is impossible to settle for a single appetizer. It is much better to ask for a platter of assorted mezzes and to negotiate the composition with one of the friendly waiters or with Ms. Bishara herself. The price of a platter is never steep, and the portions are always generous. So generous, in fact, that I have rarely had room for more. And yet I always order a main course, too, even if I end up taking most of it home, as I did with the stuffed squash.


Tanoreen (Eric Asimov)





Julia Price, Cypress Grill's cook for 20-plus years, scores hash marks on both sides of the 10-inch fish, dredges them in cornmeal batter and drops them into oil-filled cast-iron pans crusted with decades of charred grease. After one flipping, their skeletons, and most of their flesh, become crackerlike vehicles for spicy pepper vinegar, a bottle of which sits on each table. Customers eat this cremated fish with their fingers, bones and all.


At The Nation's Table (Dana Bowen)





Of course, some good German wines were around, and we shared a few at subsequent lunches. Alistair — we were on a first-name basis by then — may not have been a willing interviewee, but he was a brilliant raconteur. Imperceptibly, he warmed to the idea of some kind of profile, even supplying the kind of anecdotes that would make it work. He recalled, for example, that H. L. Mencken, an early mentor and lover of all things Germanic, knew a thing or two about the riesling grape as well.


Wine Talk (Frank J. Prial)




Having Mr. Delouvrier at the stove, Mr. Ducasse said, will be "like having four hands playing the same piano." The two men complement each other because they are both from southwest France, Mr. Ducasse said. "We both grew up on the food our grandmothers made," he said. In addition, both Lespinasse and Mr. Ducasse's restaurant in the Essex House, at 155 West 58th Street, were awarded four stars in reviews in The New York Times.


Delouvrier Comes To The House of Ducasse (Florence Fabricant)

Click here to discuss the article.





Letters






Recipes in today's section:

1. Pork Clay Pot
2. Grapefruit and Jicama Salad
3. Shrimp with Vanilla
4. Vanilla-Braised Carrots and Turnips
5. Marie Louise's Rice Pudding
6. Halibut Filets with Creamy Saffron Sauce


B. Elsewhere in today's Times...

The Carnegie Delicatessen, the Midtown restaurant famous for its overstuffed pastrami sandwiches, was ordered closed temporarily by health officials on Monday night for what they said were improperly stored turkey wings, potato pancakes and tuna fish salad. It reopened yesterday.


Health Code Violations At The Carnegie Deli (Sabrina Tavernise)






Now, one can find golden sweet potato vine at nearly any nursery in the country. Every now and then, a banana plant will turn up at the Home Depot or Lowe's. Mr. Wong knows how to get plants from catalogs, wholesale suppliers and colleagues, but he still keeps an eye out for oddities that might show up at the big box stores or even the supermarket. The big-leaf taro, for example, can be bought at a grocer that specializes in selling Caribbean vegetables, and then grown in the garden.


A Tropical Fantasy In Glen Cove, N.Y. (Ken Druse)



Soba

#145 SobaAddict70

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 07:51 AM

NYTimes Weekend Update
Friday, 9 April 2004 -- Sunday, 12 April 2004

Dining In/Dining Out Section and the Sunday Magazine

The menu reflects the breadth of Mr. Murphy's ambition. It is a sly French and Italian bistro primer that takes virtually every modern menu archetype and recasts it as a virtue. So, yes, that is French onion soup on the appetizer card, and goat cheese profiteroles, too. They're excellent. You might try the fried calamari, or the foie gras terrine. Really. A salad of frisée aux lardons? Yes, it's here, as is a fat Caeser salad and a Niçoise salad and an endive salad with blue cheese and walnuts.


Landmarc (Sam Sifton)

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your experiences.




There are endless ways to fry chicken. You can marinate the chicken in garlic powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne or in Lawry's seasoning. Or simply in salt and pepper, with or without paprika or lemon juice, or dipped in milk or buttermilk and coated with flour, egg wash and crumbs or simply in crumbs or panko or crushed cornflakes, with or without honey and so on and on.


Harlem Classics (Jason Epstein)

Recipes in today's section:

1. Fried Chicken
2. Black-Eyed Peas
3. Alice Waters's Coleslaw




Have a good week, y'all.

Soba

#146 SobaAddict70

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 11:45 AM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 14 April 2004

Dining In/Dining Out Section

But no place else this side of Frankfurt has a frankfurter stand every three or four blocks, as Chicago does. And no other place anywhere has a catechism of condiments as rigorously defined as Chicago's. A proper Chicago hot dog must be served on a warmed poppy-seed bun (preferably from Rosen's bakery). It must be dressed with a crisp pickle spear, a sweetish fluorescent green relish, a slice or wedge of raw tomato, some chopped onions (or very occasionally grilled onions), a dab or two of yellow mustard, a dusting of celery salt and two or three hot little green chilies, which Chicagoans for some reason always call sport peppers.


Hearty Food In The Heartland Of America (R.W. Apple, Jr.)





The main hurdle in cooking truffles is the cleaning. As they expand, the truffles can embrace the sand in which they grow, so the more gnarled they are, the more likely they are to contain grit. Men scouring through baskets of the stuff in the Damascus wholesale fruit and vegetable bazaar also swear that truffles both soothe sore eyes and have a powerful aphrodisiac quality. "It makes you hotter," said Samir Rifai, a 28-year-old porter in the souk, adding quickly, "I mean for older guys."


Romance In Arabia: Desert Truffles (Neil MacFarquhar)






"I'm not Mr. Food, I've got to tell you," he stated uncomfortably. "I love to eat. But I'm worried about people asking me details about different cuts of meat."

That didn't concern me. His forbidden meats include brisket, liver, rib steak and prime rib, all of which I can live without — now that I don't live with my mother — if only a baked potato were allowed. It's not. Neither are white rice, bread, pasta and almost any dessert known to man beside ricotta cheese mixed with artificial sweetener, which to my mouth, if not my hips, is somehow not in the same league with Entenmann's Fudge Iced Golden Cake.


At Lunch With Dr. South Beach Diet (Alex Wichtel)





After the aperitif, the positive indicators continued to accumulate. Menus were delivered with a selection of antipasti — marinated mushrooms, infused with coriander, a tiny bowl filled with duck liver mousse and a platter of cured meats. Serrano ham was carved into slices as delicate as tissue paper. The bresaola, delicious on its own, was tangibly improved with a sprinkle of lemon juice, olive oil and cracked black peppercorns.


BLT Steak (Amanda Hesser)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.





The menu, which changes daily, is deceptively simple and plays to Mr. Waxman's style of letting seasonal ingredients shine, without fussiness or bizarre transformations. It emphasizes the close ties between Mr. Waxman's brand of California cuisine and the rustic, intensely seasonal cooking of the Italian countryside.


Barbuto (Eric Asimov)





The theory behind them, and low-carb diets in general, is that eating refined carbohydrates creates a surge in blood sugar, raising insulin. Insulin breaks down the sugar, making you hungry again. But eat protein, fat and fiber, and lay off the carbs, the theory goes, and you can eat your fill and still lose weight.


Eating Well (Marian Burros)

Sidebar: Soy Ratings (Marian Burros)





But even as the California wine industry congratulated itself on taming the pinot noir grape, critics sniped that the wine didn't taste like Burgundy. It was too heavy and too sweet, they said, making up with power, fruitiness and alcohol what it lacked in subtlety, earthiness and finesse. California partisans responded that their pinot noir has its own character and personality, and that those who insist on comparing it to Burgundy miss the point. After all, they said, even Burgundy doesn't often meet the Burgundy ideal.


Wines Of The Times (Eric Asimov)

Sidebar: If you point your browser to the New York Times Dining In/Dining Out web page, you can hear an online audio presentation given by Eric Asimov, Amanda Hesser, Florence Fabricant and Beth von Benz (wine director at JUdson Grill) on a selection of California pinot noirs. Click on the box marked "Pinot Noirs: A California Success Story" to begin the presentation.





If you broil black cod with nothing but salt, you already have a winning dish. If you broil it with miso — the intensely salty paste made from fermented soybeans — along with some mirin and quite a bit of sugar, you create something stunningly delicious. And no long marination is necessary.


The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)





Bits And Pieces (Florence Fabricant)





"I gave a talk on cake mixes to a woman's church group in Michigan," Ms. Shapiro continued. "I asked them if they used cake mixes and how they felt about them." The guests described their problems and asked for guidance. "People jumped out of their seats," she said. "They poured their hearts out. It was like an A.A. meeting."

Ms. Shapiro was measuring the flour in a cup. "I had to go to two stores to find cake flour," she complained." They all had thousands of mixes. "You don't need a sifter," she explained, using an ordinary strainer.


How To Bake A Cake...In The Post-Modern Era (Dinita Smith)







Today, lobster is bait for restaurantgoers — no matter the price.

The latest enticement can be found at Craft, where a lobster tail for two is a stupendous $230. And the restaurant says it is having no trouble selling the dish.


When The Price Of Lobster Far Exceeds Saffron...Or Gold (Florence Fabricant) :blink:





Pairings (Florence Fabricant)

Recipe in today's article: Fusion Coq Au Vin






Corrections






Recipes in today's section:

1. Black Cod Broiled With Miso
2. Spanish Spice-Rubbed Chicken With Mustard and Green Onion Sauce




Soba

#147 SobaAddict70

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 02:55 PM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 21 April 2004

Dining In/Dining Out Section

Mr. Rockefeller is one of them, as is the creative force behind Stone Barns, Dan Barber. A thin young balding man who tends to wring his hands and worry, he is a chef committed to seasonality. Mr. Barber, who owns Blue Hill Restaurant in Greenwich Village, with his brother, David, and David's wife, Laureen, says he and his partners do not want to compromise their environmental ideals about eating locally nor fail the man who has made their dreaming possible.


Blue Hill At Stone Barns (Marian Burros)






Fish gets most of the attention at sushi bars, but Koji Imai, an owner of Megu and a culinary celebrity in Japan for championing artisanal ingredients, says that rice is the most important ingredient. "The rice comes first, and then what goes on top of it," he said. (The word sushi is a synthesis of the words for rice and vinegar.) Mr. Imai said that the rice for Megu is grown to his specifications, so the quality is assured, but that the wildly varying humidity of Manhattan's weather causes headaches at the sushi bar. "The formula that works for cooking rice in Japan doesn't always work here," he said wearily.


Why Great Sushi Comes At $18 Per Piece (Julia Moskin)

Sidebar: If you navigate your web browser to the New York Times Dining In/Dining Out web page, you can hear an audio online presentation given by Julia Moskin on the intricacies of what makes great sushi. Click on the box entitled "Sushi Obsession" to begin the presentation.





The gathering, unprecedented in the memory of food journalists, was the brainchild of Raymond Blanc, a French-born British chef whose grand, garden-girded country hotel near Oxford, the Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, has one of Britain's most applauded dining rooms.


The Maturation Of American Gastronomy (R.W. Apple, Jr.)






At lunch, a tuna sandwich on crunchy ciabatta is transformed by using smoked tuna and mashing it with capers, celery, red onion and a thin coating of mayonnaise. For dinner last week, a large and succulent lamb shank was placed atop a silky celery root purée. Off to the side were braised brussels sprouts and lardons, cut extra thick.


Landmarc (Amanda Hesser)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.






Cold jelly Chengdu-style...is not really jelly but cold, gelatinous noodles laden with garlic, soy and hot oil, yet cooling because of their texture. Cold noodles with red chili sauce...are hot, yet the flavor of star anise shines through, while dan dan noodles...with minced pork and flecks of red pepper are lively and spicy.


Spicy And Tasty (Eric Asimov)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.






The restaurant, whose ever-changing menu describes its cooking as a blend of Western Range, Pueblo Indian and Southwestern, opened four years ago on the grounds of the Boulder Mountain Lodge along Scenic Byway 12. In the pioneering spirit that has shaped the West, Ms. Spalding and her business partner, Jennifer Castle, came here hoping that the predominantly Mormon community would not only accept them, but support them.


Hell's Backbone Grill (Mindy Sink)







Shaking beef is a more or less classic Vietnamese preparation. The beef is marinated in a mixture dominated by garlic and sugar, then quickly browned and stir-fried with an acidic sauce using soy and vinegar. It is served with a third combination, which, in the accompanying recipe, is the typical tableside condiment of salt, pepper and lime juice.


The Chef: Charles Phan (Mark Bittman)






Traditionally, corks were bleached in a chlorine solution as part of the manufacturing. Other substances have been used but, despite major efforts by the cork industry and regular announcements that the problem had been eliminated, it persists. Winemakers estimate that up to 5 percent of all bottled wine is contaminated by TCA. Cork producers say the figure is much lower.


Wine Talk (Frank J. Prial)





Bits And Pieces (Florence Fabricant)






The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)






The agency expects to issue proposed regulations under the ruling, including possible import restrictions, in a few weeks, said Kenneth Stansell, an official at the Fish and Wildlife Service. They must go into effect in six months. It is still possible that the United States could ban the import and sale of beluga caviar from some or all of the producing countries.


No More Beluga For You! (Florence Fabricant)

Click here to discuss the article.





All food sold in the European Union with genetically modified ingredients must now say so on the label, under rules that went into effect on Sunday. Any restaurant serving genetically engineered food must identify it on the menu.


When Your Lobster Ravioli Is Now Genetically Modified (Tania Ralli)






Letters







Corrections







Recipes in today's section:

1. Shaking Beef
2. Bok Choy With Shiitakes
3. White Beans With Squid and Broken Noodles



Soba

#148 SobaAddict70

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 10:07 PM

NYTimes Weekend Update
Friday, 23 April 2004 -- Sunday, 25 April 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section and the Sunday Magazine

Jewel Bako opened in 2001 and was an immediate hit. Two years later the couple begat Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar, offering the kind of huge platters of fruits de mer and caviar that Southern gentlemen of the 1920's might have indulged in, but also modern innovations like langoustines served with pig's cheeks and pork cracklings and a New Orleans-style barbecued lobster....Within weeks, William Grimes of The Times declared it ''one of the most distinctive restaurants to come along in years.''


Sons Of Jewel Bako (Michael Boodro)

Recipes: in today's issue:

1. Oysters Rockefeller Deconstructed
2. English Pea Soup

Sidebar: If you navigate your web browser to the article's web page, you can hear an audio online presentation given by Jack Lamb, (co-owner along with his wife Grace Lamb, of Jewel Bako, Degustation and Jack's Oyster Bar) on the development of their restaurants in the East Village. Click on the box entitled "Meet The Lambs: A Downtown Dining Tour" to begin the presentation.





Restaurants: Arbor Day In New York






Speaking of, who knew that mango-parsnip velouté could, um, exist? It's a good combination, though, especially paired with roasted Hama Hama oysters. The mango does not do too much beyond add color and the slightest slick of texture to the sweet parsnips, but the dish would be lost without it, a pile of baseballs in an off-white sludge.


Mas (Sam Sifton)

Click here to discuss the article or contribute your experiences.





Pindar's tasting room draws hordes of visitors; as many as 5,000 on summer weekends, he said. At 72,000 cases of wine made in 2003, with 606 acres of 667 acres under vines and more planting imminent, Pindar promotes a populist image that overshadows some of its more ambitious wines. Perhaps its most highly praised label is Mythology, a complex Bordeaux-style red blend; the 1998 edition costs $27.99.


Long Island Vines (Howard G. Goldberg)

Sidebar: Wine Under $20 (Howard G. Goldberg)




B. Travel

The glorious produce includes slender-and-straight cucumbers, verdant spinach, with soil still clinging to perfectly aligned, red-tinged roots, and flawless fruit, boxed and beribboned for gifts (yes, that 10,000-yen melon is the equivalent of about $95 at 109 yen to the dollar). There will be at least one, and often several, fish sellers in a single depachika, each offering a wide variety of glisteningly fresh offerings - many whole, mostly filleted and wrapped in clear plastic, and some sushi and sashimi-ready platters.


Whole Foods, Meet Your [Japanese] Match (Elizabeth Andoh)





The city's passion for good food and wine continues unimpeded. This is the season of new restaurant openings. But even at well-known establishments, chefs continue to invent combinations in the popular Australian-Asian cuisine.


Destinations: Sydney, Australia (Jane Perlez)





C. Elsewhere in this weekend's Times...

"When you lay wines out by taste, you instantly give people ability to make an informed decision," said Joshua Wesson, the co-founder of Best Cellars. "We're trying to make buying wine almost as fun as drinking it."

The stores also hold daily tastings, usually around a theme, like wines for the Chinese New Year. At one recent tasting on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, there were wines to complement peanut butter. (The best match with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was a brachetto, a dark Italian sparkling wine that usually sells for $12 to $17, Mr. Wesson said.)


When Bud Drinkers Go For Beaujolais (Amy Cortese)





"We're a victim of the drug war," said Mr. McKay, 73. "It seems like we still got plenty of cocaine coming into this country, but now we got cheap asparagus as well."

Acreage devoted to asparagus has dropped by a third in California, and the crop has nearly disappeared from the Imperial Valley, once a huge source of asparagus. Growers blame imports from Peru, but also cheaper asparagus from Mexico, which benefits from the North American Free Trade Agreement.


Just Say No....To U.S. Asparagus (Timothy Egan)






The health goal of four parts per trillion means arsenic would not cause more than one additional cancer case in a population of one million people drinking two liters of water daily for 70 years, said the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment at the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The federal standard that will take effect in 2006 is 10 parts per billion, much higher. The current federal standard is 50 parts per billion.


An $80 Million Public Health Improvement (Associated Press)






Nonetheless, after months of arduous research, Mr. Travers and other scientists at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo have reached a significant conclusion about indoor air in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's New York, a year after the city banned smoking in all bars and restaurants: The atmosphere in them has, on average, less than one-tenth as many fine particles and other harmful chemicals as in cities where smoking is still allowed. When they looked only at bars, and only late at night when the indoor haze was thickest, the contrast to New York City was much sharper.


So What Was The Big Deal About The Smoking Ban, Anyway? (Richard Perez-Pena)

Click here for related discussion regarding this article.





As if dieting were not complicated enough — picky eaters who just scraped through high school chemistry are expected to nod knowingly about net carbohydrates as a percentage of glycemic load — a beer company has now loudly attacked the South Beach diet over a chemical that may or may not lurk in beer and may or may not make any difference if it does.


Beer vs. The South Beach Diet (Donald G. McNeil, Jr.)






Yes, Ms. Jagger has two stoves. But to call the Aga a stove is to miss the point entirely. Unique on many levels, the Aga might be the 20th century's most homey invention. Made of enameled cast iron, the stove is always on and ready to cook. Its two burners, covered by lids to conserve heat when not cooking, are permanently set at two temperatures, high and medium low. There is a baking/roasting oven (set at roughly 400 degrees) and a warming oven (at 200).


Kitchen Designer Of The Stars (David Colman)







Lever House restaurant, in the landmark building on Park Avenue at 53rd Street, has an exceptionally enjoyable new drink menu, developed by Rainlove Lampariello, the head bartender. There is a rhubarb margarita on it, with a salt and sugar rim.


The Spring 2004 Collection (William L. Hamilton)

Recipes in today's article:

1. Citron Lemonade
2. Passionfruit Mojito





"They're finally not calling me the African-American Martha," she said. "I'm B. Smith." Recalling past rejections from retailers and manufacturers, and reminding herself of opportunities that seemed to appear for others, like Kathy Lee Gifford and Kathy Ireland, but not quickly for her, Ms. Smith asked: "Why did I have to work so hard to prove myself? You know, I get a little emotional about it, when I think about it like this."


Heir To The Throne (William L. Hamilton)







Greenmarket was failing in its mission "to support local farms and preserve farmland" in other ways. It was surprising to find that Greenmarket allowed supermarket blueberries in pies and Washington State black raspberries in jam. The cabbage in sauerkraut hailed from Canada, and there was no telling where cider came from because most farmers were not required to get their own fruit back from the press. Many baked goods sold at Greenmarket were produced by large commercial operations using frozen mixes and hydrogenated vegetable oils.


When Local Means Global: Greenmarket Gone Astray (Nina Planck)

Click here to discuss the article.



Have a good week, folks.

Soba

#149 SobaAddict70

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 08:49 PM

NYTimes Weekly Update
Wednesday, 28 April 2004

Apologies for the late update, but it's been hellaciously busy here at work for the past week, with no end in sight. --Soba

Dining In/Dining Out Section

Even if you have never sampled their handiwork, you may have heard about such haute-cuisine iconoclasts as Heston Blumenthal, the chef at the Fat Duck in Bray, England, which recently earned three Michelin stars for a repertory that includes bacon-and-egg ice cream and sardine-on-toast sorbet (Carvel take note). There's Ferran Adrià, the chef of El Bulli in Rosas, Spain, and the de facto dean of avant-garde chefs, who spends six months of every year in a Barcelona lab refining such inventions as wonton wrappers made from the "skin" of scalded milk. On these shores are visionaries like Grant Achatz at Trio, who has introduced Evanston, Ill., diners to the pleasures of lobster slow-cooked with Thai iced tea.


Now You Too Can Be A Disciple Of Adrià (Matt Lee and Ted Lee)





Wolfgang's also offers some un-Luger-like amenities that seem plenty appealing to Manhattanites: you don't have to drive to get there, and you don't have to pay someone to watch your car while you eat. After choosing from an expanded menu (filet mignon, rib steak, crab cakes, Caesar salad) you can also skip the panicked moment when all present admit they forgot to go to the cash machine and start emptying their pockets. Yes, Virginia, Wolfgang's takes credit cards.


An American Dream (Alex Wichtel)





Today, she has agreed to match Red Lobster's coconut shrimp with that of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, a new contender in Midtown, whose theme is the mythical seafood company from the film "Forrest Gump." The Great Midtown Coconut Shrimp Throwdown, as it has been christened, will require discernment, fairness and most important, a sincere devotion to food that finds its apogee in the Fry-o-lator.


When Editors And Food Mix And Match (David Carr)





The hamachi is not a bad choice either. Thin slices of the fish are slumped one over the other in a sweet citrus broth. Using chopsticks, you peel back the slices one by one, to dip into the broth.


Geisha (Amanda Hesser)






August's promise is often fulfilled. After a turbulent beginning, its operating partner, Jason Hennings, hired Tony Liu, who had cooked at Babbo, as chef and brought in Harold Moore, a former chef at Montrachet, as a consultant. They have worked out the kinks in August's menu, called regional European — a more inviting term, I suppose, than continental. The small menu is appealing, even as it mixes Alsace with Rome with Belgium. The dishes are classics — no fusion — and are generally prepared with precision and care.


August (Eric Asimov)






Mushroom soup has been so debased by the canned versions that it is a cheering relief to eat the real thing. In the recipe here, dried porcini mushrooms permeate the soup with almost meaty flavor.


At Nigella's Table (Nigella Lawson)





The Minimalist (Mark Bittman)





Burgerville's preference for regional fare was the idea of its founder, George Propstra, who started the restaurants in Vancouver, Wash., in 1961 from what had begun as his father's creamery and soda fountain. (People here remember television commercials from the early 1980's in which George Propstra banged a frozen burger patty against the side of a truck, pledging that his burgers, unlike the competition's, were always fresh, never frozen.) But it was not until the early 1990's that the restaurants began emphasizing seasonal items, after several national fast-food chains arrived and began to erode Burgerville's market share.


Burgerville (Brian Libby)






Until, that is, he toasts and tosses them with minced pear chutney cooked down with jaggery, a dried loaf of sugar cane juice chipped off into meltable, molasses-flavored chunks. After the mixture cools, he spoons some between a buttery chestnut cream torte and a potent scoop of Drambuie-chocolate ice cream. The charoli's intense, sweet-sour nuttiness, disguised among pears, shocks the palate, and then sharpens the other flavors on the plate.


All About Charoli Nuts (Dana Bowen)





Bits And Pieces (Florence Fabricant)






"Of course, there are establishments above the crowd," he writes in the slim paperback, which costs about $20.

The same day, Michelin fired back with full-page advertisements in newspapers, bringing out the Michelin man — its trademark hulk figure of Bibendum — to defend its reputation as France's most authoritative gastronomic guide.


Pascal v. Michelin (Elaine Sciolino)






I knew exactly what she meant in her comparison. But while good muscadet has a deliciously yeasty quality, it is neutral-smelling. Albariño, by contrast, can be explosively aromatic, full of easily detectable floral, mineral and citrus scents. It can be both creamy in texture and highly acidic, which gives it the vibrant freshness to match, say, ceviche, or grilled octopus. Yet that acidity can also make albariño seem a little harsh as an aperitif.


Wines of The Times (Eric Asimov)

Sidebar: If you navigate your web browser to the NYTimes Dining In/Dining Out web page, you can hear an online audio presentation given by Eric Asimov, Florence Fabricant, Amanda Hesser and Tarcisio Costa (wine director at Alfama) on a selection of albariño wines from both Spain and Portugal. Click on the box marked "Albariños: Light and Breezy" to begin the presentation.





Though the Bush administration is known for its early-to-bed lifestyle, Mr. Mesnier said he has been busier than ever. "Because of the events going on around the world, there have been more visiting heads of state than in any other administrations," he said. "Instead of state dinners, there have been more working dinners, working lunches. Some of them are at the last minute."


Pastry Chef Of The People (Marian Burros)






Pairings (Florence Fabricant)






Letters







Corrections






Recipes in Wednesday's section:

1. Mushroom Soup With Wine
2. Crepes Belle-Hélène
3. Pork With Orange Sauce
4. New England Clam Chowder
5. Smoked Mashed Potatoes

#150 SobaAddict70

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Posted 02 May 2004 - 05:52 PM

NYTimes Weekend Update
Friday, 30 April 2004 -- Sunday, 2 May 2004

A. Dining In/Dining Out Section and the Sunday Magazine

It is far too early, perhaps, to evaluate how good any of it is, or will be. Restaurants, even franchise operations, take a while to find their sea legs. But there is promise in those pastas, in an almost smoky appetizer of braised veal trotters, in homemade lamb sausage with broccoli rabe, in big, meaty pork ribs. The pizzas need work, but most pizzas do, and on a recent night they were flying out of the kitchen all the same, as if dispatched by the fellows at Domino's. In matters of What the People Want, Mr. Hanson is no dummy.


Vento (Sam Sifton)

Click here to discuss the review or contribute your experiences.





''If someday you find before you nothing but a greasy patty shell loaded with gooey chicken a la king and a tired salad already smothered with pink dressing, cross your fingers, eat two or three bites and keep yourself busy as the Duchess of Windsor does under such circumstances -- playing with her fork, taking sips of water and chatting with the other guests.''


A Tale Of A Diet Divinity (Mary Tannen)

Recipes in today's issue:

1. Hauser Broth






Restaurants: Cinco de Mayo






Red Newt White, a nonvintage fruit cocktail of Vidal Blanc and Cayuga White grapes, is a perennial best-seller at Red Newt Cellars, on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region.


Bargain Wines (Howard G. Goldberg)





David Page and Barbara Shinn own Home, a Greenwich Village restaurant that, since its birth in 1993, has focused Manhattan residents' attention on Long Island wines. He is the chef; she runs the front of the house.

Neighborhood is their theme, as the restaurant's name and Web site (www.recipesfromhome.com) indicate. And the couple's idea of neighborhood has expanded over the years, as Home's wine list shows. A rarity, it consists entirely of East Coast bottles, among them labels from Massachusetts, Virginia and the Finger Lakes region of New York.


Long Island Vines (Howard G. Goldberg)




B. Travel

I had settled on a main course of wild duck breast in a gingered apple soy sauce with goat cheese risotto until I saw a dish I couldn't resist being added to the specials: boneless saddle of lamb with morels. The lamb was perfectly cooked (rosy), with delicate lamb and snappy pepper flavor. The combs of the morels made delectable pockets for the sauce, a jus sweetened with onion and deepened with red wine.


Timeless Tables In Budapest (Jacqueline Friedrich)





C. Elsewhere in the Times...

Rebecca Saletan's 6-year-old twin daughters put their newfound knowledge to work yesterday, Anna as a chef at the Red Eagle and Simone busing tables at the Seaside Restaurant. "It was really ingenious," Ms. Saletan said. "The kids studied division by learning about pooling tips and fractions by measuring the ingredients for cake." The walls of both classrooms were covered with flow charts detailing each staff member's responsibilities, along with spelling quizzes ("What's missing from these words: sau-a-e, b-c-n, h-m?), and lists of discarded restaurant names (for some reason, the Scary Diner did not make the cut).


Restaurant School. Yes, Really. (Julia Moskin)





The patents covered the preparation and safe storage of frozen, yeast-leavened dough, a complex process involving the meticulous addition of hydrophilic colloids for stability and surfactants to "facilitate flour hydration and initial dough development." Kraft also developed modified atmospheric packaging, which keeps the pies bathed in an inert gas rather than oxygen, which erodes the dough.


Build A Better Pizza And The World Will Beat A Path To Your Door (Brendan I. Koerner)





For years, Chinese policy has had a goal of 95 percent self-sufficiency for rice, wheat and corn. In the past decade, China has seen cycles of oversupply and decline, and no one considers the current problem to be a food crisis. But government leaders clearly see this year's harvest as critical in reversing China's declining production and proving that the nation can feed its growing population.


How To Plant More With Less Land (Jim Yardley)





Employees at Rosedale Fish Market were shocked to learn last week that the family-owned business, which had grown into an Upper East Side institution, had been sold to Citarella, a local chain of fine food markets and restaurants.


An Institution No More (Leslie Kaufman)






"We are in a moral panic about obesity," said Sander L. Gilman, distinguished professor of liberal arts, sciences and medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago and the author of "Fat Boys: A Slim Book," published last month by the University of Nebraska Press. "People are saying, `Fat is the doom of Western civilization.' "


FAT Is Not A Four Letter Word (Dinitia Smith)





I wanted to ask the question, "Where does corporate responsibility end and personal responsibility start?" The film isn't an attack on McDonald's, it's an attack on the fast food culture that's taken over our lives, including our schools, which I also touch on in the movie. I want people to walk out of this movie and be infuriated. I want them to walk out of this movie and say, "What are my kids eating at school?"


The 30 Day McDonald's Diet (Susan Dominus)





Mr. Florence, described later in the show as "the Brad Pitt of the Food Network," made his entrance and prepared an avocado-and-seared-tuna appetizer, a roast poussin with garden purée and, for dessert, a basil panna cotta. The food was fine, with some interesting spice choices, but unextraordinary. It had the aura of a meal prepared en masse for 350 or so people, which it was.


Chef's Theater (Anita Gates)





Stephen Hanson, who owns Level V and Vento, plans to roll out Level lounges at several of his other 13 restaurants. He hired Eugene Remm (Rande Gerber's former promotions coordinator) to bait the A-list away from other velvet-roped clubs popping up nearby.


Where Sex Slave Auctions Once Reigned (Julia Chaplin)






The nondenominational prayer was part of the "supper roll call" in the mess hall. Cadets in the mess hall were obliged to remain standing but did not have to take part in the prayer. The Virginia attorney general, Jerry W. Kilgore, argued that the decision cast doubt on a lunchtime prayer recited at the United States Naval Academy.


Supreme Court Roundup (Linda Greenhouse)




Have a good week, folks.

Soba