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14th July
written by spd

I’ve just completed a much-needed two-week layoff from the Fiddler tour.  I’m en route to San Diego now, mildly satisfied with the Au Bon Pain salad that sits in front of me… dreaming of some of the irresistible eats that I’ve noshed on while in the city.  In no particular order:

  • Canadian Lobster with Porcini Mushrooms and Almond Emulsion; at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole. One of the most perfectly cooked pieces of protein I’ve ever placed on my tongue.  After years of overcooked Maine lobster dipped in clarified butter, this felt like a revelation.
  • Homemade Vanilla Chai Ice Cream; prepared by my boyfriend, David. Every super hero has their secret weapon and my boyfriend’s is his kitchen aid.  Pasta, cookies, ice cream… the joys that have come from this clunky piece of hardware make up for the counter space it devours.  He steeped six tea bags in the milk and cream, and followed a standard Vanilla recipe (from Joy of Cooking?) from there.
  • Maryland Crab Cakes with Tomato and Sweet Fresh Corn over Arugula; at Square Meal by Yura. The best crab cake I’ve had outside of Maryland, hands down.  I can see why her UES clientele refuse to let her take it off the ever-changing seasonal menu.
  • Diver Sea Scallop “Sandwich” with Pan Seared Foie Gras, Sugar Snap Peas, Passion Fruit, and Chives; at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole. This signature starter is texturally satisfying, and as delicious as it is beautiful.
  • Spiced Berkshire Pork Loin, Warm Guindilla Chili-spaetzle salad, Nashi Pear Compote, and Salsify Crisps; at Public in Nolita. This entrée satisfies your sweet and savory teeth in one bite.
  • Sour Cherry Soup with Sour Cream; prepared by David’s mother, Harriette. My boyfriend isn’t the only member of his family blessed with culinary know-how.  His mother introduced me to this Hungarian classic during dinner on their terrace.
  • Salad Nicoise at Fig and Olive in the Meatpacking. My family and I ducked in to Fig and Olive before watching the 4th of July fireworks.  I felt like a bore for ordering such a classic, but I wanted something light.  I was not disappointed when it arrived – it was, perhaps, the most divine Salad Nicoise I’ve ever had!  Paper-thin marinated raw tuna, crisp haricot vert, tomato, roasted potatoes, hard boiled egg, black olives, meaty white anchovies, red bell pepper, red onion, citrus & Picholine olive oil dressing… quite beautiful, with all of the elements deconstructed on the plate.
  • Bone Marrow with Parsley and Fleur de Sel, served with Grilled Bread; at Café d’Alsace on the Upper East Side. Nothing trumps the massive marrow bones at Prune on the Lower East, but these came very close!
  • Truffled Fettuccine; prepared by my David. Using the pasta attachments that I gave him for his birthday, David and I rolled out our own fresh pasta… with little secret folded into the dough: truffle oil.  We served it with sautéed oyster, porcini, and shitake mushrooms.  Earthy, divine!
  • Goat Cheese, Beet, and Endive Salad at Artisinal in Murray Hill. It wasn’t life-changing, but my parents and I had a lovely meal at Artisinal, by Picholine’s Terrance Brennan.  It’s easy to see why cheese lovers flock to his fromage-centric bistro!  This healthy spoonful of goat cheese transformed a now cliché salad into a masterpiece… milk heaven!

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