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Back from our annual Maine adventure. Two nights in Portland brought us two great dinners. Hugo's and Fore Street. Both would be at home in NYC in terms of quality and price.
Hugo's is perhaps a bit more experimental with pistachio encrusted lambs tongue being the standout of my meal (with an honorable mention going to the tongue in cheek "general tsao's chicken" made with sweet breads.) The room is tiny though, and not really in a good way, while the wine list left me severely underwhelmed. Reading on Chowhound I see a lot of complaints about portion size. Possibly the restaurant read these too as our waitress went to great lengths to describe how all the dishes on the menu are appetizer size and you really want to order a minimum of three. We ordered three each and then two more to share (at her urging) and of course it was way too much food. Still a very nice meal from a chef who was the 2009 James Beard Foundation winner of Best Chef Northeast.
Fore Street, in contrast, is a beautiful room. Huge open warehouse loft with the completely visible kitchen in the middle of the room. Great great energy. Lots of fresh fish and vegetables on display in glass enclosed walk in refrigerators. Staffs seemed a bit more professional as did the over all feel. Not quite as experimental as Hugo's but that might be a good thing. The focus is fresh local ingredients and they don't get in the way of them by trying anything too fancy. I had some of the best oysters I've every had to start and tasted an incredible (tender!) squid dish. My dinning mates had an incredible lobster dish for their main and I had a nice pheasant. The wine list is very interesting including some old Lopez which is a fav around these parts and not something I necessarily expect to find in Maine. And it didn't seem out of place on the list.
If I had to go back for one night I'd do Fore Street for sure, but Hugo's definitely has some interesting cooking going on.
The only thing these diets have in common is that they're all based on whole foods with minimum processing. Nuts, berries, beans, raw milk, grass-fed meat. Whole, real, unprocessed food is almost always healthy, regardless of how many grams of carbs, protein or fat it contains.
All these healthy diets have in common the fact that they are absent foods with bar codes. They are also extremely low in sugar. In fact, the number of modern or ancient societies known for health and longevity that have consumed a diet high in sugar would be ... let's see ... zero.
Truth be told, what you eat probably matters less than how much processing it's undergone. Real food--whole food with minimal processing--contains a virtual pharmacy of nutrients, phytochemicals, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and healthful fats, and can easily keep you alive and thriving into your 10th decade.
just ate my first tomato of the year out of the garden. an orange cherry tomato. forgot to take a picture but you know.
Well I'm a little nervous to post here now that my two favorite restaurants (11 Mad and Corton) have been panned by our resident expert (and my food mentor.) But in any case, here goes: We had a great meal at A Voce the other night. The pasta is just amazingly superb. The somewhat new chef, Missy Robbins, is a friend of some friends, and comes from Chicago's Spiaggia restaurant and is steeped in Italian cooking. Did I mention that the pasta is unbelievably good? Really you should try it. Okay, sure, it's expensive, but I think in this case you get what you pay for.
Donning asbestos suit for rebuttal...
after three days sans alcohol and being a veggie a great friend of mine (and wylie's) had a fantastic meal at wd50 with a large selection of old vino that went awesome with the "always best meals in NYC"
new tastes since last time were sensational with a few fav's below
Shrimp noodles, zucchini, mousseron mushroom, chamomile yogurt
Duck leg, popcorn pudding, kalamansi, lovage
Scrambled egg ravioli, charred avocado, hamachi
this wasn't new to this visit but it rocked again
Cold fried chicken, buttermilk-ricotta, tabasco, caviar
and yummy for the more veggie and a first try for me
Parsnip tart, quinoa, hazelnuts, bok choy you rock chef wylie
Rouge Tomate's Drink Menu
"Cocktails on the Lighter Side"
Ten Cane Rum, Fresh Rhubarb, Lemon, Vanilla, Prosecco
Spiced Rhubarb Purée with Prosecco
Vodka, Sugar Snap Pea, Mint, Lemon, finished with Valrhona Chocolate Shavings
Pimm’s, Cucumber Purée, Mint, Lemon Juice
Vodka, Campari, Blood Orange Juice, Lemon Juice
this should be cool, from NYTimes
EATALY This giant supermarket from Turin, Italy, is to open in New York in a year. Its 32,000 square feet will include restaurants and market areas. Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali’s restaurant company are partners: 200 Fifth Avenue (23rd Street).
ad hoc goat spit
(this place just opened, below is from blackbookmag.com, not sure about this in 2009, "Word on the street says Mari Vanna will be kept secret, with owners handing out keys to approved customers")
New York Restaurants » Gramercy » Russian
41 E. 20th Street
(Park Ave. and Broadway)
Selected private openings through July. Russian myth has Mari Vanna as an old woman who took in strangers, cooked elaborate dishes in classic Russian tradition, and served on her finest china. The strangers were eventually given keys and treated like family. Hence this cozy resto. Russian owners took their time perfecting this homey place; interior's filled with pepper grinders, lamps, books, teakettles, and other authentic Russian antiques. Bit on the precious side. Food on a grand scale, heaping portions of flaky chicken Kiev, beef stroganoff, and salade Olivier are not to be missed. Candy dishes abound, just like the ones you couldn't touch at Granny's. Word on the street says Mari Vanna will be kept secret, with owners handing out keys to approved customers.
must try his chocolate
grand cru food (flavors, textures, colors) @ aldea west 17th
space is designed by lady that did corton
marea, locanda verde, and now aldea opened in 09, nyc never sleeps....
finally getting to corton next week
water water everywhere...