2007 has easily been the best year of my life, and looks like it will be closing with a bang. It started off a little bumpy with some heartache. But somehow I survived and made/ate my way through New York, Chicago, San Francisco (twice), and Boston (twice). I made my first trip to wine country, hit up some classics, and some not so classics. I celebrated my birthday in style, and went to dozens of great concerts. I started appreciating alcohol, and have grown enamored of Belgian ales. I made some great new friends.
Below are a list of my top ten plates of the year:
1. Japanese seared wagyu from tasting at Vidalia
What can one really say about fantastically, evenly marbled beef? Especially when it has been perfectly seasoned, seared with crispy fat, and kissed by the lips of angels or at least… touched by Eric Ziebold, one of the sweetest chefs in DC? Not much. Except wow, and please sir, can I have some more?
2. Croquette with cucumber, smoked steelhead roe and candied endive at Alinea
Small bites play a big role this year. I feel like I am behind on some trend, but they really are the way to go. It’s just enough to tease you and have you begging for more. Fried, creamy, briny, cooling and sweet all in one bite. This bite was definitely a tease, and wonderful. Though the lamb trio was probably tastier, this one sticks out in my mind.
This really needs pics, but meh… I think I am the only one in the family too lazy to do it. HAH! Hopefully this reads like something you want to eat, not grandma’s diary. =D
Roasted red peppers with anchovy fillets, and capers
Country pate with black truffles
Duck liver pate
Goat and cow’s milk blend feta cheese (I think)
Some other cheese that was Humboldt Fog-like
Pickled okra and cornichons
Roast duck with Chinese pancakes
Brussels sprouts with pancetta and roasted chestnuts
Green beans with onions, toasted pine nuts and lemon zest
Mashed potatoes with bacon with horseradish and scallion sour cream on the side
Sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows
Crescent rolls brushed with garlic and butter
German chocolate cake
2006 Adelsheim Pinot Noir
Yeah there were only seven adults. It was pretty intense.
DR.com hosted an amazing wagyu beef tasting. It was some serious business, and everyone was mighty hopped up and excited to get going. We started off with some rillettes, which were deliciously fatty and salty. The dish was sitting at our table for a long period of time, so we got the chance to dip in several times.
For some reason, whenever I am around wagyu beef, I overhear something inappropriate at a neighboring table. Tonight it was some comment about saggy boobs. When I was at the French Laundry it was someone talking about va-jay-jays. UGH! Were you folks raised by wolves?
So we started off with a carpaccio of beef with a light salad and some various salts on the side. One of them was a bit sulfurous and tasted quite a bit like eggs. It was kind of an interesting touch, which in retrospect might have been a nod to tartare. Our table was kind of dumb and didn’t hear that we could go up and try out some other types of salts. I’ve never had beef carpaccio before so I don’t have much context to compare. It mostly revealed the fattiness and richness of the meat. I can’t say I was completely blown away, but it was good. Continue reading
My bud, E, recently read Fergus Henderson’s book, The Whole Beast: Head to Tail Eating. He decided to embark on a little experiment involving the cooking of pig liver and spleen. He’d already made his own guanciale and bacon, so this was just one more step. He documented his journey here. These were some of the results:
Sauteed pig liver with greens, radishes, capers and vinagrette
Figs wrapped in guanciale and bacon
Pig spleen with bacon and sage, red onion, collard greens with bacon and okra
I’ve been laughing at the PSA they have in the Metro about getting fined for eating. It goes something like… “Would you pay $100 for a hamburger? Because if you’re caught eating you will get fined $100 for eating. That’s not worth it, is it? Please don’t eat or drink on the Metro or you could be paying $100 for that hamburger.”
I find this statement hilarious given the fact that I pay about $60 a month to travel 3.2 miles in 15 minutes, get groped, get shoved by other passengers, stand next to people wearing too much perfume or who haven’t showered in a long time, wait on a platform for 20 minutes, get headaches from the mildew smell, touch greasy spots on windows, watch overweight men spread eagle across two seats, not be able to reach the handle bars, get thrown by the conductor braking etc. etc. And what is that burning smell? UGH! I don’t want to pay for that. It’s time to get a bike.