Saturday, September 28, 2013

the scabbard is worth ten of the sword


the food at marianne—almost, but not quite, the smallest fine-dining restaurant i have ever seen—is what you eat every day if you are the clean plate ranger scion of an old british family for whom Upholding The Standards is of Paramount Importance, Crassness is to be avoided At All Costs, and Money is No Object. being of peasant stock, my favourite things were the potatoes: 1) a slab of fondant potato, edges precisely chamfered, browned in butter, then   s l o w l y  cooked in chicken stock, and 2) a velvety stiff purée of maris pipers liberally emulsified with brown butter. above, you see a porcelain plate containing some veal reduction, a sorrel leaf and stem, and no potatoes whatsoever.

an excellent establishment to which i intend to return when someone else is picking up the check.

Friday, September 27, 2013

the heel of the boot


waiting at the bar, i hazarded a glass of this, a inky red made from grape varieties i have despised in the past, from the very southern tip of italy: salento in puglia. the 2008 "calassu" from cascina leuzzi is concentrated and intense, all freshly washed dark red cherries and dark blue plums with dry and chewy tannins, yet clean, fresh, light on its feet—a marvelous balance and a joyous wine. a natural wine for the natural wine haters.

Friday, September 20, 2013

sticking a toe into the pool of tradition

clos de l'arlot

the last of a half-case bought after three markdowns. lots of variation among the bottles, with some clearly damaged by heat. but this was quite nice. beautifully integrated wood, white flowers and white flower honey, a little creamy—but nothing a chill can't fix. and then, a bit warmer, rich enough for pumpkin puttanesca.