Counter Intelligence

Five on Food: Articles from the Wednesday Dining Pages

Posted in General Interest by melissamccart on February 25, 2009

1) Wonkish Appetites Unite. Washington Post. Yay Internet Food Association.

2) Brooklyn’s New Culinary Movement. New York Times.  “It’s that guy in the band with the big plastic glasses who’s already asking for grass-fed steak and knows about nibs,” Ms. Langholtz said.”

3) Recession Takes a Big Bite Out Of LA Restaurants. LA Times. “It was a moment of self-analyzation. And I realized I’m offering diamonds and rubies to a market that can no longer afford it.”

4) Bar Stars. San Francisco Chronicle. Meet the Bay area top bartenders.

5) A Family Recipe That Travels Around the World. Boston Globe.  Cabbage pie via Tokyo.

Get Fat

Posted in General Interest by melissamccart on February 24, 2009

While you may not be a part of a krewe , you’ll have plenty to choose from to celebrate Fat Tuesday’s Mardi Gras. Metrocurean suggests foodie events, which include those at Acadiana, Mio and Central. Fritz Hahn offers drinking and parade options.  Tuesday night sessions at Bar Pilar are another option.

Homebodies can pick up some Abita at  Cleveland Park Liquors or Cheesetique and a King Cake at Alexandria’s Buzz Bakery for a sweet tooth. Priced at $25, these multi-colored, doughnut-shaped cakes are filled with raspberry and cream cheese. And if you get the mini baby baked inside, it’s not just good luck. You’re next year’s Mardi Gras host.

Liquored Up

Posted in Niche by melissamccart on February 21, 2009

Jose Andres gets quite an introduction from Mario Batali at South Beach Wine and Food Festival. . . .

Five on Food: Articles From the Wednesday Dining Pages

Posted in General Interest by melissamccart on February 18, 2009

1) Your Morning Pizza. New York Times. I love this article since I’m obsessed with making breakfast pizza: greens, fresh grated parm, some bacon and a poached egg and you’re set. More satisfying than Cheerios and less of a nap than pancakes.

2) A Rare Four Star Restaurant Review. LA Times. Congrats Jose Andres!

3) Chiarello Back in his Element at Lusty Bottega. San Francisco Chronicle. Away from the camera and back in the kitchen.

4) Recipes Can Make You Fat. Boston Globe. Over the past 70 years, recipes have packed on 40% more calories.

5) Pasta Pairings By The Numbers. Washington Post. 12 Pastas, 6 Sauces, 10 Cheeses.

Save the Date: April 18th Southern Foodways Potlikker

Posted in General Interest by melissamccart on February 16, 2009

sfapotlikker_dc_lorezCheck out an evening of southern fare, song and film at this year’s Southern Foodways Potlikker Film Fest April 18th at Johnny’s Half Shell from 6-9pm. 

The event features jazz by Jimmy Burrell and film shorts, including  “A Short History of Sweet Potato Pie,” –the story of St. Mary’s Retirement Home cook, Pearl Mallory.  Other films showcase Mississippi’s Taylor Grocery, Jones Valley Urban Farm in Alabama and Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville. 

It’s the eats I’m the most excited about, such as woodfired Florida hoecakes from Chef T of Creme, buttermilk brined fried chicken from Gillian Clark of Georgia Avenue Meeting House, heirloom pigs in handstitched blankets from Jeff Buben of Vidalia, Delta catfish tamales from Ann Cashion of Johnny’s Half Shell and Jack and sweets pie from David Guas of damgoodsweetPotlikker shots made by Mark Furstenburg.

Here’s the deal. Tickets are $40 and only available online via Southern Foodways. No tickets can be purchased at Johnny’s; no tickets can be bought at the door the day of the event. Interested? Order here.

Power Play

Posted in General Interest by melissamccart on February 15, 2009

zolaAll month long, Zola Wine & Kitchen has held its Italian cooking series in a nod to the soon to open sibling, Potenza.  The name–  a reference to owner Dan Mesches’ grandmother– translates to power or might in Italian.

Housed in the former Woody’s department store, Potenza will feature a bakery in the building’s former lobby, a salumeria and a Woodstone pizza oven.  Among other design flourishes, booths are made from church pews, a sleek zinc bar lines the lounge, and tile flooring winds in intricate patterns that vary from room to room. The restaurant takes kitchen as theater to the nth degree: one whole room is halved by the action, with tables to serve as front row seating.

Can’t wait until the March opening? Bryan Moscatello’s touts the cuisine to come in this Wednesday’s pizza class or the gnocchi session next week. Classes are $70 and run from 6:30 to 8:30. Classes sizes are limited and reservations are required. Check out the website or register here.

DCists Cook

Posted in General Interest by melissamccart on February 13, 2009

Three newish blogs I’ve been reading lately are home cooking focused from current and former DCist.com writers.  I adore the site and the people who I met through writing. DCist was the first local site I wrote for after moving from New York several years ago.

 Check them out:

1) District Plates: A brand new blog from former Eating In writer, Scott Reitz. The site features menu suggestions, cooking techniques and in the kitchen narratives on local chefs.

2) Missy’s Recipes: Though the blog isn’t new, it’s new to me. Restaurants and Retail columnist for The Washington Business Journal, Missy Frederick reports on what’s cooking in her kitchen (and, after tasting her short ribs, I can attest she’s a terrific home cook. ) Frederick’s new column, “Top Shelf” debuts today. Though it’s subscription only, it’s the featured free on Monday.

3) Internet Food Association: Though this one has been around a couple months, the site, which includes regular dcist writers Amanda Mattos and Kriston Capps, has recently become one of my go-to’s for daily food musings and recipes.

Food Is the New Sex

Posted in General Interest by melissamccart on February 12, 2009

According to these two sources. . .

Not according to the six word love and heartbreak memoirs, unless they’re posted in A Life of Bites. (I kind of love these.)

Favorite Sips

Posted in District of Columbia, General Interest by melissamccart on February 9, 2009

Friday night, Ardeo/Bardeo sommelier Brent Kroll introduced me to a new favorite wine: a white pinot noir. I had asked him for a big white, no oak.  He returned with a 2007 Robert Weil Spatburgunder from Rheingau, Germany. “Unfortunately,” he says, “supply is limited and we’re on our last few bottles.” Lucky for us, white pinot noir is becoming more prevalent , he says.

“Kroll is incredibly passionate about wine,” Bardeo/Ardeo owner Ashok Bajaj says of the 23 year old sommelier. Pulling up a forward from Kroll on his iphone, Bajaj says,  “He sometimes tests how much I know.”

Among his questions:

Chablis is made from what grape and is famous for what type of soil? (Chardonnay. The soil it’s most famous for is Kimmeridgian, which is a mixture of limestone and clay that gives Chablis its flint and lime aromas.)

Beaujolais Village or Cru are made from what grape? (Gamay)

Five on Food: Articles from the Wednesday Dining Pages

Posted in General Interest by melissamccart on February 4, 2009

tiffany1) Restaurants Stop Playing Hard to Get. New York Times. “. . . .if you eat out regularly in New York, you’ve noticed a different reception, an altered mood: extreme solicitousness tinged with outright desperation.” Also, the third or fourth piece I’ve read lately on making your own crackers.

2) The Place Where LA Finds Itself. LA Times. It’s Clifton’s cafeteria. I wonder if the same could be said of DC’s Saint’s Paradise or New Hope?

3) Soothing Soup. San Francisco Chronicle. Several appealing recipes to warm up to.

4) Stirrings of a Better Martini. Washington Post. From Jason Wilson’s terrific article: “Ian Fleming’s spy also introduced the ridiculous concept of shaking, not stirring, a martini. Look, I don’t care how good Daniel Craig looks in his square-cut Speedo or whether you think Pierce Brosnan was a travesty, especially after the glory days of Sean Connery: A martini should be stirred.”

5)  Rats, Roaches, Common at ‘Filthy’ Peanut Plant. Atlanta Journal Constitution. The tabloidesque headline makes me never want to eat peanut butter again.

(WP photo by Lois Raimondo)