What I’m Loving Now

March 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sometimes my restaurant and recipe ramblings don’t always merit a  full-blown post. In this case I thought they might lend themselves more to a round up of favorites or new, notable things. Here we go:

Union Square Cafe
We had a wonderful dinner at Union Square Cafe last week where I discovered the wonderful Sam Lipp of USHG is now the General Manager. (Hooray, Sam!). We enjoyed the entire meal but the Spanish Mackerel Crudo, Artichoke Puree, Olive Tapenade, and Chili Oil and Frascatelli alla Romana with Pancetta, Brussels Sprouts, and Black Pepper Cream both blew me away. The mackerel was incredibly fresh and was complemented perfectly by the creamy artichoke pure gaining a nice kick from the chili oil. The Frascatelli, which reminded me a bit of spaetzle, was a wonderful vessel for the decadent sauce studded with two of my favorite ingredients. I have had several good meals at USC over the last few years, but this visit seemed to really outdo my past experiences.

Winter Squash (on Pizza?)
Inspired by this recipe from a recent issue of Food and Wine, I purchased some frozen organic winter squash puree to use as a base for a pizza this week. While I intended to follow the recipe, the discovery that my onions were mushy forced me to to turn to Plan B. As it turns out, the fall back combination of squash puree, rosemary, sauteed shitake mushrooms and crumbled italian sausage was a huge success. The sweet and savoy combo was a nice change from the typical acidity of a tomato base and a drizzle of balsamic reduction put it over the top.

Hawthorne Valley Farm Yogurt
Last week I walked the extra few minutes to catch the subway at Union Square so that I could peruse the Greenmarket. I’m so glad I did, as it led to me purchasing Hawthorne Valley Farm‘s Maple Vanilla yogurt. The yogurt is not homogenized, making it slightly more liquid that most (in a good way). While the maple and vanilla cause it to boarder on dessert for breakfast, I was happy to hear no additional sugar is added to this particular flavor.

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir
At a dinner party a few weeks ago, our friends Scott and Alex brought an incredible bottle of Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir. I was wowed by it that night and was reminded how wonderful it was this week when I picked up another bottle a Union Square Wines.

That’s all I have time for at the moment as I’m off to dinner, but I’d like to do a post of this kind every few weeks as it’s fun to look back and remember what stood out as well as share it with others.

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