Tag Archives: restaurant

At the Market

The Sunday morning market is AWESOME.  I had all these plans to go to these markets all over the city, but the fact is, the one right behind my friend Annic’s apartment is perfect, and I can be certain I am the only American there.  It’s little, just two little streets that cross each other like an X.  The boulangeries, fromageries, caves du vin, seafood markets, butchers, vegetable guys and florists all open up their doors and expand into stands in the street.  Rotisseries set up on the street fill the air with the smell of roast chicken.  The fruits and vegetables are artfully arranged, as if someone was going to take the whole arrangement of haricot vert and use it as a decorative piece.  We have Annic’s big straw bag, and we pop in and out of each store, only buying one or two things at each.  The street is filled with families doing the same, and a relaxed happiness pervades, as if the tradition of Sunday market brings not just good food but incredible comfort. People greet each other and share kisses and jokes.  The street vendors offer you a taste of their produce before you buy, confident that once you have a bite, you will buy from them.  There is intense pride in the products shown.

 

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Filed under Eating, Superior Foods, To Market, Travel

New Brooklyn Restaurant James- Worth a Try?

I read three blurbs on a new American restaurant in Prospect Heights in Brooklyn and I have to say, I’m intrigued.  It looks sophisticated and the menu sounds really good.  It’s called James, opened by a chef who used to cook at Bouley and Union Pacific, and his wife, an event planner.  A good sign that they’re invested in this spot: they live in the apartment upstairs from the restaurant.  Read more here, here, and here.

 

Menu:

SMALL PLATES
Warm White and Green Asparagus Salad with a Bucheron and Chive Fondue
Seared Diver Scallops with Watercress Puree and Preserved Kumquats
Organic Pennsylvania Greens with Sherry and Black Pepper Dressing
Spinach Salad with Roasted Shallots, Shiitake Mushroom and Parmesan-Reggiano
Steamed Zucchini Blossoms stuffed with Peekytoe Crab, Tomato and Lemongrass
East and West Coast Oysters
Crispy Sweetbreads, Rhubarb Honey Glaze and Dandelion Greens
Grilled Prawns with Lemon and Sunchoke Puree, Garlic Confit

MAIN COURSE
Grass Fed Beef Burger with Cotswald Cheese on Brioche with Herb Fries
Herb Crusted East Coast Halibut with Spring Vegetables and Horseradish Cream
Grilled Organic Salmon with Stewed Leeks and Heirloom Carrots, Chervil Pistou
Pine Nut and Rosemary Crusted Rack of Lamb Eggplant Timbale, Jus Natural
Dry Aged Shell Steak, Roasted Marrow Bone, Au Poivre Sauce and Stinging Nettles
Sautéed Skate with Capers, Lovage and Roasted Potatoes
Poached Breast of Chicken with Roasted Thigh, Roasted Treviso and Lemon Thyme Jus
Fava Bean Ravioli with Morels Broth and Ramps Greens

DESSERT
Strawberry Shortcakes with Framboise Crème 
Ricotta Cheesecake Beignets with Raspberry Red Wine Coulis
Chocolate Ganache Cake with Hazelnut Center and Brandy Ice cream
Grilled Lemon Almond Pound Cake with Rhubarb Sorbet
Caramelized Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Tahitian Vanilla

 

www.jamesrestaurantny.com

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Filed under Eating, Restaurants

Ammo in L.A. is a reason to heart L.A.

I’m in L.A. for business a couple of weeks ago, and on Saturday night I make plans for dinner with my friend Claire, a local artist who is also one of those super cool chicks in-the-know.  In L.A. that can be a dubious distinction, but Claire is first-class and has impeccable style. I trust her implicitly.  Ammo, she says, is one of her favorites.  Not scene-y, she warns/reassures.  The food is really clean, she says, and looking at me reflectively adds,  maybe too clean for you?  She knows my love of indulgence, and the tendency to go for anything fried, with cream and butter, or containing a plethora of ingredients. 

Maybe it’s that I’ve indulged too much when it comes to dining out, but lately I crave clean, simple food made of the absolute best ingredients.  That’s why I love Ammo.  Alot.   It’s in a boring part of Hollywood on a stretch of Highland Ave with not much else but Ammo.  The interior is earthy modern- lots of wood, exposed bulbs, fresh flowers.  It’s a California culinary zen den.  Here’s why I fell in love:

COCKTAILS: An absolutely ethereal cucumber mint martini.  Made with my new favorite gin, Hendrick’s (hints of rose mix well with cucumber), it was one of the most fresh and clean drinks I’ve imbibed in a long time.  Way later, after a couple glasses of Soave, my new favorite white wine, I had them make me a Negroni.  It was excellent, and that’s all I can really say because I had a real strong buzz happening at that point.

EATS: the ne plus ultra of arugula salads lives at Ammo.  I think Jesus grew the arugula.  Apparently it had been bought that morning at the farmer’s market (this is Ammo’s thing, super local and super fresh) and it was vibrant green, full of spice and a slight sweetness.  It held up well to a delish parmigiano reggiano, and served with olive oil and lemon.

We also had an amazing Ahi tuna tartare and a spaghetti with pancetta and sauteed bitter greens.  For dessert we had these homemade ice cream sandwiches that were pushed away with an “I can’t possibly eat that” and then promptly swallowed in full.  

SERVICE: We sat at the bar, which is always my preference.  Benny Bohm, the Austrian wine manager, was this really sweet guy who offered us fresh clementines that he had picked up at the farmer’s market on the way to work.  We fell in love with Benny.   

P.S. I know there are a lot of farmer’s market references here, and the words “California zen den” were used.  Before you break out the cut-offs, tie-dye, and teva look, please be aware this is a really sophisticated spot, with prices to match.  Check out the website for more details, menu, and pics.

Ammo, 1155 North Highland, Los Angeles, CA 323/871/2666

www.ammocafe.com

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Filed under Eating, Libations, Restaurants