Wednesday, January 21, 2015

And speaking of breadbags

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fromage et du vin

We were the happy recipients of Zingerman's Cheese of the Month gift. Installment two brought us French cheeses:  Camembert, Brebis d'Ossau and Comte.

A cheese tasting was in order. With help from Holiday Market, we paired our new arrivals with a Kermit Lynch Graves and a good baguette.

The Comte is sweet, nutty and creamy. The Brebis flowery, milky with a little hint of goat milk tang. The Camembert is earthy, mushroomy with a cabbage-y scent and aftertaste (in a good way) with an unctuous creamy texture.

All the cheese were enhanced by the bright, slightly acidic wine.

What a treat for the gray days of January.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A light dinner

Lake trout, rice and asparagus

After the richness of the holidays feasts and a trip to delicious New York, we were ready for a little lighter fare. Our wonderful local market had a special on fresh caught lake trout. 

After searing in a screaming hot cast iron skilled, the fish went under the broiler with just some butter and salt. The end result was moist and flavorful trout, enhanced with some lemon juice, butter and capers. 

Rice pilaf (the original recipe by Craig Claiborne never fails) and asparagus rounded out the meal, with a crisp Bogle Sauvignon Blanc. 

On a freezing cold night, it was the perfect dinner. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Batard NYC

In NYC for combo of conference and to spend time with darling daughter.  First order of business is check-in and the massive Hilton. There are hordes of historians. Khakis, sport coats, lots of tweed jackets, khakis and walking shoes are the ID.  My husband looks like all of them. Women sensible and chic.

We hightailed it over to a sports bar recommended by the concierge - large TVs to see the MSU game and connect with the darling daughter and the darling daughter of good friends. On the other side of an unexpectedly good burger, great fries and a Rebel IPA we were in good form.

And watched the victory in the hotel room w/ carry out.

Tonight Batard -- top rated new restaurant in NYC and thanks to DD we had a great seating, VIP treatment, wonderful wine and appreciated comps. Braised artichokes with barley and eiswein sabayon, octopus pastrami, shortrib terrine were beautifully composed, brilliant and bright flavors to whet the appetite and a French cremant added just enough sparkle.

Mains are duck breast with natural jus and potatoes w/ capers;  veal "trapezzini" a kind of veal tenderloin Wellington with brilliant pastry and sauce diablo, chicken schnitzel with potato salad and cuke salad. So simple but so dimensional in taste, texture and sauce.

Jonathan our sommelier is wonderful.  Red Burgundy with dinner with a Spanish white Albina with appetizers were perfect matches.  To finish, two tokays for with gorgeous dessert course of hazelnut mousse torte and fried milk bread (aka creme brulee french bread) and a warm runny epoisse with baguette and nut bread.

The food is superb --among the top three in Detroit Food's experience. But the warmth and hospitality make the great restaurant it is.  DD is a part of the trade and her colleagues took such personal care of us with interest and engagement. This is why great restaurants live on - the people, the food and the pursuit of perfection and caring.

Peak dining experience to beat in the next ten years.