Monday, November 12, 2012

Craigie on Main: House-made Donut with Confiture du Lait

Just a quick post here.  Every so often something simple blows your mind.  This doughnut from Craigie on Main is literally worth the trip to Cambridge by itself.  We enjoyed a wonderful brunch yesterday in Cambridge; I've been to Craigie twice for dinner but this was my first chance to sample the brunch menu.  I'm not going to post our whole brunch; just go.  Order this doughnut and then order whatever else sounds good.  You aren't going to regret it.

The doughnut is covered in the most delicious confiture du lait; think caramel sauce without the gummy sticky aspect.  Let's see if the power of twitter can perhaps yield a recipe and a future blog post shall we? 

Old fashioned cake doughnuts covered in sugar are a definite New England thing and what Chef Maws does with his version of this classic breakfast treat is nothing short of perfection.  If you are ever in Boston, venture over the Charles River into Cambridge and enjoy a great meal. 

Whether it is Sunday brunch or dinner it will be an enjoyable meal.  It doesn't hurt that the famous burger, normally only available at the bar and in limited quantity, is available in the entire restaurant for brunch.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Black Dog Cookbook: South of the Border Brownies

Growing up in Southeastern Massachusetts, the island of Martha's Vineyard holds a special place in my heart.  It started out when I was young, taking the ferry over from New Bedford for soccer games (RIP to the Scamonchi); that was always the highlight of a season.  Later I spent a summer living there with good friends.  The idea of someday having a little slice of that island to call my own has always been a motivating factor in life. 

There is probably no symbol more synonymous with the island of Martha's Vineyard than that of The Black Dog.  The Black Dog started out as Tavern in 1971.  Over the years it has expanded into bakeries and gift shops where you can buy just about anything with the signature black dog on it.  You don't visit Martha's Vineyard and come home without something with a black dog on it; you just don't do it.  

Before they were known for sweatshirts and souvenirs, they were known for good classic New England fare.  The bakery is outstanding as well.  This recipe is from the bakery portion of the book and is for a quick, rich, chocolate brownie.  The Kahlua adds a little kick but not too much!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mugaritz San Sebastian Spain

We made the six hour drive from Barcelona to San Sebastian up through the base of the Pyrenees mountains.  It was a pretty drive, but in the future I would probably just take a train which I believe runs twice daily between Barcelona and San Sebastian or you can also take it overnight from Paris.  We checked into our hotel , the Hotel De Londres and got ready for our dinner at Mugaritz.  We took a cab over because the front desk said people often got lost trying to find the former dairy farm turned Michelin-starred restaurant tucked away in the hills of San Sebastian.  The cab ride over reminded me of the cab ride over to Alinea for our first meal there.  That was our first really fancy meal of our lives and the anticipation on that ride was thick.  This was very much the same; each turn you wondered if we where there yet?  Until finally we were there;  I knew we were in for something special but I really had no idea exactly what.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

El Celler De Can Roca: Girona Spain

A day after we enjoyed our meal at Tickets it was time to enter the belly of the beast.  Tickets was a bit of a warm up meal for what proved to be the most intense 4 days of eating in our lives.  Over the next four days we would dine at four different 3-star Michelin establishments including the San Pelegrino #2 , #3 and #8  restaurants in the world.

Just a couple hours north of Barcelona sits Girona, a small town which is the home to the current #2 restaurant in the world according to San Pellegrino.  It was a small, quaint town, not the type of place you would expect such a worldly destination.

So while most of our friends and family were either asleep or just waking up back home in the U.S., Carrie and I sat down for what would prove to be the July 4th lunch of a lifetime.  Come and check out our lunch at El Celler De Can Roca.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tickets: Barcelona Spain

I remember the exact moment I first heard of El Bulli and Ferran Adria.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever get a chance to actually taste his or his brother Albert's creations.  El Bulli famously shut it's doors last summer for good, and it was during the "No Reservations" episode dedicated to the former best restaurant in the world that Anthony Bourdain visited the new creation of Albert Adria: a "simple" tapas bar in an up and coming area of Barcelona named Tickets.  I put simple in quotations because if you are familiar with this family you know nothing is as it appears, and absolutely nothing is simple here.  What they do have here is flavor packed into tiny bites, and lots of it.  I almost blew this meal, making the reservation for the wrong day originally but Tickets was kind enough to change the date for me when I emailed them.  Thank goodness they did because if they hadn't we would have missed out on our best meal in Barcelona.  I will return to Barcelona and when I do I will eat at Tickets; probably more than once as long as I can get in.  If I close my eyes I can be in that restaurant again right now.  What do you get when you ask the best chefs in the world to open a tapas restaurant?  Come find out.
The front entrance to Tickets

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fabiolous Cooking Day

By far one of the very best things we did in Rome was sign up for a cooking class with Chef Fabio.  We found about about Chef Fabio's classes online, and decided to sign up once we arrived in Rome.  Chef Fabio runs Fabiolous Cooking Day in Rome and you can check out his website here for more info on what he offers. We did the "Cooking day in Rome" but the day spent cooking on the countryside looks like it too would be a day well spent.  Registering for the class was easy and we were told to meet Chef at the Teatro Argentina at 10:00 AM for the start of our cooking day in Rome.  Making pasta at home is one of the things I think is most satisfying; homemade pasta simply can not be beat and many people have no idea how easy it can be to make.  While in Rome I jumped at this chance to further refine my pasta making skills.  Take a look at our cooking day in Rome with Chef Fabio.

Chef Fabio picking out zuchini at Campo de' Fiori

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Arts and Lettuce - Cincinnati, OH

It was way back in April that I first heard about the Arts and Lettuce dinner series put on by Please to eat you; a dinner party being thrown a few times a month by Chef Ryan Santos.  The menu changes monthly and they usually serve around 10-12 people.  The pictures of the food have looked amazing, so Carrie and I registered and had planned on attending our first meal with Ryan back in April.  That day arrived and I got sick; we had to cancel and I was disappointed.  

Since then we have been waiting for him to do another month featuring meat dishes; the focus of the meals rotates every month from vegetarian to pescetarian to full on meat.  Since my wife has embraced eating the meat we let the previous month's vegetarian offering pass by and have been waiting for our August meal with Arts and Lettuce.  The meal was fabulous and deserves some mention.  We will get back to the rest of our trip to Spain shortly but for now, check out what Chef Ryan Santos has going on in Cincinnati, OH--it's pretty freaking awesome.  This is our dinner, August 25, 2012.
Tonight's Dinner Menu