Why Is The Good Stuff So Expensive?

My grandfather used to go to the local butcher and ask for that long chunk of meat from the back of the cow that nobody seemed too interested in. I am sure that the butcher thought that my grandfather was a bit soft in the head, and probably gave him a good price on what we now call Filet Mignon. But that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Now, of course, the best cuts of beef are outrageously expensive, and the not-so-great cuts aren’t far behind. And that brings us Continue reading “Why Is The Good Stuff So Expensive?”

A Tale Of Two Restaurants

The iamnotachef juggernaut hopped nimbly out of its restaurant rut and into a fun little place in the Flatiron District of Manhattan called Punch. True to its name, it has some interesting posters from the old, and now defunct, British humor magazine. And although the food isn’t “funny,” it is certainly fun, which is more than I can say for Blue Smoke, Danny Meyer’s very successful barbecue and jazz joint a few blocks north and east. By every objective measure, I should have been happier with Blue Smoke. The service was, as is the case in all of Meyer’s restaurants, impeccable. The hostess was efficient, the bartenders were professional, everything was appropriate to the theme of the restaurant, and Continue reading “A Tale Of Two Restaurants”

Another Restaurant Rut

I haven’t had a good meal in a restaurant in more than a month. That is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed myself, or had an excellent dish (The burger I had at Blue Smoke last night was fantastic), but I would like the total package, and it just hasn’t happened recently. I have been cooking a lot, mostly simple stuff that is nonetheless great fun to eat, but nothing thrilling to write about. Sorry. I write this blog to entertain myself. But, I will be going out to dinner in Manhattan, as close to Bryant Park as possible. Unless no one is going to come through with a great restaurant recommendation, in which case I will expand the territory to include all of Manhattan except the East Side (I am allergic to the East Side). Please don’t suggest Per Se, or Daniel, or something silly that will cost me a mortgage payment and I couldn’t get into anyway. I am thinking more along the lines of Union Square Cafe, or Barbuto. Something fun, relatively casual, and with a bar!

Mustard: The New Ketchup

Mustard is both a fruit and a vegetable in my house. Specifically, I try to eat at least the Recommended Daily Servings, which, as I recall, is nine (that can be tough during breakfast). Lest you think that mustard is boring, take a look at the incredible variety available, even in a typical market. And move on to an upscale grocery or specialty store, and the choices become overwhelming. But even good old brown deli mustard is pretty good, especially on a Katz’s Deli hot pastrami on rye. However, I draw the line at yellow mustard, which is Continue reading “Mustard: The New Ketchup”

My Wife Can’t Cook, But She Can “Assemble”

That is her word, and it is actually fairly accurate. I am unsure of the boundary between cooking and assembling, although the margins are pretty obvious. For instance, she can make a mean grilled-cheese sandwich — just don’t ask her to make a Croque-Monsieur; the béchamel is far beyond her capabilities.  But a few days ago we picked up a great looking eggplant (I guessed correctly and got a male with no seeds) although without any idea what I was going to do with it. I thought about slicing it thin and grilling it, and my lovely wife ran with that idea and suggested a sort of eggplant Napoleon, with tomato and mozzarella. So I did the heavy lifting at the grill, and she assembled the little Continue reading “My Wife Can’t Cook, But She Can “Assemble””