It’s rare when art imitates life so obviously, and in-your-face, but there I was on Saturday night in Brooklyn, waiting for a table at Pok Pok, the highly-touted Portland Thai restaurant’s new branch, inhaling the scent of lemongrass and fish sauce, when, after glancing around the rear dining room, I realized there were at least three dudes wearing Baby Björns, infants straddled to their chests. This wouldn’t have been so unique, except for the fact that this week’s New Yorker cover features plenty of dudes at the park, kids-in-tow, and the coincidence was just one of those inside jokes that only a handful of us in the room were appreciating. I guess there’s nothing wrong with struggling to lift up your laab salad over your kid’s head – as long as they’re sleeping soundly. I noticed at least three more dads with the same harness waiting for tables, while I was eating. Does this mean the working dads get strapped to the kids on the weekends in Brooklyn, giving moms a break from their week of hard work? I just wish our meal would have been as entertaining as watching these new dads wrestle with their fatherhood/foodie street cred. Read More
When it comes to pickles, Paul Virant is a bit of a savant. Long before amuses of pickled purple carrots arrived on tables and garnishes with pickled ramps began to be standard operating procedure at brunches across the city, Virant was picking his peak-of-season produce then pickling it for use during the long winters at his Western Springs restaurant, Vie. He’s always taken the method seriously, even relying on a Twitter handle (@jarstarvie) that highlights his passion. Read More
The Great Carnac, I am not. There is no crystal ball in my pantry, and the only kind of tarot that’s been dealt to me has been fried and served during dim sum service. But there is just so much going on this weekend – the NRA Show, the Beard Awards – that I think a few predictions are in order. Some are more likely to occur than others. Read More
When I think of Leelanau, Michigan, I think of deer hunting, cherry pie and water sports. But the local brewing company also produces some fine beer. The namesake’s Good Harbor Golden Ale is a French style bière de garde that’s inhabited by wild yeasts and spends a fair amount of time in French oak. Produced in Dexter, Michigan, you should be able to find it at finer bars and liquor stores around town. We know for sure they have it at The Hopleaf, ground zero for our BofW feature every Wednesday. Cheers.
It was a tough slog, but after eating 6 ducks in four days, I felt like I conquered my own personal Great Wall of Peking duck. Beijing is really the capital of this style of duck, and it shows: nearly every great restaurant I visited had their own procedure – be it air hose between skin and meat, large fan for blowing on and drying out the ducks or poaching in hot water for 30 seconds – as well as unique methods for preparing (brush with maltose, sugar, honey?), roasting (over jujube or apricot woods?) and serving (in thin pancakes, with or without garlic sauce and/or plum or hoisin? What about fresh cucumbers and the all-white Chinese scallions?) Read More
I spoke with Rene Redzepi, chef and co-owner of Noma, after his restaurant was announced as the world’s best by the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants.” This marks the third consecutive year the Copenhagen restaurant has taken home the top place at the awards.
You can watch the interview here: