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January 24-31, 2009
|Saturday, January 31, 2009
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone was the disclosed location for tonight’s opening event of the Napa Valley Mustard Festival.
No one was tardy to this must-arty display of painting:
... and partaking of pleasing provisions.
The teaching kitchen was transformed into a buffet and dining room:
... while second floor was lined with vintners and restauranteurs.
We enjoyed the field blend of Zinfandel and Rhone varietals that made up the delicious plum and raspberry saturated 2006 Girard Mixed Blacks as we noshed on some of Napa’s nicest nibbles.
Our favorite bites included Auberge du Soleil’s rye crouton with lamb tongue, carrots and mustard:
... and Bouchon’s:
... salmon rillettes and their signature chocolate bouchon.
Mustard paddles were used for spreading the wealth during the auction and mustard wall flowers had access to a silent auction:
... for audio free bidding action.
This was a fun, spicy kickoff for this year’s festival which includes art, music and food events with the grand finale at Mumm Napa. After all, it is the expectation that those who start at the CIA end up Mumm.
|Friday, January 30, 2009
They are both prized for their portability (unless open faced or lattice crusted.)
Cornish miners would take porta-pasty meat and veg packets down the shaft before they went down the hatch. The edge “handle” of pastry would be thrown away (for the same reason plumbers don't eat the last inch of their sandwich.)
The calzone special ($9.75):
... with chicken apple sausage, Cheddar, fontina, tomatoes and avocado was rich in minerals but we didn’t stake a claim to this combination that didn’t strike a culinary alloy-ance.
I commented on the dryness of our Mediterranean Chicken Sandwich ($8.95):
... and Chubby didn’t agree. After I took a bite from his half I discovered a vein of roasted eggplant and pesto that was stripped from mine.
To be fair, this food isn’t meant to be a cole-in-airy explosion, it’s more of a miner-friendly cafe:
... where you don’t shovel over all your dough or get too picky about the chow.
|Thursday, January 29, 2009
... in the upright and locked position.
Unlike the upcoming Grand Tasting on Saturday, the focus was less on spitting and more on grazing.
Wineries were paired with cooks but in most cases, the chow worked well with a variety of this varietal.
We chatted with Alder while his teeth were still white which was a clear indication that it was premature to ask for his zinsight.
Our teeth sunk into Lark Creek Steak’s luscious steak tartare:
... which was served with Ridge Vineyards 2006 Lytton Springs, Dry Creek Valley and Geyserville, Sonoma County. Ridge continues to be a Bunrab fave.
Outpost Estate Wines poured their wonderfully kirchwasser-kissed, peppery 2006 Howell Mountain. On Saturday, their 2007 barrel tasting will require a stop at their quaffytable.
Bacar drove in with some pork pate:
... Lark Creek Cafe brought succulent braised pork, butternut squash with cipollini onion ragout:
... and Ruth’s Chris’ lamb chops:
... were popular protein popsicles.
Klinker Brick Winery’s:
... 2005 Old Ghost:
... was a friendly, plum of a wine. Harvested from old vines with extra hang time scared up a deep and complex spirit which we found haunting.
Three color coded rubbish receptacles:
... presented a sobering test for filth filing vinophiles: landfill, compost or recycling. After classifying our cask offs by structure, weight and feel, we were corrected. This left us with an uncanny confusion of the sense of place for their future trashy terroir. Somebody needs to do a PSA to help our sort sort.
Aside from a wealth of winning wines, ZAP events always have Zinfans ranging from people who devote serious, somber, appreciation:
... to those who are just goofy for the grape.
|Wednesday, January 28, 2009
As far as we could tell, no wagers accompanied our pork kidney and livers ($11.25):
... racing sheets of ginger added some crunchy and slightly fibrous heat while green onions provided a vegetal vig (to this bet on guts that came out even money.) They didn’t inspire us to double down since it did not draw upon spicier seasoning.
We crapped out on the bland prawn noodle with broth ($7.00):
... is no longer a sure thing (we missed those flavorful bursts of chewy garlic and pepper bits that we used to scrape onto our rice.) We chewed through all of the jalapenos that came in a soy based dipping sauce:
... and decided that this dish must have been tamed for the tourists.
It’s too bad that this late night dealer hasn’t been paying off for us, but this institution always seems to have players filling up their slots.
|Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I held the same opinion of s’mores until Recchiuti committed an illicit act of chocolate love to a graham cracker. These marshmallow blocks (4 for $8.00):
... are gloved in unacquitably fitting dark chocolate. Crunchy, smooth, light, rich, sweet and bitter, these campfire-less confections have us cuckoo for these cacao puffs.
Recchiuti also makes kits which provide all the components to assemble your own, but I really can’t be bothered since they come ready made.
Mark your Calendar
Leif Hedendal will guest chef at Anthony Myint’s Mission Street Food this Thursday.
The Acme Chophouse Meatpaper party featured head-and-all cooking with Chef Hedendal’s vegetarian food that was worth rooting for.
Myint Leif will freshen your breadth of support for local programs and fill your belly with produce from some fantastic farms.
|Monday, January 26, 2009
... where I languished furlong time until a surprised server asked, “you haven’t gotten a menu?”
My questrian to put on the feedbag started out a little foal but I finally fillied up with a “lunch tasting” ($23.00). I passed up the burger selection and chose the fish:
... which was poached and showered with fried Brussels sprout leaves on a bed of sweet parsnip puree. This white simmered seafood was completely unseasoned which I remedied with one of their annoying salt grinders (these devices are saddled with a belief that there is some gorgeous fresh ground salt flavor you will release with each twist of this mineral mill.)
Butternut squash soup:
... with pistachios, ricotta, apples and pistachio oil had a nice crunchy, creamy, fruity flare.
Waffle cut potato chips:
... were placed with a showy exacta-tude in a thick, lemon-scented, pureed ricotta dip.
I liked the anchovy pieces on the little gem salad:
... which was heavily blanketed in a Caesary dressage with flags of shaved, dried, purebread and a bit of tomato.
A chocolate cake round looked to a crunchy cone handicap and malted milk ice cream:
... to give variation to its dense and richness. Perfectly good, but not the sort of dessert I would order if it wasn’t a set course.
I ponied up and left to a farewell that echoed my greeting as I baled without the hey.
|Sunday, January 25, 2009
5 large onions, chopped
Soak bulgur in 2 cups cold water in fridge overnight (the wheat should absorb all the water by the next day.)
|Saturday, January 24, 2009
... there were muscular displays of both muse and chews during this evening’s exhibition:
... at The Nest, entitled “Meat and Potato”:
... which doubled as a Meatpaper release party.
The Fatted Calf’s use of cubism expressed the stark power of a limited range of pig-ments.
This sec-ular collage of charcuterie was reflective of Pigcasso.
The men from Scratch N’ Sniff TV delivered deep frying performance art:
... using acorn squash (which simultaneously represented a seed of hope and the crushing of dreams.)
This study of man’s struggle to attain greatness (or crispy bits) was a juxtaposition of risk and desire.
The Secret Eating Society worked al fresco:
... as they collaborated on mixed media compositions of lamb and beef in a still life bordered by lettuce and mint:
The George Foreman Grill created a bas relief that depicted a linear perspective which also knocked out the fat (although it was not suitable for flaming.)
We hit our vanishing point and left with a good post impressionistic view of this exploration of man’s hunger for gnawledge.
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