Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving List 2010

I think you know the drill now, it's my family's annual make a list of what you are thankful for! If you'd like to read other people's lists or post your own, click here

* Parades for every occasion. That’s NOLA, baby!
* Hotels with free wi-fi. You’d think they all have it but you would be wrong.
* Chivalrous strangers
* Duck stock
* Oysters and having them back after a frightening hiatus.
* Electric kettles
* Fig trees
* Having a washer and dryer on the GROUND FLOOR and INSIDE my house! No more creepy basements or scary sheds for me!
* Discovering the Alto Adige region of Italy and their beautiful wines
* Bayou St. John and Spanish moss
* Pumpkin spice lattes on crisp, fall days, walking the pups and kicking through delicious smelling leaves (I just came back from Denver, obviously I am not referring to New Orleans)
* Being able to walk to work (now that it is not 8,000 degrees out every day)
* Having a dog who knows when I am sad and gives me lots of kisses
* The boyfriend being a super handyman. There are many other reasons I am thankful for him but man, that walk-in closet he built me is GREAT!
* Free, spontaneous street music
* Toasted brown rice green tea
* Fresh caught fish. Again, the boyfriend delivers!
* Sidereel
* Sounds of the streetcar
* Yelp
* Quiet nights and fleece pajamas
* Being able to always go home

Favorite Book: Hmm, I read a lot of duds this year. The books that were most notable include “Who Will Run Frog Hospital?””Watership Down” and “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian.”

Favorite Album: I don’t know anything about albums, when was the last time I actually bought one? Anyway, I’m liking Buika lately.

Favorite Movie: Once. I’m sure this came out a while ago but I am woefully out of date.

Favorite Meal: This is hard because I eat so damn good. I’m going with dinner at my house with my love, my New Orleans brother, my best friend, her babies, my mamma and Gregoire. Grilled oysters, drum and amberjack with chermoula and tzatziki, mustard greens, corn and potatoes, shredded beets, ginger-poached mirliton and a fig vinaigrette. Bruleed bananas foster over homemade lucuma-manjar ice cream. Good food and SO MUCH LOVE.

Favorite Wine: I’m adding this category this year. Orin Swift’s “The Prisoner”

Friday, November 12, 2010


I just got back from visiting the Mile High and I ate LOTS of good food, too much really to detail here so I'll just give you the highlights.

Cuba Cuba: Delicious caipirinhas and chorizo empanadas!

Steuben's: Rhode Island calamari kind of threw me for a loop, what is that? Well, since there is a large Portuguese population there, they fried the calamari but served it with olives, tomatoes, garlic and onions and it was very tasty.

NoRTH: Even though I dislike the pretentious way this is written, it was one of my favorite meals. We shared several appetizers including a salad with strawberries, goat cheese, hazelnuts and avocado. It sounded kind of weird but it worked and the goat cheese was ultra creamy. Excellent prosciutto bruschetta and calamari served over a perfectly dressed arugula salad with grilled lemons. My entree was a short rib osso bucco that was excellent and huge and I admit I ate the whole thing. I had a Nutella cake for dessert, it sort of had the texture of a flourless chocolate cake and it made even the non-chocolate lover at the table swoon. I also had a glass of Pinot Nero from the Alto Adige region, which is quickly becoming my favorite wine region.

Panzano: Grilled Caesar salad, always a hit. But the piece de resistance was prosciutto-wrapped prawns with a date-honey-pine nut sauce and sprinkled with a bit of gorgonzola. Stellar. I was sad I didn't have room to try the apple-date fritters for dessert.

1515: Well, we started with a bottle of Orin Swift's "The Prisoner" and if you haven't had this wine and have recently gotten a birthday card full of money or a small bonus at work, I urge you to try it. Beef Carpaccio with truffles, jumbo scallops on a bed of corn puree were both good starts. The croissant soup was very interesting; it came with a egg cooked sous vide and asparagus in the bowl and then the server poured the soup (croissants pureed in chicken stock) into the bowl over these ingredients. Then you swirl the egg around and it becomes extra-luscious, plus you could actually taste the slight sweetness and buttery goodness of the croissant! We also had a salad dressed beautifully with copious tarragon.

Rioja: Apple and basil soup was unremarkable but the housemade bread (I chose kalamata olive bread and a rosemary-goat cheese biscuit) were absolutely delightful, really, they just don't make bread that amazing in New Orleans or at least I don't know where to find it. I had a saffron-manchego risotto that exemplified what I often hate about poorly executed risottos, hard rice. Yet. The flavor was good and it had, YES, a pistachio-pine nut stuffed date on top that really set things off, plus ribbons of arugula and radicchio and a citrus ver jus. I don't know what Denver's obsession is with dates but I can so get with that. For dessert, I had a lemon-yuzu tart with a cornmeal-pinenut crust (decent), served with limoncello granita (tasty but pedestrian) and a pinenut brittle ice cream (yuuuuummmm!). Excellent espresso served with a froth and a lemon rind like it should be.

Thank you Denver, for being so delicious, thanks Tulane for footing the bill, thanks to my lovely Rebecca and Kim and Bob and Jeanne for their inimitable companionship!