Friday, August 10, 2012

Hot Fun In The Summer Time At The West 6th Street Fair


I love August in Cleveland. The month is packed full of festivals, fairs, athletic events and rock concerts. Last Sunday I had a wonderful time exploring the city's warehouse district and attending the West 6th Street fair.

Downtown Cleveland is at the forefront in historic architectural preservation and adaptive reuse.  I took a walking tour of the warehouse district which provided me with a unique perspective of the historical buildings and insight into the recent renaissance of the area making it one of Cleveland's most sought after mixed use urban residential neighborhoods. Its imposing architecture, varied restaurants, clubs, retail shops and its proximity to Gateway and Playhouse Square makes the warehouse district one of the most dynamic and bustling areas to live in Cleveland.

While at the street fair I was able to savor the delicious international culinary delights offered at the various restaurants in the district. Spanish dishes from Mallorca, Italian from Johnny's Downtown and Mediterranean from Taza were a few of the stops I made as I feasted my way through the fair.

The lovely August Sunday was capped off with a delicious dinner al fresco provided by my son Ari and his sweetie Stephanie at her gorgeous condo overlooking Lake Erie. The company was great, the food was delicious and the sunset over the lake was breathtaking. What a wonderful way to spend a lazy Sunday in August!











Monday, April 2, 2012

Restaurant Week...Yum!


One of the great things about spring in Cleveland is finally saying goodbye to the cold harsh winter. Today is the beginning of Restaurant Week which is a delicious way to ring in the new season. 

Over 80  independent Cleveland restaurants have gotten together offering a three-course prix fixe for our dining pleasure. Restaurant Week is a great time to try new restaurants or revisit others which are priced a bit too high for frequent dining. Its a wonderful way to support local Cleveland food businesses. Visit http://www.clevelandrestaurantweek.com/ for pricing, website links and menus.

This past February I was fortunate to be in New York City during their Restaurant Week and dined at a few places I had not been to in years. Here are some pictures of two of my favorite standards, 21 and the Russian Tea Room, and a new restaurant on E 21st Street called Gravy which offers classic southern cuisine.





Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm Just Talking Turkey...Turkish Cuisine That Is!



     In the wintertime when the cold can seem so dreary and never ending I love to do something new and dine at restaurants which offer exotic recipes I've never eaten before. There is no better place to do this than in New York City where international dining is always an adventure and often at its best. On one snow blistered evening I found safe dining haven at the Turkish Kitchen on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.

     The atmosphere at the Turkish Kitchen is warm and cozy filled with comforting aromas of deliciously unusual herbs and spices. We dined on Tavuk Pirzola-char grilled boneless chicken stuffed with green peppers, tomatoes and cheese; Sis Kebab with Mucver-skewered cuts of baby lamb with pan fried zucchini pancakes; Izgara Sebze Sis-char grilled zucchini, eggplant, mushroom, tomatoes, and green peppers served over smoked eggplant puree. The food tasted fabulous and the chef's attention to detail was impressive.

     The next time you are in New York and the weather is frightful give yourself a delightful sensory treat and dine at the Turkish Kitchen. The cold and frost doesn't seem so bad when you feel warm and satisfied after a wonderful meal.






Monday, November 14, 2011

Ever - So Da Bread

With the holidays quickly approaching I love to have fresh bread available when family and friends pop in for lunch or a late night sandwich. This soda bread recipe is easy, flavorful and yeast-less. Its aroma is wonderful and will make your home smell warm and cozy this holiday season.

Soda Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
This recipe is for one extra large loaf baked on a large floured baking sheet or for two loaves baked in two 8" by 4" greased loaf pans.

4 1/2 cups flour
4 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1 1/2 tsps. baking soda
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups buttermilk
3 egg, lightly beaten
4 tblsp. butter, melted

In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in the sugar. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk, eggs and cooled butter. Stir until well blended but not sticky. If using a baking sheet, turn onto a well-floured board and shape until round, about 2 inches high. Then place on a floured baking sheet. You can score the top of the bread if you like. If using two loaf pans, lightly grease them and just pour in the batter until half way full. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool in baking sheet or pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from pans and place bread on a wire rack until cool.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Taste of Summer in New York


New York is always a great place for delicious culinary adventures. This past week I feasted at Rothchild's in Brooklyn, The Shake Shack in Madison Square Park and Beecher's in Flatiron.

Rothchild's

Rothchild's is a sultry little New Orleans style restaurant with big flavor. The traditional eggs benedict were the best I've had anywhere and their signature eggs benedict in artichokes are simply luscious. Its a great place for a heavenly lunch or a late night dinner and well worth the subway ride from Manhattan.


Shake Shack

The Shake Shack in Madison Square Park is a great place to indulge in quality hamburgers and chicken hot dogs grilled to perfection. Their toppings are always fresh and almost unlimited, giving you the opportunity to create one of your own culinary masterpieces. The park provides a wonderful place in the city to relax, view some cutting edge art and enjoy a satisfying lunch.


Beecher's

Beecher's at E. 20th and Broadway in Flatiron is a cheese lover's paradise. You can sit on a milk can at their counter, watch cheese being made and indulge on some of the best mac' and cheese around. I enjoyed Beecher's for its earthy atmosphere and snob-less delicious comfort food. Its a great new addition to the tastes of summer in New York.






Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quiche and Tell


During my last trip to France I spent a glorious day at Giverny exploring Claude Monet's house and gardens. Since I am an avid gardener the impressionistic landscapes were my primary focus. Stepping out of Monet's house and ambling along the garden path was like walking through the Garden of Eden. The bursting colors of the flowers and their heavenly aromas were breathtaking. After many hours of experiencing this feast for the eyes, I naturally began to feel hungry and searched for a place to experience a feast of another kind...

I dined at the Ancien Hotel Baudy on Rue Claude Monet and had the most wonderful quiche lorraine tart. I used to love to make this quiche years ago when it first became popular in the United States. I promised myself to make quiche lorraine again once I arrived home and it has become my favorite thing to bake this summer. I usually double the recipe and make two tarts so that I can freeze one to heat up another time when unexpected family and friends pop in for brunch or supper. It is great for a light change when the summer grill needs a rest.

Here is my favorite easy recipe for quiche lorraine. All you need to do is make some couscous with pine nuts and dried cherries, toss a fresh garden salad on the side, and voila.... you have a delicious feast worthy of Claude Monet!






Quiche Lorraine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
8" pie pan

Quiche pastry (If you are in a hurry you can use a thawed frozen pie shell instead of making your own)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 lb. butter
4 egg yolks (save one egg white)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. salt
ice cold milk

Place the flour in a large bowl making a well in the center. Put the butter, egg yolks, Parmesan cheese and salt in the well. With your fingers work all the ingredients in the center into a smooth paste then work in the flour. Add a bit of ice cold milk to make the dough gather more easily. Shape dough into a ball and roll out on a floured surface until about 10" round. Line the 8" pie pan with the dough. Prick the bottom and sides of the quiche pastry with a fork. Brush on a little unbeaten egg white on the bottom then fill and bake as per recipe's directions.

Custard
4 egg yolks
1 cup whipping cream
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Blend all the ingredients together and set aside.

Quiche Lorraine
1 lb. bacon
1/2 lb. Gruyere cheese
prepared custard
prepared 8" quiche shell

Fry bacon until crisp (I do mine in the microwave) drain and cut into 2" pieces. Slice the Gruyere cheese and fill the prepared shell with overlapping pieces of bacon and cheese. Pour in the custard and bake for 35 minutes.









Friday, June 10, 2011

Appetizing Asia

Dim Sum...Yum Yum!

My team of culinary adventurers just returned from China and Hong Kong with sumptuous pictures of the fabulous exotic cuisine that they found. Stroll with me down Beijing's bustling Night Food Market to see what unusual delectables the vendors are offering. Much of the food is grilled, but I think you will see that China's barbecue menu is very different from the ones we are used to serving in the United States. Creativity is a must when you have to feed over a billion people. Next time you are not sure what to make for that special summer dinner party, remember that almost anything looks good on a skewer as long as its cooked on a grill!

Beijing's Night Food Market



Meatball Soup


Chestnuts


Dumplings


Cicadas


Scorpions


Pigeons


Fresh Fish and Crustaceans (ready to be cooked)


Noodles and Skewered Meats


Rice and Meat Steamed in Banana Leaves


Candied Fruit


Delivering Fruit to Market



Desserts


Ramen Noodle Chips (great snack for the road)


A fabulous culinary adventure was had by all!