nyc + 3.94 + spring = grateful

May 13th, 2009 · 761 Comments

buon italia on a late saturday afternoon. a view from their cafe while having a piece of pastiera and a coffee.

so i was recently in nyc for a week. and then i came home to my daughter’s college graduation party. at my house. and i’m happy to report that i’m back on the bike, taking full advantage of springtime and all of its rain induced lushness. the honeysuckle is intoxicating… plus, there’s a 3 day cooking gig coming up next month that i’m preparing for. all this to say that i’ve been preoccupied. but i wanted to catch up and say hello and mostly – before i forget, fill you in on ”THE FOOD”, because there sure has been quite a lot of that. <— understatement.

i barely took any photos of anything. but i thought i’d list my itinerary – just so you could see what i’ve been up to – and the magnitude of food. because really, in retrospect? it’s amazing i didn’t keel over and die from caloric excess. well, i almost did once, but then i somehow made a splendid recovery at dinner the next night.

this was something along the lines of braised rabbit over farro risotto. scott conant – scarpetta.

but first and foremost, my beautiful and amazing daughter graduated on saturday from middle tennessee state university with a 3.94 – suma cum laude. and in case you need the translation, that’s latin for "with highest honors" and we are all beyond proud. lauren, you are awesome and i love you. (she reads my blog, unlike the rest of my family… not that i’m bitter.)

and at some point, i somehow managed to convince the talented, wonderful and sexy heidi robb (she’s one of those yoga chicks and it shows) to fly in and cook for us, and then chris was kind enough to come over and be heidi’s sous chef. without them i could never have pulled off this kind of dinner and be at the graduation and then come home and still get to wear a pretty blouse. so before i launch into the nyc trip, here was the menu for lauren’s graduation party:

small nibbles
rosemary marcona almonds – trader joe’s
some kind of buttery swirled puffed cheese sticks – whole foods
botija dried olives – raw guru
2 pizzas
caramelized fennel with
chris’s homemade pancetta
mozzarella, fontina, tomato sauce and fresh basil
penne w/ red onion, garlic and guanciale – batali recipe from
molto italiano – page 186
main dish and sides
chicken and italian sausage with sweet peppers, garlic and lemon
grilled asparagus with walnut crema –
A16’s recipe
roasted little yukon potatoes with chives and lemon
sliced heirloom tomato salad
tiramisu –
heidi’s recipe – authentic and perfect
and…the now very famous
chocolate chip cookies adapted from the one, the only – jaqcues torres by david leite

as you might expect, the food was just excellent and lauren could not have been happier with the day. she starts teaching 7th grade language arts this august.

ok – on to new york…

also from scarpetta – the most beautiful bread – a stromboli filled with fresh and smoked mozzarella, mild sopressata, tomato and basil

and to go with it – olive oil, caponata and mascarpone butter

thursday – dinner with mom at ouest. tom valenti is a fine chef and a very lovely guy. it is said that he single handedly brought short ribs to the party. and that right there is a reason to worship him.

friday – hair appointment at warren tricomi at the plaza. dinner at del posto with amy, stephane and claire.

saturday – ‘reasons to be pretty‘, chelsea market with a serious shop through buon italia, dinner at scarpetta. thanks for a wonderful day, momma!

sunday, brunch at aquavit with nick. dinner at convivio* with michael.

monday – laid in bed until 2pm in a semi-food coma, then shopping with a purpose in soho. dinner at esca (amazing food) with robin and jim, marc, maggie and amy and jonny

tuesday – great exhibit at the met, and then dinner at otto with cooper

wednesday – a stroll through the guggenheim, lunch at centolire and a black and white cupcake from dean & deluca to cap it all off. which sucked. which was a crying shame…

and now, as peter would say, my linking finger is very broken.

but i’ll be back with more cooking of my own – and soon.

*convivio was incredible. hands down my favorite dinner of the trip. you must go… a huge thank you to chef michael white.

Tags: other · restaurants · travel

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