So last night I had been invited to go into NYC to have dinner with a couple of friends I haven't seen in a few months. Originally we planned on going to an enoteca and having apps and wine, but the day before my friend said that his family was having a friends and family night for the opening of the garden of one of their restaurant. I knew he comes from a family of restauranteurs and that they owned China Grill Management, but I had no idea that his uncle was the one and only Mr. Chodorow. I knew he was well connected but didn't know quite the extent. So the family who we had dinner with was Jeffrey Chodorow, and we ate at ONO, one of NYC's best sushi and asian-fusion dining locations. I tried to explain the magnitude of my evening to my friends and family but no one knew who he was or how lucky I was to eat with Mr. Chodorow at one of his top restaurants!! The food was very good but not the the best, but it was the setting and the circumstances that made this one of the best meals of my life. The cocktails were out of this world as well as the appetizers which included spicy crab pizza, beef marrow dumplings, tempura rock shrimp, and others. The main course was a mix grill of asparagus, chicken, some of the best wagyu beef. To finish of the meal we had a sushi sampler that filled us to way past full. The sushi was very good but not very traditional. Many had genuine japanese roots but had clear fusion twists. Overall I gave the food a 8 of 10 but the circumstances were a 12 of 10, so averaged out it was certainly a perfect evening! I knew only my friends at SE would know who I ate with and appreciate my evening!!
Has anyone else noticed that when wines are paired with recipes on nearly all websites and in most magazines they often recommend small single vineyard wines from uncommon/older vintages? I have been in the wine business for years and nothing ticks me off more than trying to help a customer that demands that she must have the Eroica Horse Heaven Vineyard Riesling from the 2003 vintage rather than the commonly available Eroica Riesling (just an example).
Its usually from some fancy Wine and Food magazine and the wine is either unavailable or allocated to only 25 6-packs for the entire state of NJ. Many other times customers request a vintage that was released 10 years ago and is no longer readily available except for at auction houses at 10 times the original retail value. Often they know nothing about the wine and would be very pleased with something from a similar producer in a nearby vineyard.
I think wine pairing needs to head in the direction of general guidance or stick to readily available nationally distributed wines. Just because magazine editors have highly rated, very expensive, and incredibly allocated wines doesn't mean they have to rub in in our faces!
Did I miss the memo on 2008 being the year of the slider? I mean seriously everyone in the wolrd has a slider on the menu. Burger King just added "burger shots" to their menu. Ruby Tuesdays, TGI Fridays, and the rest of that lot have added a slider variation to their menu. Even high end steakhouses are doing Kobe beef sliders. Its getting a little ridiculous. Now Im even being told chilis, a tex mex restaurant, has buffalo chicken sliders. What happened to tacos and fajitas? So are you guys into this trend or when is this nonsense going to stop so White Castle can once again be the king of the sliders.
So this past weekend I met up with a bunch of friends who are still attending college. Being one of the few at the party who graduated and currently work full time, I bought groceries and cooked dinner for everyone. The crowd I was feeding was 25 fraternity guys who haven't had a home cooked meal in several weeks. So needless to say I needed a lot of food. I decided on making some baked ziti. I used 10lbs of pasta, 4lbs of hot sausage, 2lbs of mozzarella, 1lb of parmesan, 48oz of riccota, and about 2 gallons of sauce. The total bill was about $40 for everything, about $1.60 per person. Everyone loved the food and it was gone in about 20 minutes. I figured it would have been plenty of food but we could have easily used another 3-4 lbs of pasta. So SE, what I want to know is, what is your go to crowd pleaser and about how much per person does it wind up costing you?
So Ive been a foodie my whole life but only in the last year have I really embraced it and declared it outwardly as a passion. Since then Ive taken notice that a majority of the foodies I meet are female and older (Im a 22 male). All of my friends think a good night out is chicken fingers at applebee's and more than a few late night drinks. I on the other hand am trying to organize pot lucks, cooking challenges, or outings to various restaurant weeks, but i am continuously mocked by my culinary challenged friends. So really what I want to know is, are foodies a dying breed or is there a new strong generation growing in the ranks with me?
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