Archive for May, 2008
Whether or not you’re Italian, or live in Italy, you can cop the country’s culinary style with these premium hand-crafted Italian vinegars. Lucini Italia makes two tasty vinegars with spectacular quality that rivals the brand’s extra virgin olive oils. Select from a sophisticated aged balsamico and a young, crisp white wine vinegar, both of which will help you bring your authentic recipes to life.
Check out the boutique wine shop and tasting lounge at Yountville’s historic V Marketplace. It specializes in rare, hand-crafted wines, many of which are sought by discriminating collectors. When you go, bring your puppy. Unlike other regional hot spots, this one allows you to sip, swirl and sniff in the company of Fido who will be treated to fresh water, poured in bowls made from recycled wine boxes, and gourmet chicken gingersnaps by Dogs Uncorked.
The fish lifter set is a must for chefs who regularly whip up fishy goodness. The knife is quite impressive, just long enough to present the most delicate whole fish without it flaking or falling apart. The fork tongs (sold separately or as a set) offer assistance, but either can be used to show off roast chicken or lasagna.
Inspired by French confections, the Miette macaron took precisely one year to prefect. The San Francisco-based bakers call for food coloring made from freshly ground organic almonds and have become famed for their ability to create macarons with a perfectly dense foot, formed dome, and chewy yet gooey insides. Pistachio. Hazelnut. Grapefruit. Raspberry. Flavors are constantly changing (in addition to the year-round staples), so check them out for yourself.
This is the essential kit for traveling tea lovers, complete with a 100% natural wool felt bag-envelope that unfolds like a cross (a modern interpretation of old travel kits). The collection, designed by Les Petites Emplettes for Leaf, includes 100% natural leaf teas: earl grey scented with natural bergamot from Sicily, white tea, green tea scented with osmanthus, black tea scented with rose, black tea scented with lychee, and everyday black tea. There are only 500 of these darling designs in existence so act fast.
Created by Soho impresarios Murray Moss, Franklin Getchell and Nicola Marzovilla, New York’s Centovini restaurant means 100 wines in Italian. The snazz factor is high, but despite smart, clean-lined interiors, the menu featuring classic Italian eats by chef Patti Jackson (mmmm scallops) is the highlight. The library of vino labels hand-selected and sourced by Marzovilla is a close runner up, created to cater to your every whim.
We have a heightened appreciation for sushi (not only the way it tastes, but the way it is presented). Take Japanese edible art to the next level with The Mint Sushi-Time serving platter. Fashionable and functional, it boasts a “dipping dimple” for soy sauce and wasabi, which we can never get enough of. The stark white porcelain plate takes on the appearance of a clock when you place colorful sushi pieces around its diameter.
Craving cupcakes? Oakland-based Whiskie Bits has outdone itself with these seasonal fruity filled strawberry rose confections. The vanilla cakes get gussied up with strawberries, white chocolate, pistachios and strawberry and rose water cream cheese frosting. Surprisingly, they may be just what we need to kick our carrot cake addiction to the curb.
Cochon in New Orleans is all about authentic Cajun cuisine: handmade crawfish pies, rabbit and dumplings, spoon bread with okra and tomatoes, roasted oysters, suckling pig, beef brisket and roasted gulf fish served fishermen-style. The chefs have embraced the old school with an in-house Boucherie where they create boudin, andouille, smoked bacon and head cheese. The bar will keep you satisfied with bourbons and local beers, as well as southern cocktails like the Mint Julep and Cochon’s own lemonade. Hiccup!
Artisan producer Hediard makes some fine jams, fruit jellies, conserved fruits, marzipans, and delicious preparations from local and international crops. We imagine the workshop, nestled in Générac, near Nîmes in the Gard department, channels Willy Wonka and then some. The specialists are constantly dreaming up new mixtures and flavors, and improving the existing ones, so add the website to your favorites and check back with us for updates.