We are in the age of rustic: girls with long, ratty hair and boys in shaggy beards. We are not polished. We are not all like Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Food has followed in the trend. Turn to any cooking show and the chef will surely praise her rustic pasta dish or rustic roast chicken. Nothing is refined. Everything has an air of ease. Unfussy is modern. The word rustic is used to sell. And just like hipster, it’s been used so much that it’s starting to not mean a thing.
This sign in front of the DC bar Asylum exemplifies my point. Hash was never a dish put together with great care or excruciating detail. It’s a dish brought forth from the humble potato. And there’s absolutely no need for the word rustic to proceed the word hash. Hash is rustic. And rustic has jumped the shark.
Even standing next to a table full of cheese, my eyes can’t stray from the candy that is Curtis Stone (sigh). Despite my cravings for cheese, Top Chef Masters this week went all low-cal by re-creating classic dishes that are usually high in all things that Michelle Obama wouldn’t approve. To keep with the theme, the guest judges/celebs were contestants of The Biggest Loser. Keep reading to see who couldn’t cut the butter, so to speak.
My heart is still pumping out massive amounts of saturated fat coursing through my veins after sampling food from more than ninety restaurants and food vendors at The Village Voice’s 4th Annual Choice Eats in New York City.
Did I have to try every skewered, fried, seared, poached, pickled, baked or broiled piece of flesh that came my way? No, but it would have been a great disservice to my inner meat addict to leave those morsels behind. Props go to The Village Voice staff for managing to keep the crowds under control—even at the evening’s peak, I never felt as if I was going to get trampled in order for some map-wielding foodie to make her way to the Del Posto booth (although, believe me, people had done their homework and showed up with highlighted ground plans of their most desired destinations).
Of course, the evening wasn’t all meat. I think I noticed some abandoned broccoli at one point and savored the fruity deliciousness of a Calvados “French Margarita,” which I counted as a daily serving of fruit since it had lemon juice in it and at least tasted like apples.
Since spring is around the corner (and I’ve got a suit to fit into for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah) here’s shout-outs to those daring restaurateurs who are featuring some fresh, spring seasonal vegetarian dishes. Check out this top five and go out and eat something green:
Chef and restaurateur Ben Towill and his business partner Philip Wisner have created a trendy downtown vibe that still pays homage to London’s original Convent Garden marketplace. Go for the celery root pot pie with black garlic and Gruyère cheese. (Photo: Scenologist)
I was not born an epicure; it has been a relatively slow evolutionary process. When I was young, I eschewed many foods I now love, such as: most vegetables, Mexican cuisine or any type of meat off the bone. Luckily, I grew out of my pickiness and now I am eager to stuff myself with organs, raw meat, marrow, you name it — anything edible is fair game.
Still, there are a few final hurdles I have yet to wrap my head (and mouth!) around. For example, while the nutritional value and sustainability of insects as food has been fairly welldocumented, the idea has never been at the top of my culinary to-do list. So when I received a coveted invite to the opening of Poquitos, a new restaurant in Seattle touting ultra-authentic Mexican street food, I knew I had to pay them a visit and sample their most notable menu offering: chapulines. Time to eat me some BUGS!
Before Poquitos, I was a virgin in the bug devouring department (except for that urban legend about the average human unintentionally eating eight spiders a year, which makes me want to die just thinking about it). My only “experience” with intentional bug eating heretofore was watching that “Hakuna Matata” scene in The Lion King:“Slimy yet satisfying!”
I honestly had no idea what to expect when I ordered my chapulines, but I knew I needed to have a margarita at the ready. Besides my lifelong vendetta against spiders, I’m not terrified of other bugs. But the prospect of putting a whole insect in my mouth wasn’t exactly delightful either. Especially when my lovely server deposited a huge bowl of them right in front of me. When Matt, one of Poquitos’ co-owners, stopped by my table to check in, I pulled him off the busy floor for a quick chat re: Mexican bugs. I needed to know what I was in for.
I think the word hipster needs to be retired. There, I said it. It’s been so overused that it doesn’t even mean anything. What is a hipster? Someone smug, pretentious, a wearer of skinny jeans? A mermaid wearing thick-framed glasses? Well, apparently now Generation Y’s dads are the original hipsters.
Let’s see what hipster dads have to say about food and drink. Actually, now that I think of it, I kind of love hipster dads.
Top 5 Reasons Why Hipster Dads Know Food and Drink
5. Hipster Dad on Craft Beer
He was the MacGyver of making drunk, the Mozart of all things malt. He could bottle a beer with one hand, seduce your mother with the other and still never spill a drop.
He has been drinking since before Starbucks was a small Seattle coffee shop and long before you stopped drinking Starbucks because it was “too mainstream.” His cups were strong, each sip was an eye jolting, bitch slap to drowsy that firmly signified work was about to begin.