Dining Out: July – September 2017

October 7, 2017

Chez Catherine

July
New York City
Dinner:
Upland
Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse
Café Boulud
Fusco
Majorelle
The Pool

Lunch:
Empellon
ilili
Union Square Café

The Hamptons
Dinner:
EMP Summer House – 2

Lunch:
Jean Georges at Topping Rose House – 2

Breakfast:
Jean Georges at Topping Rose House – 2

August
New York City
Dinner:
italienne
Majorelle
The Grill
Eros Greek Restaurant
Gotham Bar & Grill

Lunch:
Covina
NoMad
The Modern Dining Room

Late Supper:
Lincoln

The Hamptons
Dinner:
EMP Summer House – 2

Lunch:
Jean Georges at Topping Rose House – 2

Breakfast
Jean Georges at Topping Rose House – 2

New Jersey
Dinner:
Anton’s at the Swan
Fromagerie
Stamna Greek Taverna

Lunch:
Chez Catherine – 2
Mistral

September
New York City
Dinner:
italienne
Majorelle
Vaucluse
Eros Greek Restaurant
Blue Smoke
Paul & Jimmy’s
Gramercy Tavern Dining Room (Rosh Hashanah)
Tocqueville (Rosh Hashanah)
ilili
Cherche Midi
italienne at the James Beard House
Ortzi

Lunch:
Made Nice
Gabriel Kreuther
Red Hook Lobster Pound (at Madison Square Eats)
Maialino
Local Leaf

Brunch:
Sarge’s Deli

New Jersey
Dinner:
Heirloom Kitchen

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Autumn?

September 24, 2017

The Autumnal Equinox occurred on Friday, September 22nd, at 4:02 p.m. Summer seems not to have gotten the message that it’s over. The norm this time of year in NJ is 74 degrees. But today in Marlboro, we’ve got “Rozy weather”!

Autumn?

Rosh Hashanah 5778/2017-18

September 20, 2017

Rosh Hashanah Symbols

Shana Tova!

At Home: On Labor Day, Final Franks for the 2017 Summer Season

September 6, 2017

While Labor Day marked the unofficial end of summer, it was, as it always is chez nous, the official last day for franks this year.  I closed out the season (which began, also as usual, on Memorial Day Weekend) with the Hebrew National franks known as “specials.”

"Specials"

There were just the two of us. I served the usual accompaniments and drinks.

Batampte Sour Kraut & Garlic Dill Pickles

Batampte Sour Kraut & Garlic Dill Pickles

Homemade Cole Slaw

Homemade Cole Slaw

Deli Mustard

My Plate

Busch's Vegetarian Baked Beans

Busch’s Vegetarian Baked Beans

Sodas

Heirloom Tomatoes from the Clayton Family Farmstand

August 18, 2017

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

The heirloom tomatoes arrived at the Clayton Family Farmstead later than usual this year. Weather issues, they told me. A couple of weeks ago, they were ready. A baker’s dozen!

Documenting the evidence:

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

I bought this colorful assortment:

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

They also grow heirloom cherry tomatoes. I always buy those as well.

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Putting this bounty to good use:

At Home: Heirloom Tomato Salad

I dressed the heirlooms with a good sprinkling of sea salt, a light application of extra-virgin olive oil, and some fresh basil. Yes, lusciously delicious!

C & J Farms

August 1, 2017

C & J Farms

With the closure of Stattel’s Farm, there is just one farm left close to our house, C & J Farms. Their stand is located on Route 9 North, about 5 minutes away. (I regularly pass their growing fields along Tennent Road when driving to Route 9.) Though I’ve always known the stand was there, I wasn’t a regular customer. That is about to change.

C & J Farms

As you can see by the sign, they open at 9 a.m. But C & J’s hours have always puzzled me because I noticed that they always close sometime in the afternoon. So, I asked the young woman at the register if they had “regular” hours. (Stattel’s was open 9 to 6 daily except Wednesday during the summer months). She told me their afternoon hours depend on when they run out of their daily corn harvest. During the week, that’s usually between 2 and 3 p.m. But on weekends, around 1 p.m. Since they have lots of other produce, I asked why it depended on the corn supply. She replied that they have many customers who get very upset, even nasty, if there is no corn. Seems a mighty strange way to determine your business hours, don’t you think?

C & J Farms

C & J Farms

C & J Farms

C & J Farms

I was thrilled to see that they grow fairytale eggplant which I’d been getting at the Clayton Farm in Freehold. Shelves along the walls (which I didn’t photograph) hold lots of vegetables, including their own hot peppers. Michael loves them! A whole basket cost $1, way cheaper than buying then by the pound at Delicious Orchards. We had the corn at lunch yesterday. So sweet!

C & J Farms

At Home: A Totally Cloudless Sky

July 30, 2017

It’s pretty rare to have a totally cloudless sky around here. I first noticed it when driving back earlier from doing an errand. Even on days when, as today, the weather couldn’t be more perfect — low 80’s with no humidity — there are usually some clouds. But not today. Definitely needed to document the evidence.

At Home: Totally Cloudless Sky

At Home: Totally Cloudless Sky

At Home: Totally Cloudless Sky

For sure, this is “Rozy Weather”!

At Home: Salade Niçoise

July 27, 2017

Salade Niçoise is one of our favorite salads. Restaurants often use fresh tuna (here’s an example), but I use canned. It is a French salad, and whenever we ordered it in France, it always came with canned tuna; therefore, I think it’s safe to surmise that canned tuna is considered traditional. Lettuce, tomatoes (here I’m using local Jerseys), hard-boiled eggs, and potatoes are also traditional. I did, however, depart slightly from two other traditional ingredients. Haricots verts were unavailable, so I picked out the thinnest regular green beans. (I actually did such a good job, the cashier at Delicious Orchards first rung them up as the much more expensive haricots verts.) As for the olives, I use Kalamatas because they’re more readily available than Niçoise. For the dressing: a classic vinaigrette. I dressed the lettuce separately in a bowl, plated everything, took the photo, and then spooned vinaigrette over the rest.

I’ve always believed we eat first with our eyes. This colorful, eye-catching salad definitely said, “Eat me!” And it was as delicious as it looked.

At Home:  Salade Niçoise

At Home: Fish Chowder

July 25, 2017

Summer seems to be taking a bit of a hiatus. It’s been unseasonably cool along with lots of rain. Today, the temperature barely made it above 70 — about 15 degrees below the norm. It was the perfect day for some fish chowder. I used this recipe. As written, it makes six servings, but I cut it down to two. Delicious!

At Home: Fish Chowder

At Home: Summer on a Plate

July 18, 2017

At Home: Summer on a Plate

NJ Peaches & Heirloom Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, Balsamic Vinegar, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Basil