Happy 79th Birthday, Michael!

January 26, 2020

MKR

At Home: New Year’s Eve 2019

January 1, 2020

We changed things up this year. Instead of our usual beef fondue, we decided to have Beef Wellington. I’d never made it before but was game to give it a go. Via the Google, I found a number of recipes as well as a YouTube video of Chef Gordon Ramsay preparing it. And here’s the kicker. During the past year, I purchased a Digital Probe Thermometer and a Dot Probe Alarm from ThermoWorks, so I receive lots of email from them. Imagine my surprise when their email yesterday morning highlighted a recipe for – Beef Wellington! The inclusion of specific tips for roasting made it especially welcome.

Truth be told, I ran into some problems assembling the Wellington. No need to bore you with those details. In the end, it turned out pretty well.

Beef Wellington

One thing I will say is that the Dot Probe Alarm enabled me to roast the Wellington to the exact temperature so that the tenderloin was a perfect medium rare. Ergo, no guesswork!

Earlier in the day, I made a Potato Gratin.

Potato Gratin

We started with a Salad.

Salad

Mixed Lettuces, Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, Red Onion, Homemade Vinaigrette

 
Also, slices from a French Baguette I bought at Wegmans in the morning. (They were just taking them out of the oven.)

French Baguette

My Main Course plate:

Main Course

Beef Wellington, Potato Gratin, Green Beans

I didn’t take a photo of Michael’s plate, but his slice was much thicker. And he had a second slice. I was satisfied with just this one slice.

To drink, I had lemonade (no photo). Michael used his Coravin to pour one glass of this wine:

Côte du Rhône

A Van Leeuwen shop recently opened a few blocks from our apartment. Their French Vanilla Bean has become a favorite. So, when we were at the Whole Foods near our house buying the meat for the Wellington and happened to walk down the ice cream aisle, we were thrilled to discover that they carry Van Leeuwen.

Ice Cream

Perfect for Dessert!

Michael’s bowl:

Ice Cream

With Kahlua

My bowl:

Ice Cream

With Bananas, Fox’s U-bet Chocolate Syrup & Kahlua

We followed our tradition of listening to the WQXR Countdown. The top three spots were Beethoven symphonies: the Fifth was No. 3, the Seventh was No. 2, and as has been the case for as long as we can remember, the Ninth was No. 1.

My sincerest thanks to everyone who has stopped by this blog during the past year. Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy 2020!

Dining Out: September – December 2019

December 30, 2019

Portale

September
New York City
Dinner:
Atoboy
Shun
Maialino
The Modern Dining Room Kitchen Table
Esca
Benno
Tocqueville (Rosh Hashanah)
Mishiguene at Intersect (Rosh Hashanah)

Brunch:
Covina

Lunch:
Covina
Eros Greek Restaurant
Indian Accent

New Jersey
Latin Bites
Pete & Elda’s
Albariño

October
New York City
Dinner:
Simon & the Whale
Le Jardiniere
Eleven Madison Park (My Birthday)
Café Boulud

Lunch:
Benoit
NoMad (My Birthday)
Crown Shy

New Jersey
Lunch:
Jersey Short BBQ East Brunswick
Bayroot Lebanese
The Greek Spot

November
New York City
Maialino
Eleven Madison Park (Thanksgiving)
Portale
Benno

Lunch:
Benoit
Eros Greek Restaurant
Sarge’s Deli
Anton’s

New Jersey
Lunch:
Chez Catherine

December
New York City
Dinner:
Oceans – 2
Pasta Eater
P.J. Clarke’s
Maialino

Lunch:
Blue Smoke
Covina
Craft
Del Posto

Brunch:
Union Square Café (Last meal out in 2019)

New Jersey
Dinner:
Il Nido

Photo sets for all these meals can be viewed on my Flickr.

At Home: First Night of Chanukah 2019

December 23, 2019

At Home:  1st Night of Chanukah 2019

On the first night of Chanukah 2019, it was just Michael and me at home in NJ. Our official Chanukah dinner with Jen and Louis will take place in their apartment this coming Saturday. Since Jen will be making short ribs, for last night’s dinner, I decided to make Pot Roast.

Pot Roast

To start the meal, Chicken Soup with Matzoh Ball and Noodles (bought from Fred & Murry’s Kosher Deli).

Chicken Mazoh Ball Soup with Noodles

For the main course, Pot Roast, Potato Latkes with Homemade Applesauce, and Roasted Cauliflower.

Pot Roast, Potato Latkes & Roasted Cauliflower

Michael used his Coravin and had a glass of Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir

We didn’t have dessert.

Wishing everyone a Chanukah Sameach!

Addendum: As mentioned above, we had our Chanukah dinner with Jen and Louis in their apartment on Saturday, December 28th. The photo set of that meal can be seen on my Flickr here.

At Home 2019: Autumn Snow

December 3, 2019

At Home 2019:  Autumn Snow

 

It’s Thanksgiving and My Brother’s Birthday!

November 28, 2019

Untitled

This is the cover of the card I sent to my brother. (With rare exceptions, I make all my own greeting cards.) When Mel called to thank me, I asked him if he had any idea how often his birthday falls on Thanksgiving. He said he didn’t. So, I Googled and discovered that there is a formula: 6,5,6,11. (Truly, everything you want answers to is on the internet!) Here’s how it works. The last time Mel’s birthday fell on Thanksgiving was in 2013*, 6 years ago. The next times will be 2024, 2030, 2041, 2047, etc., etc.

(*Via my blogpost for November 28, 2013, there was a trifecta: Mel’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and the first night of Chanukah. While his birthday falling on Thanksgiving will happen again in the foreseeable future, the convergence of Thanksgiving and the first Chanukah candle is a once-in-a-lifetime — actually many, many lifetimes — event.)

Happy Birth(Turkey)day, Mel!

Happy Birthday, Louis!

November 17, 2019

Louis 50th Birthday (Blog Post)

 

Happy Birthday to Me!

October 24, 2019

On My 75th Birthday:  An Album of Photos

1946

On the Second Night of Rosh Hashanah, Dinner at Mishiguene at Intersect

October 23, 2019

Mishiguene at Intersect

On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, we kept with tradition and had dinner with Jen and Louis at Tocqueville. (Photo set on my
Flickr here. Since we were still in the city on the second night, Michael and I had to decide where the two of us should go for dinner. A week or two prior to Rosh Hashanah, one of the members of Mouthfulsfood, the food forum where I’ve been a longtime member, posted a very positive report about Mishiguene at Intersect. A few posts by others who had been there also praised it.

According to the website, the Restaurant at Intersect by Lexus “features a rotating line-up of internationally celebrated Restaurants-in-Residence,” each of which lasts for several months. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group runs the dining room. After the chef-in-residence oversees the premiering of the menu and then returns home, Nikolas Martinez, a USHG chef, is in charge of the kitchen. Although I had heard about Intersect by Lexus, I hadn’t paid attention to it, so I wasn’t aware that Mishiguene was in residence until the report was posted on Mouthfulsfood.

Located in Buenos Aires, Mishiguene is a fine dining restaurant showcasing Chef Tomas Kalika’s take on food of the Jewish diaspora and with an Argentinian bent. This definitely caught my attention. Couldn’t be more perfect for our second Rosh Hashanah dinner!

Since we would be returning to NJ after dinner, we made an early 6:30 p.m. reservation. Upon arrival, we took the elevator to the restaurant’s floor. The large space was attractive with an open kitchen on one side. There were only a few diners when we were seated, but during our meal, the room filled up quite a bit, a good showing for a Monday night.

Mishiguene at Intersect

The menu noted that most items were meant to be shared which was fine with us.

The first things brought to the table were…

Bread Basket

Bread Basket: Pita and Challah

…and a variety of pickled vegetables as well as schmaltz with gribenes.

Pickled Red Radishes & Schmaltz with Gribenes

Pickled Red Radishes & Schmaltz with Gribenes

The Mouthfuls folks mentioned that there were superb pickles. Since we weren’t served them initially, I later asked for some. They were, indeed, excellent.

Pickles

Pickles

For starters, we ordered:

Gefilte Fish

Gefilte Fish

Liver on the Grill

Liver on the Grill

Tongue Sandwich

Tongue Sandwich

For from the mains section of the menu, we chose:

Varenike

Varenike

and

Pastrami Short Ribs

Pastrami Short Ribs

which came with

Truffled Spätzle

Truffled Spätzle

For dessert:

Baklava

Baklava

Everything we had was packed with flavor and incredibly delicious! I will note that while the gefilte fish did not come with the traditional chrain (for the Yiddish impaired, that’s horseradish), the accompaniments that rimmed the plate when combined produced a flavor that mimicked it.  We probably should have ordered two tongue sandwiches because when we split it, each half produced just a bite (it was much smaller than it appears in the photo), and I wanted more. The short ribs came in two sizes: “generous” and “very generous.” We chose the generous. Considering how huge it was, the very generous must be mastodon-size.

We finished all the first courses and the baklava but took home a big piece of the short rib, some of the spaetzle, and most of the vareniki. Made for another mighty fine meal.

The Yiddish word meshugge means crazy. Mishiguene is an odd spelling for the word meshuggeneh which mean a crazy woman. In any case, when it comes to describing how we felt about this meal, that’s easy. We were meshugge about Mishiguene.

The entire set of photos including fuller descriptions can be found on my Flickr here.

Rosh Hashanah 2019

September 29, 2019

Rosh Hashanah Symbols

 
L’Shana Tova Tikatevu!