February 28, 2010 |
Over the course of Clark Gilbert's meandering career, one that in the last 15 years has seen him cook at no fewer than nine different restaurants (plus three stints at Taquet), the erudite chef has also tried his hand at food writing. One essay I particularly relished was his screed a few years ago against the BYOB scene, which he found generally overrated considering the underwhelming experiences often presented: "If you can't produce superior food in a 40-seat restaurant that's only open five days a week," he said, "then you suck.
March 12, 2009
GIVING THE typical salad dressing an oil change trims calories and fat grams, but the rest of the recipe needs to be tinkered with too, if you want to maintain the original flavor. Today's honey-lime vinaigrette makes a good example. To slim it down, I slashed the amount of oil in half but stirred in more rice vinegar and fresh lime juice to pump up the taste. Next, I used a mixture of honey and Splenda to keep the dressing's sweetness while cutting calories. This recipe also makes a nice marinade for chicken.
September 25, 2008
Chef Peter Woolsey (Paris' Lucas Carton, Philly's Striped Bass) has been winning raves at his new Bistrot La Minette in Queen Village. While early goers praise the flammekueche (Alsatian "pizza") and the lamb shank, don't overlook the red-mullet appetizer known as rouget à la Niçoise. The fish sits atop an earthy salad of oven-roasted tomatoes, black olives, parsley, basil, capers, and toasted pine nuts, ringed by a vinaigrette of lemon, olive oil and reduced fish stock.
July 17, 2008 |
IF YOU CAN'T stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Sure, it might be too steamy to cook, but you still have to eat, right? Take a page out of the cookbooks of six area chefs and keep it light, simple and flavorful the next time you make a summer supper, best enjoyed outside in the garden, on the deck or patio. Any chef worth his or her sea salt will agree that cooking with lots of fresh, seasonal ingredients is the place to start. Use the grill for just about everything, and when you turn on the oven, keep the cooking time short.
May 18, 2008 |
Erin O'Shea could have been the "Taboon Mistress," queen of the flatbread hearth that is the centerpiece at Zahav, the splashy new Old City Israeli from Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. "But I wanted Marigold," O'Shea said. "I didn't want to leave. " She had been working behind the line for two years at Marigold Kitchen, and toiling for nearly a decade in all for the chance to show the world her grits. A longtime Southerner, she had found her drive for cooking in Texas and Virginia before coming North.
May 15, 2008
It's not often you can dine on celebrity crustaceans. But the Alaskan king crab - served as salad or in the shell - at Oceanaire Seafood Room stars on two counts. These critters are so big that a single leg is a 15- to 18-ounce serving with easily half a cup of sweet, succulent crabmeat. And they are TV stars of sorts, part of the catch of the Time Bandit, the crabber featured on the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch . Oceanaire snared the Time Bandit's entire catch for its 15 restaurants.
May 9, 2008 |
WHEN I LEAVE the city limits to dine I feel like an expat, a stranger in a strange land. Which is especially true when you step into a suburban bar where everyone is lighting up and realize that Philadelphia's smoking ban is really a wonderful concept. But, a recent trip out to East Norriton to Blue Sky Caf? and Bar proved there is light at the end of the tunnel, if not a strip mall. While I wouldn't call Blue Sky Cafe and Bar a destination restaurant, if you are in the area or a suburbanite looking for interesting options beyond the chains, this is a worthy option.
May 8, 2008 |
Fresh salad greens deserve equally fresh dressing. And a simple vinaigrette - a quick blend of oil and vinegar with seasonings - is the freshest and purest of them. But vinaigrette, that most basic of dressings, the perfect complement to salads, can be so much more. It can serve as a marinade or full-fledged sauce with entrees as well. At Marigold in West Philadelphia, executive chef Erin O'Shea has come up with some innovative vinaigrettes. Inspired by the flavor of smoked salmon, which led to thoughts of fried green tomatoes, O'Shea came up with a buttermilk vinaigrette that ties together those two favorite foods on the plate.
April 18, 2008 |
SPRING CALLS for getting out of a rut. And while a weekend B&B in the country may be the ideal retreat after a long winter in the city, a short excursion over to New Jersey for some eats can fit the bill, too. Five bucks on the High Speed Line will get you a scenic round-trip ride over the river to Collingswood. Here, there's a thriving row of restaurants within walking distance along the main drag. Beginning in May, there's a farmers market on Saturday mornings. Be sure to sit on the river side of the train for the full effect - it's a bit of a thrill to feel as though you could tumble in the water instantaneously or almost catch a fly ball passing over Campbell's Field.