troisgros: patrilineal… (2021)

As my taxi pulled into the gravel carpark, a smartly dressed woman from the front desk was already stationed and waiting for me outside, along with a valet.  I got out and greeted her, and, as a reflex, apologized for the amount of luggage I had with me (overpacking is a terrible vice; I don’t […]

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troisgros: patrilineal… (2021)

As my taxi pulled into the gravel carpark, a smartly dressed woman from the front desk was already stationed and waiting for me outside, along with a valet.  I got out and greeted her, and, as a reflex, apologized for the amount of luggage I had with me (overpacking is a terrible vice; I don’t […]

Continue

rumination 39: outrageousness über alles…

​​  If fact is stranger than fiction, what does that say about “The Menu,” the recently released dark, comedy horror film on HBO Max that satirizes destination dining?  (There are no plot spoilers here.) For those who are steeped in the culture, the references to specific chefs and restaurants are satisfyingly clear. The clap that […]

Continue

rumination 39: outrageousness über alles…

​​  If fact is stranger than fiction, what does that say about “The Menu,” the recently released dark, comedy horror film on HBO Max that satirizes destination dining?  (There are no plot spoilers here.) For those who are steeped in the culture, the references to specific chefs and restaurants are satisfyingly clear. The clap that […]

Continue

travel: regroup and return (2022)…

Just as the world seemed to be galloping away from the pandemic, it was abruptly unhorsed by Omicron. As the new Covid variant – by far, the most infectious yet, we were told – raced around the globe in late 2021 and early 2022, spreading like glitter among preschoolers, I was on my way to […]

Continue

travel: regroup and return (2022)…

Just as the world seemed to be galloping away from the pandemic, it was abruptly unhorsed by Omicron. As the new Covid variant – by far, the most infectious yet, we were told – raced around the globe in late 2021 and early 2022, spreading like glitter among preschoolers, I was on my way to […]

Continue

favorites of 2021: the restaurant edition…

For many, especially in the hospitality industry, 2021 was like drinking out of a firehose, wasn’t it? As pandemic restrictions lifted, it became quickly apparent that the pent up demand for travel and dining far exceeded expectations. The world didn’t just reopen, it busted open. Yet, whatever relief that eager spending might have brought was […]

Continue

favorites of 2021: the restaurant edition…

For many, especially in the hospitality industry, 2021 was like drinking out of a firehose, wasn’t it? As pandemic restrictions lifted, it became quickly apparent that the pent up demand for travel and dining far exceeded expectations. The world didn’t just reopen, it busted open. Yet, whatever relief that eager spending might have brought was […]

Continue

favorite desserts of 2021…

Alexandra Motz’s spumoni with chocolate sauce at Spoon and Stable; a fluffy wedge of panettone in the afternoon sun at Lo Pichotôme; plump prunes soaked in armagnac, crowned with a giant curl of vanilla ice cream at Salon. There was a swirl of strawberry soft serve wearing a mantle of whipped cream at Esmée. It […]

Continue

favorite desserts of 2021…

Alexandra Motz’s spumoni with chocolate sauce at Spoon and Stable; a fluffy wedge of panettone in the afternoon sun at Lo Pichotôme; plump prunes soaked in armagnac, crowned with a giant curl of vanilla ice cream at Salon. There was a swirl of strawberry soft serve wearing a mantle of whipped cream at Esmée. It […]

Continue

favorite dishes of 2021…

After nearly a year of eating at home during the pandemic, I was eager to get out and gobble up 2021. Thankfully, I found cooking alive and well in the re-opening world. I returned to some of my favorite places for my favorite things. So, you’ll find a few familiar names on this year’s list […]

Continue

favorite dishes of 2021…

After nearly a year of eating at home during the pandemic, I was eager to get out and gobble up 2021. Thankfully, I found cooking alive and well in the re-opening world. I returned to some of my favorite places for my favorite things. So, you’ll find a few familiar names on this year’s list […]

Continue

travel: reunions on the road… (2021)

If 2020 imparted any wisdom, it was a searing reminder not to sleep on opportunities when they present. Left behind, they can fester into regret, especially during dark times, when the opportunities that were seized can glitter, by comparison, in dazzling relief. So, as the scales started tipping towards a reopening in 2021, I leapt […]

Continue

travel: reunions on the road… (2021)

If 2020 imparted any wisdom, it was a searing reminder not to sleep on opportunities when they present. Left behind, they can fester into regret, especially during dark times, when the opportunities that were seized can glitter, by comparison, in dazzling relief. So, as the scales started tipping towards a reopening in 2021, I leapt […]

Continue

favorites of 2020: the restaurant edition…

There were no days of Christmas at The Restaurant at Meadowood, which tragically burned in the Napa Glass Fire in October; no late night oyster roasts at Palmetto Bluff in November. Both had been annual fixtures on my calendar for a decade. Gavin Kaysen’s long-awaited revival of the Synergy Series at Spoon & Stable in […]

Continue

favorites of 2020: the restaurant edition…

There were no days of Christmas at The Restaurant at Meadowood, which tragically burned in the Napa Glass Fire in October; no late night oyster roasts at Palmetto Bluff in November. Both had been annual fixtures on my calendar for a decade. Gavin Kaysen’s long-awaited revival of the Synergy Series at Spoon & Stable in […]

Continue

favorite desserts of 2020…

Nostalgia, I have realized, narrows the dessert lane for me more than any other on a menu. After a decade of indulging (indeed, suffering through) journeys into the absurd – over-plated, over-garnished, and just, plain weird – I have been conditioned to approach the end of a meal with a skepticism that often aspires towards […]

Continue

favorite desserts of 2020…

Nostalgia, I have realized, narrows the dessert lane for me more than any other on a menu. After a decade of indulging (indeed, suffering through) journeys into the absurd – over-plated, over-garnished, and just, plain weird – I have been conditioned to approach the end of a meal with a skepticism that often aspires towards […]

Continue

favorite dishes of 2020…

I covered a considerable amount of ground in the two, short months that I traveled in 2020. Yet, despite experiencing a wide range of restaurants, old and new, it was the familiar that still impressed me the most. In fact, most of my favorite dishes from 2020 were ones that have appeared on this annual […]

Continue

favorite dishes of 2020…

I covered a considerable amount of ground in the two, short months that I traveled in 2020. Yet, despite experiencing a wide range of restaurants, old and new, it was the familiar that still impressed me the most. In fact, most of my favorite dishes from 2020 were ones that have appeared on this annual […]

Continue

travel: grounded… (2020)

– This post is terribly tardy, largely due to a rapid resumption of life after a year arrested by a pandemic. The fair winds of 2019 sent me sailing confidently into 2020. Even before the calendar turned, the new year was already brimming with work and travel. There were new partnerships and exciting prospects shimmering […]

Continue

travel: grounded… (2020)

– This post is terribly tardy, largely due to a rapid resumption of life after a year arrested by a pandemic. The fair winds of 2019 sent me sailing confidently into 2020. Even before the calendar turned, the new year was already brimming with work and travel. There were new partnerships and exciting prospects shimmering […]

Continue