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 […]

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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 […]

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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

favorites of 2019: the restaurant edition…

A tangle of claws cascading from scalloped rims brimming with ice and seafood. A shoulder of goat with crispy skin and tender meat melting off the bone. Glistening turbot, straight off the coals, and trolleys laden with all manner of goodies, from sweets to cheeses. These are just a few of the incredible scenes I […]

Continue

favorites of 2019: the restaurant edition…

A tangle of claws cascading from scalloped rims brimming with ice and seafood. A shoulder of goat with crispy skin and tender meat melting off the bone. Glistening turbot, straight off the coals, and trolleys laden with all manner of goodies, from sweets to cheeses. These are just a few of the incredible scenes I […]

Continue

favorite desserts of 2019…

– Is it me, or is pastryland slowly coming back down to earth? After years of frenetic experimentation and exploration, it seems like pastry chefs are finally getting back in touch with reality. There are still plenty of exciting and unexpected (and, yes, sometimes bizarre) ideas coming out of pastry kitchens. And sadly, one of […]

Continue

favorite desserts of 2019…

– Is it me, or is pastryland slowly coming back down to earth? After years of frenetic experimentation and exploration, it seems like pastry chefs are finally getting back in touch with reality. There are still plenty of exciting and unexpected (and, yes, sometimes bizarre) ideas coming out of pastry kitchens. And sadly, one of […]

Continue

favorite dishes of 2019…

– As you’ve probably noticed, this blog went silent over the summer. During that time, a wonderful team of smart people at WordPress and Automattic were working hard behind the scenes, giving this site a desperately needed makeover. While there are loose ends that still need tidying, I encourage you to start clicking around and […]

Continue

favorite dishes of 2019…

– As you’ve probably noticed, this blog went silent over the summer. During that time, a wonderful team of smart people at WordPress and Automattic were working hard behind the scenes, giving this site a desperately needed makeover. While there are loose ends that still need tidying, I encourage you to start clicking around and […]

Continue

travel: in dazzling relief… (2019)

12 days of christmas: kostow (2019)

The last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas is a tangle of excitement and exhaustion that is well-documented in previous years on this blog (a complete, hyperlinked list of every single dinner since 2012 can be found at the bottom of this post).  For the cooks there’s the afterglow of having hosted eleven guest […]

Continue

12 days of christmas: kostow (2019)

The last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas is a tangle of excitement and exhaustion that is well-documented in previous years on this blog (a complete, hyperlinked list of every single dinner since 2012 can be found at the bottom of this post).  For the cooks there’s the afterglow of having hosted eleven guest […]

Continue

12 days of christmas: cantu… (2019)

– It seems only a short while ago that Val Cantu was hosting a pop-up in San Francisco.  Those early previews of Cantu’s modern, but studied approach to Mexican cooking generated considerable excitement.  Before I knew it, he had opened a small restaurant in the Mission and earned a Michelin star.  It was in those early […]

Continue

12 days of christmas: cantu… (2019)

– It seems only a short while ago that Val Cantu was hosting a pop-up in San Francisco.  Those early previews of Cantu’s modern, but studied approach to Mexican cooking generated considerable excitement.  Before I knew it, he had opened a small restaurant in the Mission and earned a Michelin star.  It was in those early […]

Continue