The Very First Amateur Gourmet Newsletter

Dear Amateur Gourmet Reader,

Can you believe it? It's taken me six years to start a newsletter and now, finally, it's here. You have my brilliant designer, Raphael Brion, to thank: he's the one who suggested that I start one and the one who set this all up for me. Thanks Raphael! (He also suggested that I send it out on Monday mornings, which is why you're getting this right now: Happy Monday morning to you.)

As promised, this newsletter will be filled with all kinds of food you don't get to see on the blog. For example, this salad:

This is one of my famous Killer Salads, a salad that I make on weeknights when I want to be the tiniest bit healthy. Normally, I toss all the salad ingredients together in a big bowl and it looks kind of messy on the plate. This time I separated all the ingredients based on a salad I ate at Blue Ribbon. I think it looks kind of cool, don't you?

Ok, you're probably thinking: "I signed up for a newsletter to look at pictures of salad?"

No, I know you didn't. I mentioned, in my pitch for this newsletter, that I'd tell you about the dinner I ate at Tom Colicchio's Colicchio & Sons.

I went there with my parents two weeks ago. It's the kind of place you want to go to with your parents because if they're paying, you won't mind all the little details that'd bother you if you were paying. For example: the service? It wasn't very good. What was good were these butter-poached oysters:

They were drenched in butter and came with caviar on the side and were incredibly decadent. They were a highlight. Otherwise, my dad didn't like his halibut (I traded him my cod which was a more interesting dish) and the beignet dessert was crispy and good, though, strangely, not very exciting. But Jimmy Fallon was sitting near us and that counts for something, right?

Another food experience I promised I'd tell you about in this newsletter was the Village Voice Choice Eats event:

As you can see, it was something of a zoo. But despite its zoo-iness, this was, without question, the best event of its kind I've ever been to. Instead of all the fancy New York restaurants force-feeding you mini-samples of what everyone considers "fancy" food (foie gras, octopus, etc.) this event featured real food--mostly ethnic food--curated by one of my favorite food writers, Robert Sietsema. The crowd wasn't snobby or overdressed, as they often are at the other events, but down-to-earth and genuinely food-loving (I ran into ten different food-loving friends, including the lovable James Beard award nominee Rachel Wharton).

As for what I ate, it was hard to keep track of what everything was (we just kept cramming more and more down our gullets). So I can't really identify this:

But the man who prepared it was very sweet and I remember it had a very odd, offbeat flavor. The highlight dish, if I remember correctly, was a mock lobster roll from No. 6 in Brooklyn. Was that the name of the place? See, I'm a terrible newsletter writer. You should probably unsubscribe right now.

That's it for this week's newsletter! Check the blog this week for a full account of my trip, this past weekend, to the Catskill Mountains where we ate several glorious meals. Also, check back periodically for a huge, insanely big announcement. I can't say any more about it, so please don't ask.

Thanks very much for subscribing! See you back here next week,

Adam (your Amateur Gourmet)

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