A.G. Newsletter #25: Corsino, Cafe Pedlar, Osaka, Farro Salad, My Weeknight Dinner Salad & A Heritage Pork Chop
Hello A.G. Newsletter Subscribers,
In case you didn't check my blog this morning, I had two rather exciting bits of news to share: (1) I'm in New York Magazine this week, so make sure to buy a copy (here's a link to the article); (2) I'm going to be MC-ing The Piglet party, which marks the end of Food52's Cookbook Tournament in which the year's best cookbooks (books by Dorie Greenspan, David Tanis, Simon Hopkinson and many others) are judged by illustrious food writers and chefs (Mario Batali, Christine Muhlke, Deb Perelman and others.) Tickets to the party are still available here; hope to see you there!
Now then: what did I eat this past week? I ate an amazing sandwich at Corsino on 9th Avenue:
A sister restaurant to 'ino (a restaurant that I love), this place--which was almost entirely empty the day that I ate there (it must pick up at night)--is great for those who love the food at 'ino but feel claustrophobic when they eat there. Here there's plenty of space and as for the food? Behold the sandwich that I ordered: a panini with green tomato, ricotta and anchovies.
This sandwich is extraordinary for its simplicity: it's really just slices of green tomato on top of fresh ricotta studded with bits of really good anchovies (I imagine salt-packed anchovies.) The dipping sauce was a basil pesto. The experience of eating this all together was really sublime; like a final blast of summer before it truly gets cold. I highly recommend it.
Now then, for those who saw my Chinatown post today (the post where I walked from Greenwich Village to Chinatown) you know that after I left Chinatown, I didn't turn back home. Instead I decided to cross the Manhattan Bridge on foot and to see where the day might take me.
Well, it took me to DUMBO (I thought it would take me to Williamsburg but I realized, after the fact, that the Williamsburg Bridge takes you to Williamsburg (duh!)). In DUMBO, I really, really had to pee (all that water and chicken stock I consumed at Sheng Wang.) So I used my iPhone to navigate my way to Almondine, a lovely bakery, where I used the facilities and didn't buy anything. I'm a bad person.
Outside Almondine, I used the New York Times iPhone App "The Scoop" to figure out where the closest/best coffee shop might be found. (If you don't have that app, I highly recommend it. It works with the Maps feature so it shows where you are (you're a blue dot) and where all the good coffee shops are around you.) The best coffee shop near me, apparently, was Cafe Pedlar in Carroll Gardens. So it was to there that I continued, on foot.
Isn't that a pretty street? I have to admit that Brooklyn is, in its way, more charming and beautiful than Manhattan. (Shhh: don't tell my neighbors that I said that.)
Here's the door:
The place is owned by the Frankies who own Frankie's Sputino and Prime Meats. It's decorated in a very hip way (cool art, big brown vintage speakers.) I ordered a macchiato and read Clarissa Dickson-Wright's autobiography (it's fantastic, I can't wait to blog about it.)
Before I left, I snapped this picture because DON'T YOU THINK THIS WOULD BE THE BEST BAND NAME EVER??? Seriously! (Unless it already exists, I'm too lazy to Google it.)
They could even use that as an album cover!
Now my friends, family and loved ones (including Craig) know that wherever I am geographically, I am constantly aware (or making myself aware) of where the best place to eat is within a half-mile radius. There, in Carroll Gardens, I was aware that the best place to eat was the aforementioned Frankie's restaurant Prime Meats.
Craig was in Brooklyn too at the time and so we met up but he wasn't hungry. So he went to see "127 Hours" and I went to see the new "Harry Potter" movie which I really enjoyed. When we got out, around 9 PM, we walked to "Prime Meats" and asked how long the wait would be. The wait, it turned out, was two hours. That would mean dinner at 11. Craig wasn't having it.
So we went to this sushi place called Osaka and shared an omakase dinner (which, for two people, was $50 total: not a bad deal.)
All the fish was really great (the stack on the left was topped with gold leaf!) and the wasabi was the real thing (the waitress pointed that out.) A good deal to know about the next time you're turned away from Prime Meats with a two hour wait.
One night, last week, I made myself a farro salad for dinner using leftover cherry tomatoes, red onion and some chopped up preserved lemon. (Just boil the farro in salted water until tender (you have to taste to know) and dress with olive oil, red or white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Then add your vegetables.) I made a lot to eat so I could eat it for lunch the next day which, indeed, I did:
Those leftover cherry tomatoes and the onion were leftover from one of my famous Weeknight Dinner Salads. Essentially, I just chop up a red and orange pepper, a red onion, an English cucumber, some cherry tomatoes and add them to a bowl with strained and rinsed chick peas and toss everything with an emulsified dressing made with an egg yolk, vinegar (whatever I have on hand), a squeeze of honey, a spoonful of mustard, fresh ground pepper, salt and olive oil slowly whisked in. Last week, I topped it all with a slice of really nice blue cheese:
Finally, those Killer Pork Chops I made two weeks ago were such a hit (not only with Craig, but with my readers and my friend Rob too who made it for his wife, Kath) that I decided to do it again this past week. When I went to the butcher where I bought those thick-cut chops (Ottominelli's) they asked if, instead of the regular pork chops, I'd like to buy heritage pork chops for not that much more money. I said: "Sure!" thinking that a heritage pork chop just meant it came from a more ethically-raised pig. What I didn't realize was that I was buying a big chop of delicious fat.
Oh Lord, this chop was so, so fatty. Wonderfully fatty, delightfully fatty--all that fat turned crispy and bronze in the pan--but fatty nonetheless. So instead of pork chops for dinner, it felt like we were eating pork belly:
Which, again, was wonderful but not something I'd typically want to serve on a weeknight. Of course, we ate every last bite and then gnawed on the bones.
That's it for this week, folks! I'm heading home to Boca Raton, tomorrow, to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Not cooking this year, but if you are, here's a round-up of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Hope you have a terrific holiday!
Until next time....
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)
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