Food | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

When in Copenhagen: Eat at Geist.

Sep 10th, 2013 | Categories: Copenhagen, Food | by Michael Williams

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Tell anyone you are going to Copenhagen and invariably they will mention the restaurant Noma. With its status near the top of all restaurants in the world, Noma represents the best of what to expect in the Danish capital. Good luck getting a reservation.

The interesting thing about Copenhagen, which is admittedly a little unexpected, is that the food in Copenhagen all around is pretty spectacular. On a recent trip a friend and I had an incredible lunch at Geist which helped to further confirm the city’s status as one of the most enjoyable cities in Europe.

The restaurant sits overlooking a beautiful square (Kongens Nytorv) in the heart of Copenhagen, and it is perfectly set away from the tourist crowds down the road. The menu is arranged as a series of small plates that are centered around fresh ingredients. Not knowing much about the restaurant going-in, when we looked at the menu for the first time it didn’t make all that much sense. That wasn’t a huge problem, we were in for an experience, so we just started ordering small plates just to go for it and see what we will get. Our server advised that we probably ordered too much, but since we were such a long way from home and unlikely to be back soon, we figured “what the hell” and tried as much as we could in our short visit.

Every dish that came out of the kitchen was better than the last. Lobster took a shape I have never seen before (the purple plate seen below), so did potatoes and everything else. It was all inventive and everything tasted delicious. The meal turned out to be one of my favorites in 2013. And I’m not just saying that because it was enjoyed in a far off place.

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NYC Institutions | Acme Smoked Fish

Aug 18th, 2013 | Categories: Food, Kate Dulin, New York City | by Kate Dulin

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There’s something magical about a bagel and lox. A bite of crisp, chewy bagel and cream cheese draped with silky sheets of smoked salmon (and maybe some sliced tomato) provides one of the most satisfying flavor and texture combinations of all time. No wonder the sandwich has secured its place among legendary New York City foods like the pizza slice and pastrami on rye. Don’t get me wrong, I love a plain old  bagel and cream cheese, but it’s only ever improved by lox.

So naturally, in a city where lox can be found every few blocks, New Yorkers have a lot of opinions about where to get the best. The largest smoked fish factory in the country, Acme Smoked Fish was founded in Brooklyn in 1954 and has been family-owned for four generations. Acme supplies smoked and cured fish to some of the city’s favorite fish counters including Zabar’s, Barney Greengrass, and my go-to spot, which prefers to maintain some mystery about its purveyors. They also ship hundreds of thousands of of vacuum-sealed packages of fish around the country every year. Chances are high that if you’ve ever eaten smoked salmon, it came from Acme.

Smoked salmon rack





JFK’s New England Fish Chowder.

Jun 4th, 2013 | Categories: Food, History | by Michael Williams

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Going through the John F. Kennedy archives I came across this recipe for New England Fish Chowder. Apparently, chowder was the favorite dish of JFK —pictured here sailing on the Presidential yacht Manitou near Hyannis Port, Mass. which was one of his favorite activities.

Could this be the beginning of an archival food section for ACL? Unlikely. But nevertheless it’s an amusing little piece of history. Someone please follow this recipe and report back.

Portrait

Images via the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, MA.





Sonoma’s Indie Scene | Scribe Winery

Mar 22nd, 2013 | Categories: Food, Wine | by Michael Williams

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Part I of II.

My hypothesis was that the grounds of Scribe Winery in Sonoma provide an exceptional setting for an enjoyable lunch in Northern California. To find out if my theory proved true I challenged myself to make the trip up to the two hundred acre farm to eat and drink with founder Andrew Mariani and the rest of the Scribe camp. It was a tough assignment, but I’m very committed to the truth so I made the trip. I can say with certainty, that after extensive testing of the various Scribe wines throughout the property, it is indeed an outstanding experience.

If you are interested in wine and good food, do yourself a favor and visit Scribe at some point. Take your better half and visit for the weekend. I can assure you that it is one of the better places you will ever discover. If you belong to the Scribe Viticultural Society (their wine club) you can dine with the Scribe folks when you pick-up your wine. Much of the Scribe production sells out, so joining the SVS is a smart move even if you don’t end up dining at the farm.

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King of American Swine.

Mar 1st, 2013 | Categories: American Badass, Food | by Michael Williams

Carl Blake, who has bred a unique pig, the Swabian Hall

Carl Edgar Blake II is on a mission to produce the most delicious pig in the world. It’s a bit of a strange pursuit, but I can think of a lot less appetizing adventures.

I came across this story in The New York Times about Blake’s quest to re-introduce the Swabian Hall pig, an old breed of swine that produces meat with a higher fat content than the everyday pork that Americans are used to. You’re thinking: Skinny pig? How does that even make sense? Well, in the pork industries quest to produce “the other white meat,” the fat has been systematically bred out of American pork. Luckily, Carl Blake has our back. Don’t worry, no one is getting skinny. Good Americans like him won’t allow it strictly out of principle.

What really caught my attention in the story was the video which wonderfully captured Blake’s no bullshit style. Oddly, and I know he is going to get pissed at me for saying this, but Blake reminded me of America’s most heroic graphic designer Aaron Draplin. It got me thinking fondly of Draplin and his diatribe about how “America is fucked.” Imagine if we got Blake and Draplin together in one room to put down a few cold ones and eat prosciutto? That’s a reality show I would watch.

Video after the jump.





Shopping Cleveland | West Side Market

Oct 14th, 2012 | Categories: Cleveland, Food | by Michael Williams

As a kid, my father took me with him to the West Side Market about once a week to accompany him as he made the rounds visiting his favorite butchers, bakers and produce sellers. The market has so much going on, so many things to see smell and taste, it was always an eye-opening event for me and it remains one of my most cherished childhood memories of Cleveland. Getting the opportunity to show off the West Side Market to a few friends that were visiting last weekend, the experience remains as great as it ever was. It’s good to know some things don’t change.





New York State of Mind | Ghurka x Eleven Madison Park.

Oct 9th, 2012 | Categories: Food, Made in the USA, New York City | by Michael Williams

One thing almost everyone I know can agree on is the fact that Eleven Madison Park is one of the best meals in NYC, if not the world. The fourteen year old restaurant recently underwent a bit of a reinvention under Chef Daniel Humm, transitioning to a unique set-up where the only option (lunch or dinner) is a New York centric four-hour tasting menu. The celebrated restaurant, which boasts a three star Michelin ranking and four stars from The New York Times, is on a mission to elevate an already great experience.

This reinvention is a bold move that actually reminds me of what is happening currently at Ghurka. The American leather goods maker which has recently been reinvigorated by its new ownership group and these days everything I see emerge from Ghurka is both well thought out and equally refined, this collaboration being no exception. In keeping with the theme of “made in New York,” Eleven Madison Park tapped Ghurka to produce a handsome group of custom leather goods for the restaurant (coasters, menu covers, placemats, check presenters, table reserved signs).