The Green Table

This review is more than a little overdue, but sometimes the pleasurable things in life, like blogging, take a back seat to the day to day grind.

This past summer while Joel, Wade and I were in New York City, we made the pilgrimage to that foodie mecca, Chelsea Market. While I was actually underwhelmed at what was there…it was nice, but in my opinion we have larger places with greater selections out here on the west coast…we did find this fabulous little restaurant right in the middle of the market called The Green Table. 

It’s a quaint little place tucked slightly awkwardly into a crooked corner of the main path through the market, but we were intrigued by the large family style table out front. We sat down and ended up sharing the table with other diners which was rather fun. It’s owned by The Cleaver Company and their daily menu enlists the freshest ingredients from local farms and greenmarkets. Their company is committed to sustainable agriculture and they try to use certified organic products whenever possible. 

To start the meal, I had an absolutely divine cup of Earl Grey tea from Arbor Tea and when I asked for some cream (I prefer my tea cambric style), the waiter brought me a small prechilled flagon of cream and a dish of sugar. It was a very simple and elegant touch. We shared a bowl of Crawfish Bisque which I found to be absolutely delicious…a nice balance of heat to cream and with easily recognizable chunks of crawfish. For our entrees, I ordered their Classic Chicken Pot Pie, Joel had their Vegetarian Mushroom Pot Pie, and Wade simply had to sample their New York Bánh Mì. 

The pot pie was really quite well done. A lot of the time, pot pies can have heavy pastry and have more sauce than anything for contents, but this pot pie was light and airy and full of delicious chicken and vegetables in a savory sauce that complimented theingredients instead of overpowering them. It was served along with a small salad of market  greens which for the most part was good, but there were a few pieces in it that were incredibly bitter, so much so that I decided to not finish it. 

I’ll let the guys talk about their dishes, but over all, I would definitely recommend stopping here for a meal if you’re in the area with some time to kill and a thing for people watching. Our server was very competent and did a fine job and we were full, but not uncomfortably so when we were done. I also appreciated that he didn’t try to rush us to vacate the table. That speaks volumes about what they find important in a dining experience.  

Happy eating!

Michael Mina’s SeaBlue Las Vegas

I’m back in Las Vegas this week for yet -another- conference and I thought I’d take some of my quiet down time (that I never seem to get at home) to let you know about one of the great dining spots we visited last month.

When we were in Las Vegas in October for Blog World Expo, we met up with some lovely twitter foodie people at the conference (Hi Chef Mark Tafoya & Jennifer Iannolo!) that in turn invited us out for a Chef’s Tasting at Michael Mina’s Seablue at the MGM Grand where the chef is Chef Stephen Hopcraft.

We started the meal with a lovely glass of Proseco Nunofranco Rustico and a delicious seafood appetizer of oysters, shrimp and the most succulent King Crab legs I believe I’ve ever tasted. I really appreciated that the shells on the crab legs were pre-scored so they were easy to remove and completely mess free.

This was followed by a glass of white wine and the most innovative salad presentation I’ve seen at a restaurant in awhile. They provide a list of salad ingredients and you select up to 10 and they craft your salad for you. It’s an elegant solution to the salad bar concept. Everyone was able to select their favorite items and felt satisfied with their salad. Rather than do the “create your own” salad course, I actually chose their Heirloom Tomato salad which was fantastic. It was a traditional combination of tomato slices, mozzarella, basil and a drizzle of balsamic dressing. The tomatoes had wonderful flavor and it was easy to tell that they were actually heirloom varities and not just an underripened yellow tomato and the mozzarella was so fresh, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just a few hours old.

Our main course began with a beautiful red wine and I must give mad props to our sommelier, Charlie Townsend. He was very knowledgeable about the wines he selected for our meal and they paired so wonderfully and brought out the flavor accents of the food so well that they became a subject of discussion at the table. For the main course, we had several selections: Dayboat Scallops, John Dory (a fish) and a Bone-In New York Strip Steak. I saved my scallop for last, as it’s one of my favorite items and it was actually one of the most delicious things I tasted at Sea Blue. Unfortunately, because I saved it for last, it was just luke warm at that point, but honestly, it was still incredible. The strip was good, but not the best cut of beef I’ve had. That being said, the place is called “Sea Blue” and seafood is definitely a specialty here…and with family raising organic beef…well, let’s just say I’m very critical of beef dishes. Others at the table really enjoyed it. The John Dory was served whole, which I thoroughly enjoyed as it allowed us to sample the cheeks of the fish and Chef did an excellent job at it. My piece of it was unfortunately a little dry, but I had a piece near the tail on the topside of the fish. My husband had a piece nearer to the center on the bottom and his was perfect. The entrees were accompanied by several side dishes of olive oil smashed potatoes, a medley of mushrooms, chickpea and lentil rice and jumbo asparagus with citrus relish. They were all nice in their own fashion (although I didn’t really care for the potatoes much), but the asparagus held the most surprise for me. Topped with sectioned grapefruit, it honestly tasted like Christmas. If you’ve ever had pine needle tea or bitten into a pine needle, you know exactly what I mean. It was unexpected and completely delicious.

Our five desserts were accompanied by a really lovely Auschleze Riesling that wasn’t too sweet and went exceptionally well with the apple tarte tatin. We also had a traditional root beer float with homemade rootbeer and warm chocolate cookies, a fresh creme brulee, some delicious chocolate filled cream puffs, and a selection of seasonal sorbets. I am a total sucker for a good root beer and I have to admit, this one ranks high with me. It tastes like root beer should…not that sickeningly sweet soda that is out on the market, but a traditional bitter taste with a crisp, clean finish. Delicious end to a delicious meal.

If you ever find yourself in Las Vegas and you’re looking for a lovely restaurant, I would definitely recommend checking them out.

(I have some great photos that I’ll upload upon my return home. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, this was a complementary meal.) – A Brief Reprieve

As various publications and blogs reported yesterday, Gourmet Magazine is closing, effective immediately. The big question stirring around the web now however is, “What about

While the site apparently won’t be publishing any new content, according to this memo from Drew Schutte, senior vice president and chief revenue officer at Conde Nast Digital, the site will remain accessible through the end of the year:

Changes like this are tough, but the long term goal is a positive impact on our overall business.

To that end, a singular focus now within the Bridal category, should have a positive impact on our sales and marketing efforts.
In regard to and Gourmet,com, the sites will remain up at least through the end of the year.

If you have advertisers booked into 2010 or feel those booked on them now will be interested in a change, please call Christine to discuss.

Between Epicurious, our editorial for Mom’s, and new Mom’s demographic buy, we have solid options to offer.

So what does this mean to you? It means you don’t have to panic to grab recipes off of for archiving RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND!! You’ll have a couple of weeks to say goodbye, cry in your wine and pick out the classic and elegant recipes you’ll pass on to your children as part of your family food heritage.

Gourmet Magazine: Death of An Icon

Gourmet Magazine ClosingIt’s worse than hearing that the dish you’re craving is unavailable at your favorite restaurant.

It’s worse than that horrible gasp and subsequent crunch of breaking dishes in the kitchen.

That sound you hear? It’s the high pitched keening and wailing of hundreds of thousands of fans of Gourmet Magazine as they nash their collective noshing teeth on the terrible news in the New York Times from Conde Nast:

After 68 gloriously decadent food filled years, the November issue of Gourmet Magazine will be its last.

Two words come to mind here… THIS SUCKS!

While I’ve never been a subscriber, I was one of those crazy people that was enticed to buy it off the shelf every month for more than I would have paid for it had I actually subscribed. The covers always made me hungry and filled my head with visions of my kitchen brimming with goodies and deliciousness with me in my frilly Donna Reed apron with my hands buried in bread dough.

On my cookbook bookshelf (which is far, far too small I might add), I have dozens of old issues of Gourmet…many that I purchased in the store, some that my grandmother or mom gifted to me and even some I tracked down on eBay. It was that good.

I am sad.

The Chairman would be proud. . .

One of my favorite foodie shows of all time is the original Iron Chef. Not that lame Iron Chef America (face it, the only thing that show has going for it is Alton Brown and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto). I’m talking the original, Japanese series with Chairman Kaga, Allez cuisine and all.

And for the record, my favorite Iron Chef is and always has been Hiroyuki Sakai, but I digress.

Nomura's JellyfishToday, I came across a facinating article with a very unique solution to a very unique problem that would make Chairman Kaga grin more flamboyantly than any of his costumes. It seems that for the last several years the sleepy fishing village of Obama in the Fukui Prefecture of Japan has been invaded by Nomura’s jellyfish. Now these aren’t your run-of-the-mill little piles of clear goo you find washed up on the shore occassionally. These are six and a half foot wide, 450 pound monsters and their presence is taking a heavy toll on the local fishing.

Now, they could have sat around bemoaning their lot…the loss of jobs, the loss of quality catches in their nets, but instead, the enterprising high schoolers at Obama Fisheries High School did something the Japanese are well known for…

They figured out how to eat them.

Jellyfish CaramelsThat’s right, students took the jellyfish, boiled them down to a thick paste, dried it, then ground it up into a fine powder. They then made it into cookies and now into caramels. In fact, they’ve done such a fine job that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is considering adding their sea-inspired treat to the official menu for astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Who knows…maybe it will be in a dessert coming soon to a grocer near you!

(Thanks to for this fun foodie treat!)