Food chat is great, but there is so much to catch up on, I thought we could stretch a little today as well. Did anyone catch Tony Bourdain at Triple Rock or Solera? What did you think? Anyone go to both events and have a favorite? Any great pull quotes you heard? I was in NYC doing the Today Show, so I couldn’t attend. Very disappointing; I would have loved to check out the action, especially at Solera. If you go to my website, we have some blogs up from some ladies who attended the event, and we also have a podcast on the site that I recorded last week with TB.
Did anyone see the pics of the one-and-a-half kilo white truffle that was discovered in Italy a few days ago? Good lord, I could smell it through my TV. Apparently it was dug up in Tuscany by a truffle-sniffing dog and will be auctioned this week in Florence for charity. According to the AP:
“Truffle hunter Cristiano Savini said Tuesday he was searching for truffles with his father and dog Rocco last week in Palaia, a town about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Pisa, when his dog, Rocco, started sniffing "like crazy." With Rocco leashed to a tree to prevent him from digging too furiously, the Savinis carefully extracted a truffle they said weighed 1.497 kilograms (about 3.3 pounds), which they contended was a record weight. Guinness Book of World Records lists a 1.3 kilogram (2.86-pound) white truffle found in Croatia in 1999 as the biggest. Cristiano's father, Luciano, said the truffle had been weighed at the traffic police station in the nearby town of San Miniato, which issued a certificate attesting to its weight. The station said the officer involved in the weighing was not immediately available for comment. On Tuesday, Cristiano Savini brought the truffle to Rome to publicize the planned auction, to be held Saturday in a palace in Florence. Truffles can fetch €7,500 ($11,155) a kilogram [$5,500 a pound] in Rome, although they usually weigh from 30 to 80 grams (1 to 2.8 ounces). Slivers of truffles, with their strong aroma, are prized in Italy to flavor pasta sauces and rice dishes. Proceeds from the auction will go to an Italian organization that helps sufferers of genetic diseases, a group that helps street children in London and Catholic charities in Macau.”
In a recent Mpls.St.Paul Magazine issue, I wrote a few blurbs on our leading local pastry chefs and was limited to highlighting five talents. Last week, I had lunch at Bank and was impressed with the awesome confection that Liz Matheson sent to our table. Next time you are there, order the white chocolate grapefruit bomb with dark chocolate and salted pretzel. It’s goooooooood.
Did any of you fall in love with the cardamom mini donuts as much as we did last summer at the Mill City Farmers Market? Well, the talents behind those little gems, Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson from Spoonriver, just bought a winterized concession wagon. Carrie will be taking her treats to the street. And the menu is growing. You can look forward to more mini-donuts, soft-serve ice cream, and her famous chocolate mousse in Popsicle form. Over the last few years, I have been aching for someone to bring street food into our food culture. Why can’t McCormick and Schmick's have a stand outside their restaurant that sells oysters and cups of ceviche? What about Brothers Deli pushing kosher dogs on the Avenue? Chino Latino could go in several directions, and Lucia’s could do hot chocolate and baked goods all winter long. Well, Carrie is trying hard to bring street food into vogue here, and there is even a wonderful rumor swirling about that she is thinking of creating some kind of winter carnival to take place between the Guthrie and Spoonriver with even more street food being hawked.
Here is the fun part: She needs a name for the cart. In my office, this is cause for a major creative brainstorming session. Berit came up with Street Treats. Dusti came up with The Honey Wagon. Carrie said she would consider readers' suggestions, so get on the stick, and let me know your thoughts. Carrie will check in on this site, and if you end up with the winning name, I am thinking you would never have to wait in line . . . ever.
Now a month or so ago, I started writing about Landmarc, one of the most ridiculous restaurants I have been to in a long time. First, no one ever seems to be there. I have stopped in to peek out the room on five occasions, and it was never more than 25 percent full, not once. No one ever seemed to be talking about it anywhere I went; it had no buzz at all. The food I ate there on the one visit I stayed for dinner was awful. One reason I think this restaurant is still open is because it is in a hotel, which provides some shelter from the typical financial vagaries facing a restaurant on life support. Only open for a relatively short time, the chef was gone one day and then back; and now the manager (my former Café 1-2-3 buddy Michael Morse) is apparently gone from Landmarc in a quid pro quo move by ownership in order to get the chef to return to the stove. Anyone know any details? I called and only got the broad story.
In NYC, I ate a wonderful dinner at Balthazar, followed up by a banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery on Bleeker and 11th. BTW, the pool at Miami’s Standard Hotel has some of the best mini burgers I have ever tasted, and Versailles in Little Havana still has some killer roasted pork with beans and rice. Cuban sandwiches at La Carretta are better than I remembered.
Thanks for all the opinions on Heidi’s everyone;
anyone been to Nick and Eddie’s yet?