Day Two: Window on New Orleans Past and Present

We disembarked for a private tour of Antoine’s Restaurant. Opened in 1840, Antoine’s is the oldest in New Orleans and oldest family-run restaurant in the country. It has 15 different dining rooms, with a variety of old photos and artifacts from Mardi Gras royalty. It continued to serve wine and booze during Prohibition, we’re told, by using a bit of hallway which was part of the “ladies room” to allow the men to pass through a secret door.

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Qué Syrah and Pinot Noir! Olson Ogden Wines

This beautiful small lot Syrah is opaque, an inky purple with gorgeous ripe fruit. Blueberries, blackberries and rich baking spices on the nose, reminded Joe of a succulent pie. Once in the mouth, we tasted more of the blackberry and blueberry flavors, brown sugar and cloves, with a nice toasty oak on a finish that ended in gobs of fruit, spice, vanilla and velvety tannins.

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In defense of decadence

“Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts.” -Ernest Hemingway Writing about food and wine means that there will be times when it becomes necessary to pause and consider the value of the subject matter. Surely there are more important subjects to write about. The world […]

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Thanksgiving: It’s Not Always about the Food

Thanksgiving in our family is always a dilemma — Joe wants to host everyone at our house, and my brother wants to host everyone at his. Before my father died, it was always at my parents’ house. My mother would slave over the stove all day, invariably wearing herself out. We would have enough food to feed half the neighborhood with plenty of leftovers. My mother grew up poor, so she has this special relationship with food.

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Perfect turkey brine – for Thanksgiving

I published this recipe last year. It was also how I served the very best turkey I have ever eaten last Thanksgiving, so I figured it was worth repeating. I hope everyone enjoys it. I think that most home chefs have gotten the word that brining is a crucial step when cooking turkey. If not, they should. Brining your bird brings flavor, texture, and most importantly, moisture to the table. If you are already hip […]

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