Donna and I arrived in New York last Tuesday to begin setting up our city outpost in the West Village, and we were struck anew by the extraordinary dining scene there. I plotted three very different theatrical performances, and they parallel the dynamism and diversity of the traditional, quirky, experimental food of NYC. I wonder if these traits cause coincidences. Last year I had a surprise encounter with my news mentor, Arthur Gelb, returning me to the Times, formative if unhappy years. This year we arrived in Times Square to have a pre-show cocktail at Sardi’s. We hadn’t been there a few minutes, and I don’t know what we’d said other than placing an order for a wine and a martini, but we’d struck up a conversation with a woman seated catty-corner to us. She said, “You Read On »

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Video: something is up. Eleven Madison Park and Alinea have a project in the works, via YouTube.

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I hadn’t planned this post but when my wife, Donna, started emailing these iPhone shots of the dishes she was served at per se yesterday at lunch I just had to put them up. First of all, Thomas Keller and his ace staff two years ago began offering dishes a la carte in their salon area, outside the dining room. It’s a fabulous way to taste what the per se chefs, led now by CDC Eli Kaimeh, are up to. (It’s no wonder that Sam Sifton, in his final column as restaurant critic for The New York Times, called it the best restaurant in New York City.) Chef Kaimeh did not work lunch yesterday; in his stead was Chef David Breeden.  I once complimented Deborah Jones on her amazing photography in Under Pressure (she’s photographed all of Read On »

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Martha actually laughs! I was on The Martha Stewart Show, taped Monday in front of a crazily exuberant audience, on behalf of the new book, Twenty, and I saw it myself. Lord knows what we were laughing about. I haven’t a clue. You go kind of senseless when you’re not in front of Martha every day and there she is—felt exactly like jumping out of an airplane for the first time. But one of the things I’ve always admired about her show is there’s none of that forced cheer and goofy laughter. So when she laughs it’s real and affecting. I’ve done my share of TV but have never, ever been nervous. I was so nervous that morning. I brought three shirts and a valium. When I walked into the studio, Martha was in her office Read On »

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  Michael has been traveling all around the United States promoting his new book Ruhlman’s Twenty.  Yesterday he had a long day in New York City where he appeared on the Martha Stewart Show.  Michael sends his apologies, as he is nursing a wicked hangover.  He returns to Cleveland today and will be appearing at the Fabulous Food Show this weekend.  Please enjoy this favorite post of mine on how to Make Brioche.  This post reminds you to begin preparing for the holiday season, which is quickly approaching. Original Post Date: November 30, 2010 December is the month for making brioche at home. It’s the great holiday bread.  Though calling it bread doesn’t do it justice.  Good brioche is like a cross between bread and cake.  Hell, it’s really cake sneaking in as bread. Nothing better on Read On »

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