Some vaguely Halloween-themed food news…
More evidence that the Checkers on Maryland Ave NE is the gateway to hell
Looks like Bravo will continue to haunt our DVRs. The network has renewed Top Chef Masters and ordered a Top Chef focused exclusively on desserts
So Good discovers Death by Bacon
Endless Simmer plays with blood sausage. Spooky! 
Is there a Twilight-themed restaurant in America’s future? 
Try Food For Real’s smothered rabbit
Want to trick or treat but with booze? Try the candy-themed drinks at Equinox
Now on to the regular updates… (more…)

Thomas Keller Chicken and Tomato 004So here it is July, and I’m proud to say that I have taken another step toward the completion of my New Year’s Resolution (to attempt a restaurant-quality meal each month).  I’m not as proud to say that this still only makes four such meals despite the fact that July is the seventh month of the year, but I’m committed to picking up the slack so that I can still end the year with twelve of these experiences under my belt.

For this month’s challenge, I found myself intrigued by several tweets raving about Thomas Keller’s recipe for roast chicken.  “So simple!”  “So perfect!”  So I decided to try it for myself and see what all the fuss was about.  To complete the restaurant quality meal, I turned to Food & Wine’s archives and picked a suitably summery side from a list of Keller recipes: heirloom tomatoes stuffed with succotash.  Remembering what happened when I tried to channel Barton Seaver back in May, I knew I would be thinking long and hard about every grain of salt I added to these dishes.

Recipes for Thomas Keller’s favorite roast chicken and the succotash-stuffed tomatoes after the jump. (more…)

Pint-sized reviews of some favorite dining experiences in New York. Planning a trip? You should also check out our full-fledged reviews of Perilla, wd~50, The Spotted Pig, and Apotheke.

Bouchon… Ladies Who Lunch In the Mall
NYC Trip 056I can count on a single hand the chefs whose name and reputation could bring me to utter the phrase “let’s get lunch in the mall,” with Robin Scherbatsky-style exuberance.  Yet here I was, on a beautiful Saturday afternooon in Manhattan, leaving Central Park and heading into the Time Warner Center for lunch at Bouchon, Thomas Keller’s casual bistro located only one floor below the hallowed (or not, if recent reviews are to be believed) Per Se. The space itself was surprising. The 60-seat cafe is plopped right in the middle of the 3rd floor, making up for its open exposure with a flood of natural light from the six-story front window of the building. A counterfront bakery is down the hall, not quite adjacent but within eyesight, so you can take some of Keller’s baked goods home with you to devour later.

I’ve never dined at a Keller restaurant before so my expectations were fairly open. I was hoping to see a nice mix of NYC Trip 059California and French cuisine, with a heavy focus on seasonal ingredients. I wasn’t disappointed. The menu is honest and simple with standard bistro fare turned up a notch by better-than-average ingredients. My wagyu beef reuben, served with cheese and wilted arugula on a crusty bread, was rich and decadent for a lunchtime sandwich. However, it was my companion (and soon-to-be-tour-guide) Amanda’s quiche that had my full attention. I had order envy as soon as it was placed in front of us. The quiche was creamy with a perfectly scorched top layer, served with glistening fresh greens. Simple, rich, delightful. I don’t know if I’ll make a beeline for Bouchon on my next visit to New York but it was a great spot for a hearty, flavorful lunch before powering through the rest of our day. It is absolutely worth a visit if you find yourself hungry in the middle of  Central Park.

Bouchon Bakery
10 Columbus Cir
New York, NY 10019
Bouchon Bakery on Urbanspoon 

Cookies, Custard and Sunday brunch after the jump! (more…)

Exciting news about a White House vegetable garden!

Frozen Tropics posts Napa 1015’s March menu.

Nino’s in New York is offering free dinner to Madoff victims.  
Love pulled pork but don’t have a grill or smoker? DC Foodies writer Stephanie tries it on her slow cooker
Trying to adjust its brand to the recession, Starbucks goes for a more “coffeehouse vibe” and removes pricing from the board in an effort to appear more affordable.  Who the F came up with that idea? 
So Good kicks off Meat Madness
Discover your cooking personality.

The Peacock Café is offering a March Madness happy hour special. I wonder if this is for people who want to watch the game at a bar or for people who don’t care about March Madness to escape the constant drone of college basketball?
Share your food rules with author Michael Pollan. 
Metrocurean has a great list of restaurants who serve up a family-style Sunday supper
A new book reminisces on the days of truly regional American food.  
PQ Living gives us the heads up on the new restaurant in the metro center Marriott.  
Jell-O is promoting antioxidants in a new ad campaign featuring Dancing With the Stars winner Brooke Burke.  
Good Stuff Eatery’s Spike is offering amped up matzah recipes at the Sixth and I Synagogue in time for Passover. You can win tickets at Brightest Young Things.

Is there a whoopie pie coming your way?  
Two Quail, an upscale frenchy-french restaurant on Capitol Hill has closed.   
French Laundry chef Thomas Keller shares his experience with roast chicken
Read Meat DC reviews Localat. Check out those waffles.  
We are coming up on artichoke season. Have any favorite recipes? 
According to Young & Hungry, H Street Country Club is delaying its much-anticipated opening due to DC city snafus. 
A new culinary trend report highlights Latin American flavors about to hit our radar.

Dunkin Donuts launches a create-a-donut contest
Food tips for celebrating the Persian new year.  
Where does Obama eat when in Hawaii? Find out here
Tips from a pro on building buzz for a new restaurant.  
Campbell’s soup launches a promotion to help Future Farmers of America.