Showing posts from February, 2011


It's definitely a great resource ; I feel like I don't get there enough, but I've always been impressed when I have.

Oscar night at our house

  First, we kicked things off with broccoli slaw with buttermilk dressing. The broccoli slaw is made by Dole and comes in a plastic bag in your grocer's produce department, but we can report that it is a quality product. We were mostly just a little sick of salad, and this has a nice kick to it. I made a dressing with buttermilk, tarragon, sugar, salt, pepper, sour cream, cider vinegar, and shallot. It was from Ruth Reichl's Gourmet cookbook. I actually met Ruth Reichl this past summer. I did some website work for the Mount, Edith Wharton's house, and they had a literary festival. She walked in the room, and I asked her where she lives. She said Chatham, NY and I said there was a restaurant we loved, Castle Street Cafe , in Great Barrington, MA near there. She said that was not possible because there were no good restaurants in Great Barrington. To which I said, "Have you been there?" to which she said "no", which I thought was incredibly arrogant. She s

Ode to Tea

When we lived in NYC, we loved Alice's Tea Cup . Then, I  studied abroad in London and my classmates there and I went to Claridge's for the afternoon tea. It was such a great time, and I really love the whole concept of getting your own pot of tea chosen from a list the size of the Bible, with your scone and your clotted cream. It's so classy, and also forces you to slow down and ask your friend "How is your day going?" It's one of life's most affordable luxuries.  So at the recommendation of my coworker we visited the Whistling Kettle in Ballston Spa. We really love it,  and even went back to celebrate my birthday weekend last week. A woman at an artsy store in town told me that it is run by a young couple, that it has only been open a few years, and that it seems always busy because according to her it has broad appeal from older woman to young couples. If you order the afternoon tea you get to choose between a sandwich or a quiche, a soup or a salad

Cafe Capriccio

I should note that my review of Cafe Capriccio cannot be completely impartial. Its reputation for excellence was sufficient for me to choose it as the site of my wedding proposal sight unseen. (And the fact that Ms. Garlic accepted is in itself a very strong review.) But it's still worthwhile to see if its reputation would hold up in the more sober light of a more typical date night. The answer: yes. The combination of food, service and price is as good as any I've experienced in the Capital region so far. Having tried the signature squid ink pasta on our first visit, we decided go a little more classic this time. For the appetizers, ms. Garlic had a lovely selection of marinated olives and I went with the appetizer-sized puttanesca. I'm generally reluctant to order anything I can make well myself, but in this case it was worth it. The nicely spicy sauce was a beautiful compliment to fresh tagliatelle, and since fresh pasta is not yet part of our home reper

A Brief Cooking Note

The tarragon sauteed chicken breasts from  Ad Hoc at Home are strongly recommended. The essential method is classic, of course, but the 2 hours of pre-seasoning and refrigeration make the difference between bland and flavorful.