Tastes of the Week

June 19 to June 26, 2011 - Last Sunday, we sat in the enclosed patio of Edi & the Wolf, a youthful Austrian restaurant on Avenue C.   Definitely not the kind of food found in most New York restaurants, it was a pleasure to have the Alsatian flatbread (really great), layered with speck (smoked prosciutto) and horseradish; landjager -- a cured dried Austrian sausage, served with terrific homemade pickles; liptauer & herb cervais -- a farmer's cheese spread perfumed with paprika and pumpkinseed oil; homemade spatzle topped with hen of the woods mushrooms, fava beans and asapargus; the requisite "wiener schnitzel" and the incongruous, but fabulous, white tuna with avocado, cucumber, radish & citrus vinaigrette. I will go back to try the palatschinken -- to see if they are as good as my mother's (she was Hungarian.)  The executive chefs are Eduard "Edi" Frauneder and Wolfgang "the Wolf" Ban. They also own a Michelin-starred restaurant in midtown called "Seäsonal Restaurant & Weinbar."  Edi & the Wolf was inspired by "Heuriger" -- the casual, neighborhood wine taverns popular in Austria. Austria is also home to one of my favorite white wines -- Grüner Veltliner. See you there. The front room is rustic and really nice. 102 Avenue C, NY, 212-598-1040

- The coolest bathroom I've been in recently was at Doughnut Plant (no kidding) on West 23rd Street. It is a tiny mirrored-paneled room with a disco ball.

- Some of the best snacks to be had with a glass of wine are at the lobby bar of the Pierre Hotel. Small chunks of good Parmigiano-Reggiano, great olives, and potato chips made especially for them. Ditto the petits fours that I had at a reception there. Really excellent.

My tastes this week also include the fabulous rare books department (or corner) of the top floor at Barney's. One wonderful book that I wished I could afford -- a cookbook by Christian Dior -- for $1200+ -- loosely translated as "hand-sewn" food. It had a stamped metal cover and it fit into a hard clear plastic sleeve. Wonderful sounding recipes, too.

And a delicious play that sadly closed today after several months in New York. The star, a great friend and fabulous actor, Mike Burstyn, -- starred in "The Adventures of Hershele Ostropolyer." In Yiddish, with English and Russian subtitles.  Produced by the National Yiddish Theatre "Folksbiene." Don't miss it if it comes to town again.