Tastes of the Week

From July 4 to July 10th, 2011 At the home of David Rosengarten, the food expert's expert, we were treated, on Saturday night, to a regal dinner based on the foods of Greece.  Extraordinary from end to end -- three kinds of feta from different regions of Greece, crisp-tender baby artichokes, a dozen mezedes, lamb-stuffed peppers and homemade spanakopita, demitasse cups of the artichoke-poaching broth, yogurt marinated chicken on pita with 16-hour dried tomatoes (so amazingly intense and sweet), more yogurt, indigenous honey and almond cake for dessert.  Twelve different wines, including a horizontal tasting of an indigenous wine/grape "Assyrtiko" from the island of Santorini.  David said this wine is at the forefront of a big trend. The wines (from different producers in Greece) are dry, minerally, big, complex.  One tasted like a dry malvasia, said my husband. The guest to my left, Don Bryant from the extraordinary Bryant Vineyards in California, said he liked #3.  (I'll ask David which that was and will let you know.) I decided any man who makes $1000 wine (per bottle) and has a waiting list!, probably has a good palate and I finished my glass of #3.

Retro and deliciously old-fashioned Italian "family food" at Cavallino Nero in Mays Landing, New Jersey.  Great angel hair pasta with freshly steamed clams, garlic and parsley, and good veal francese.  Even more retro was the price of a large glass of Chianti for $6.00 a pop.  Nice cannoli and a very sympatico waiter.

Fabulous strawberry pie from the Garrison Market in Garrison, New York.  Say hi to the pastry chef, Eric, if you go...and you should. It tasted super-saturated with strawberry flavor yet with the bright acidity that comes from rhubarb but alas it had no rhubarb in it! The other pies, peach and apple, looked great as well.  Ask for a piece with your morning coffee, otherwise buy a whole pie.

Great homemade zucchini bread from Aunt Anne in Margate, New Jersey.  "Zip code baking" for sure as the zucchini came from an  organic garden just two block away.  It was moist and spicy-sweet from nutmeg and cinnamon.  Delicious with yogurt and bananas for breakfast.

The BEST knockwurst from the local supermarket in Cold Spring, New York.  Griddled until the outside was crisp and a bit leathery -- slathered with Polish mustard.

Great summer corn vigorously rubbed with a fistful of fresh basil leaves, sweet butter, and coarse salt.

Gigantic fresh raspberries tossed with tiny ice cream-filled profiteroles, dusted with powdered sugar, at the home of friends in Garrison.

A summer peach, gently warmed by the sun on the window sill.

An ice-cold glass of New York City tap water.