Tastes of the Week

Sept 18 through Sept. 25 As the "social" season begins, there are lots of new restaurants opening in New York and some of them are very exciting: Two that come to mind are Saxon + Parole on the Bowery and Bleeker, and a vibrant new cevicheria called La Mar  located in the space that was once Tabla. La Mar is owned by the great Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio, who has 12 locations around the world. As my globetrotting husband, international restaurant consultant, predicted several years ago, Peruvian food would become a major trend.

Fabulous crispy nuggets of fried fluke roe (amazing texture) and flavor.  The "special of the day" at La Mar.

Tiradito (Peru's version of sashimi) -- thinly sliced raw fish with a variety of sauces:  We tried "chifa" -- wild salmon belly and cilantro with passion fruit leche de tigre. I have a recipe for tiradito in my newest book, Radically Simple. See recipe below.

The best sampling of hams and cured pork products ever at Saxon + Parole. Also outstanding: portabello mushroom mousse with whiskey and truffle jelly, hand-cut salmon tartare with roasted peppers, capers & quail egg, whole roasted branzino, cauliflower & gruyere gratin.

At the gala benefit for SHARE at Abigail Kirsch's Pier 60, sampled some of the best bites from New York's great women chefs: especially loved the duck "filet mignon" with truffle mousse and balsamic reduction, Gabrielle Hamilton's crostini of Valdeon blue cheese (from Spain) topped with a shaved radish, celery and fennel salad, and Barbara Sibley's (La Palapa) salmon and mango ceviche toastaditas with hibiscus syrup & serrano oil.

A savory zucchini and gruyere muffin at Sweet Melissa's in Park Slope.

And a terrific lattice apple pie from Costco! Last time it had too much cinnamon; this time it is perfect. Tiradito (adapted from Radically Simple) Begin with thin slices of impeccably fresh raw fish and top with my tart elixir of a whole pureed lemon, olive oil, and garlic.

12 ounces raw halibut or red snapper, sliced paper thin 1 small lemon 1/2 cup olive oil 1 medium clove garlic 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh chives handful of tender mesclun, mache or pea shoots

Arrange the fish slices in a tight circle without overlapping in the center of 4 large plates. Sprinkle the fish lightly with salt. With a small, sharp knife, cut the rind and pith from the lemon; quarter the flesh and remove the seeds. Process the lemon (including the rind and the), oil, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a blender until very smooth. Spoon the dressing over the fish to coat completely. Sprinkle with chives and coarsely cracked black pepper.  Garnish plates with mesclun, mache or pea shoots. Serves 4