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.

Tastes of the Week

Welcome to a new feature on my blog.  Every weekend I'll be re-capping the special things I ate, drank, or cooked the previous week. Here's the first installment -- posted Sunday, June 20th.  Please feel free to share your experiences.  I am always interested!  Let me know about any wonderful wine-and-food pairing discoveries, great things you ate, wonderful new recipes you cooked, or any new ingredients you've tried.  And I'm always on the lookout for wonderful three-ingredient recipe ideas and radically simple ones, too. For the week of June 13, 2011:

A fabulous dessert at Barbounia called kanafeh -- made of warm shredded phyllo, ricotta cheese, rose-water syrup, pistachios & honey with anise ice cream.

A glass of tocai friulano at Sfoglia (great with their crispy roast chicken under a brick).

A big plate of sauteed broccoli rabe (with a good pizza) at Zero Otto Nove (new location on West 21 st.).

Roast pig with bacon marmalade (fabulous!) made with beets & apples at ABC Kitchen.

Smoked corn on the cob with herb butter at the newly-opened Soco on Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn.

A ragout of oysters and mushrooms (in a creamy green crab reduction) from Hundred Acres at a party sponsored by Edible Manhattan.

The spicy tofu ssam from BaoHaus at the premiere of Ferran Adrià's new movie/documentary.