Gerard and I once had the opportunity to lunch with Christian Millau, the most important restaurant critic in France. When he accepted our invitation, I asked him to choose the restaurant. He suggested Lapérouse (made famous for its many small lounges where the infamous dined out of public view in the works of Guy de Maupassant, Émile Zola, Victor Hugo and Le Monde reporting the secret dinner meeting between Kennedy and Khrushchev held in one of them. A new chef from the provinces had started there the week before, and Millau wanted to try him out, lamenting that the historic and beautiful establishment had not in his lifetime had a chef worthy of its magnificence. I then asked if I should tell them he was coming, and to my surprise he answered "by all means." The décor, reflecting its 1766 origins, is incredibly romantic and not very conducive to the business dealings we had to approach with him, so I started off by questioning Christian about letting the restaurant know he was coming when after all, forewarned, they were bound to put out the very best they could, which would not be a fair assessment of the restaurant.
If you want a taste of what it is like to live off the land enjoying farm to table fresh food without the toil and travail , a CSA program that enables consumers to purchase a share of a farm’s harvest is the easy answer. Members sign up with the farms in advance and then pick up their bags or boxes of fresh food, usually every week throughout the growing season. Vegetable, meat, and dairy products are offered, and while most CSA programs run from June to October, some are extending the season to offer winter or year-round shares. Some farms have a "Pick-Your-Own" option, so that you can gather your own herbs, snow peas, and cherry tomatoes. NECC will hold a CSA Fair and Potluck next Wednesday, January 28th from 5:30-7:30 at 51 South Center Street, Millerton, NY. To meet the farmers and select your share email email@example.com. A potluck dish to share—enough for 4 to 6 people—is entirely optional but very welcome. Participating farms include:
Full Circus Farm – Pine Plains, NY - vegetables
Hawk Dance Farm – Hillsdale, NY - vegetables
Herondale Farm – Ancramdale, NY – beef, chicken, lamb, pork
Since the Variety Store next to the Post Office has closed Marona's now sells The New York Times and The Daily News, Millbrook Floral Design offers balloons and greeting cards (including boxed Christmas cards) and as previously reported Punch will take in your dry cleaning. The Millbrook Pharmacy has also added greeting cards, chocolates and candles to their inventory.
Village Wine & Spirits on Front Streets is conducting wine tastings of suggested Thanksgiving wines on Saturday, November 22nd and Wednesday Nov 25th from noon to 7pm.
Former Millbrook resident, Melanie Michon recently celebrated the 6th anniversary of her HappyTails pet care business in nearby Pleasant Valley .Still providing her Millbrook clientelle with dog walks, pet sitting, "Pawjama" parties pet taxi and pet related errands. Speaking of pets, the new Groomingdale's boutique is "thrilled with the reception from Village residents". They are "learning from our customers the types of items they are interested in and making orders to carry them. It is heart warming to be able to have a small store in the Village we call home".
The sun sparkling on the fall foliage provided a picturesque welcome to the hundreds of wine lovers who bused and trained up from Manhattan or drove from Connecticut, Massachusetts and elsewhere to celebrate the harvest and buy cases of Millbrook Winery's award-winning 2013 vintage. Executive Chef Waldy Malouf, Senior Director of the Culinary Institute, instructed each of the CIA's restaurants to prepare one of its signature dishes to compliment the Millbrook wines being served at the luncheon.
The star of this year's crop of wines was Millbrook's new Reisling. My husband, Gerard, somewhat of a wine virtuoso himself, has been telling me for years that Reisling would do well here, so my interest was piqued—and even more so when I learned that it was an "Alsatian" style Dry Riesling, which is less sweet than the German variety. (In Germany adding sugar is permitted and commonplace.)
The latest addition to my kitchen works like magic. It makes two pounds of crispy French Fries with just one tablespoon of oil. Its "innovative pulsating heat technology and an automatic stirring paddle ensure even distribution of the oil." We bought it for the French Fries.
There is much confusion as to the differences among pates, terrines, and the other, similar forms of charcuterie. Even many French enthusiasts do not know the difference, due to the fact that the word "terrine" refers both to the earthenware container in which they are both cooked and one of the specific types of dishes cooked in it. The situation has been further muddled by uninformed food writers, chefs and marketing professionals who have misused the nomenclature when baptizing their creations. So I thought it was high time to get back to basics and explain it all. Here is a lexicon that will help you decipher what you are enjoying.
As the Farmers’ Market season inches to a close, many of us wonder how we will survive a winter without the great-tasting treats to which we have become accustomed. If you are focusing on those delicious pies from Ruth's Southern Classic Desserts, no need to fret. Just a hop, skip and a jump (or ten- minute ride) will take you to the heart of downtown Pleasant Valley, where Ruth maintains her shop next to neighbors Marion's Spa and Dollar General. Entering the cozy 700-square-foot storefront feels more like visiting someone's home. The couches invite you to sit and just look around to take in the decor. Music plays; authentic pictures of early 1900s mothers, wedding couples and family portraits catch your eye, and Ruth offers you some coffee or tea in antique china cups. The decor exudes charm. It is busy with heirlooms that customers have donated to create this unique and intriguing atmosphere.
More than 100 food lovers gathered at the famous club to enjoy a selection of fine foods from the Hudson Valley. Chef David Haviland—raised in Cortlandt Manor, a graduate of the CIA in Hyde Park and chef at Tarrytown's renowned Equus restaurant at Castle on the Hudson—is no stranger to the bounty of the farm-to-table movement in the Hudson Valley. He specializes in creating dishes that feature the best of HV products and invited a number of his purveyors to participate in this special dinner. Among the numerous dishes served were many of our favorites: