I think you know that when an American stays away from New York too long something happens to him. Perhaps he becomes a little provincial, a little dead and afraid.
New York is a great Christmas city–maybe you’re planning a little trip to see the windows and holiday decorations. And of course, to shop.
This book will help you avoid the recently invaded 5th Avenue, and find your comfort food, whatever it may be. Maybe it’s the artisanal expertise that goes into making Laduree macarons or the egg tart pastries at Lung Moon Bakery. Perhaps you’re looking to set an ecumenical brunch table with Kosser’s bialys and Sahadi’s pickled vegetables.
Go high end at the Bellocq Tea Atelier or home comfort at Make My Cake. Keep it old school ethnic at the Bari Pork Store, Pastosa Ravioli, and Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices. Or opt for hipster cool at Mast Brother’s Chocolate and Momofuku Milk Bar. God, I love immigrants!
Susan Meisel and Nathalie Sann have done the leg work. I’ll bet they’ve gone through numerous reusable shopping bags to write this book. But their effort was more than about writing the book. “We’ve met people who are the best (perhaps the best anywhere) at what they do. And while they may have achieved neither notoriety nor wealth, they have derived enormous satisfaction from their pursuit and achievement of unmatched excellence.”
Those sentences give me chills–puts me in mind of what’s really important. And if we can take a little of that skill and excellence to our tables, to share with friends and family, who cares how much it costs per pound.
You can make your own attempts at excellence with the recipes included–Oeufs en Muerette from the Burgundy Wine Company, Despana’s Salmorejo, or (if you must) Baklava from Artopolis.
Better yet, get out, talk to people, smell things, taste stuff, find a new favorite and a new friend. Food makes it easy, and it’s more important now than ever.