A New York Classic: Looking Back

January 4, 2017

When I wrote my own review of the (now defunct) restaurant in the New York Times, my editor refused to let me say that Ponte’s occupied the only block in New York where you could leave a camera on the front seat of your car knowing it would still be there when you returned. It was not, he said, sufficiently subtle.

I was interested to see how other reviewers handled that issue. John Canaday, as you can see, simply called the place “sinister.” Jay Jacobs, in his 1983 Gourmet review, put it slightly differently.

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And then, just as a reminder of when this review was written, here’s an ad from that issue of the magazine.

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Black Beans, Star Anise and….Beer Cookies

January 3, 2017

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Another blast from a past January.  These recipes, from the 1983 Gourmet, struck me as particularly interesting, especially for their time. Nina Simonds, who was writing a two-year long series on Chinese cooking, took time out to suggest non-Chinese ways of using classic Asian ingredients.  I was especially taken with her notion that black beans are a good substitute for black truffles (two umami ingredients), and I’m eager to try this pate.

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the steel blade grind fine the mixture in

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I like the sound of these simple short ribs too: they’re not all that different from the recipe David Tanis published in the New York Times a few weeks ago.

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And here’s a reader recipe.  Who can resist the lure of beer cookies?

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Tomorrow, for those who were intrigued by yesterday’s ad for Ponte’s, I’ll post Jay Jacobs’ fascinating review of the restaurant (which was also in this issue).  I’ve never read anything quite like it.

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Forty Years Ago Today….

January 2, 2017

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Couldn’t resist trolling through the January, 1977 issue of Gourmet, just to remind myself what a different world it was.  I found many ads for long-gone restaurants….

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Along with a reminder that in those days travel was both safe and cheap.

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Recipes, however, were often time-consuming.  This issue suggested pike quenelles with shrimp sauce (an all-day project), baked Alaska, puff pastry…. well you get the idea.

It also, however, featured this recipe for a banana cake that strikes me as both unusual and appealing.

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Winter Green

January 1, 2017

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Feeling like you need a little color?  Here are a few recipes for the easiest green of winter from the January 1985 issue of Gourmet.

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And here, for Eric, is the Margarita recipe. And then – why not? – the one the magazine printed alongside for guacamole.  Happy New Year!

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