In Food on March 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm
There are plenty of things I covet in this world—Charlotte Gainsbourg’s effortless ability to wear Balenciaga, a Chelsea townhouse in London, the ability to endure a musical—but when it comes to my friends, I envy no one else. Two weeks ago we brought our second son home from the hospital, and I’ve never been happier. Looking at my two beautiful boys, I just don’t know that it gets any better than this. But as much as I love the mornings with both my boys snuggled up in bed, when dinner time rolls around I’m at a total loss. Fortunately, I have the most generous friends in the world! You should see the basket full of delicious goodies from Joans on Third, pastries from Huckleberry, pizza and budino from Pizzeria Mozza delivered by Lizzie and Matt, the Moroccan braised chicken from my friend Vanessa or the Italian Wedding Soup that Carrie dropped off (a soup so delicious that I fear my husband might leave me for Carrie and her soup). My friend Hugh knowingly brought by a bottle of gin and several limes. And then there were the meatballs.
Last Friday, the enchanting Carolynn Carreño dropped off three containers of large meatballs swimming in sauce, along with some semolina toasts and garlic butter. If these meatballs look suspiciously and deliciously similar to those served at Mozza, there’s a reason. Carolynn cowrote The Mozza Cookbook with Nancy Silverton and worked tirelessly testing and retesting recipes so that they would translate to the home cook. (If you don’t already have the book, you need it if only for the meatball recipe alone.) Made with pork, veal and ground pancetta, these meatballs are pure love.
Next to family, there is nothing better in this world than a good friend. Especially if that friend makes meatballs.
In Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on November 21, 2009 at 1:30 pm
Last night we went to my friend Andrea’s birthday party, for which the invitation beckoned “Learn how to make burrata. Or just eat it.” I’m pretty much in awe of what we witnessed last night, which started with Mimmo Bruno—who supplies all the better joints in town with burrata, and in fact is credited with bringing burrata to LA a decade ago—filling pouches of mozzarella with curd and runny cream imported from Parma. (To read more about Mimmo, check out Lesley Bargar Suter’s story in this month’s Los Angeles Magazine, page 136.) If you want to try some of Mimmo’s handiwork, Mozza2Go sells his formaggio, or you can order next door at the mozzarella bar. Words cannot describe how freaking fantastic burrata tastes at the hands of the master. Below: the curd, the cream, the hands, the man.
The birthday girl and our friend Carolynn assisted, as well as making some incredible peperonata (sweet peppers, onions, garlic), braised artichokes, pesto and an insane currant pine-nut relish from the book Carolynn co-authored with Mozza‘s Nancy Silverton, A Twist of the Wrist. There was also a grilled beef tagliata inspired by Mozza’s dish. With friends like these, who needs dessert? (And of course there was dessert—a heavenly chocolate devil’s food cake with chocolate mousse layers from Susina Bakery on Beverly.) Here’s to wonderful friends old and new, to a beautiful evening, and an even more beautiful birthday girl! Happy Birthday, Andrea!
In Drink, Recipes on March 15, 2009 at 7:29 pm
Last night, my husband and I snuck out to Osteria Mozza for a late bite while my mother watched a sleeping Tiny G. Our server asked if we wanted to start with a cocktail, so my husband ordered his standard vodka tonic, while I ordered an Americano. (For Bond fans, and I am a rabid one, it is the first cocktail that Bond orders in Ian Fleming’s novel, Casino Royale.) Made of equal parts of Campari and Cinzano Rosso vermouth with a splash of club soda and a slice of orange, it’s a perfect apéritif—the pleasant bitterness stimulates the appetite without overpowering.
So imagine my surprise when the server instead delivered a mug of caffè americano. I’ve never had a cup of coffee be such a buzzkill in my entire life. I guess this is a sure sign that Starbucks is indeed taking over the world, one osteria at a time.
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce sweet (or red) vermouth
Orange slice or twist
Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes. Pour in Campari and sweet vermouth. Top with club soda and an orange twist. Serve.
In Drink on March 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm
Q: What’s the fastest way to ruin a cocktail and get a hangover?
A: Cheap tonic. It is loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, and just destroys a cocktail. Not to mention that sugar + alcohol = the fastest way to get a hangover. Alcohol already spikes your blood sugar, and add to that all that syrupy sweetness and it sends your metabolism into overdrive, depleting your supplies of vitamin B and giving you a headache to end all others.
Solution: Q Tonic water. Not only does it taste exceptionally clean and fresh with just a touch of pleasant bitterness and subtle sweetness, but it uses all-natural ingredients such as Peruvian quinine and organic Mexican agave nectar as a sweetener. But here’s the clincher: it has 60% less sugar than regular tonic water (and almost 80% less than Schwepps tonic)!
We picked some up at Surfas in Culver City a few weeks ago, but have seen it at Larchmont Wine & Spirits, and behind the bar at Osteria Mozza and Hungry Cat. We got the 750ml bottle with the Champagne cork because, let’s face it, we knew were going to finish it—plus I’m magnetically drawn to anything with a Champagne cork. However, it’s also available in 4-packs of 187ml bottles with crown caps. Yep, it’s spendy at around $10/bottle (ditto for 4-pack), but is just plain fantastic in a gin or vodka tonic, and just as soon as I can get my hands on some good strawberries, I plan to try using it to riff off one of my all-time faves, the Pimms Cup.