Thursday, April 28, 2011

for Sonali

Kale Chips:

Roughly chop two large heads of kale, cavalo nero or curly kale.  Toss with two tablespoons of olive oil.  Add one tablespoon of kosher salt and as much freshly ground black pepper as you think you can handle. I like them spicy!  (Sometimes when I'm in the mood, I also add a palmful of sesame seeds to the mix.)

Roast at 400 degrees for 6 minutes.  Open oven and toss lightly.  Might need 2-4 additional minutes of baking depending on your oven and the kale.   You are looking for it to be crispy, but it can easily burn if you are not careful. Stay in the kitchen and check every one-two minutes. Remove from the oven. Let sit on the counter to cool before storing in an airproof container. Although we've never had any left over.
* I have also read that you can bake them at a lower temperature for a longer time.  If you'd prefer that method which has a lower babysitting need, look around online for the timing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


As expected, a full review of Alinea would be too much. 22 courses of pure joy, fun and anticipation. Some courses were one bite; such as the truffle explosion, a single ravioli on a spoon filled with the most intense truffle flavor ever. Instructed by the waiter to close our mouths while chewing, lest we lose the filling on the table.

This course was a lemongrass infusion, refreshing, floral, aromatic. Most of all creative.

Some courses were more substantial. Rabbit three ways was comprised of a dish with three compartments, each a different interpretation of the same main ingredients. Least favorite for us was the dish we assumed to be a tasting from Achatz's new place, Next. He is premiering with a Parisian menu from 1906. Not that it wasn't delicious, it just felt out of place, and didn't flow with the remainder of the meal.

I'll leave you with dessert. Only at Alinea would the chefs come to your table and grafitti a (nitrogen) ice cream sundae. Not only that, but when they poured some of the sauces onto the table, they came out as squares as you can see below. Confounded by this we tried to sneak some secrets out of the waiter to no avail. We were most certainly too full to eat this dessert, but after toasting to excess, we were not about to hold back.

A masterpiece.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Dear Mama,

Every day that passes I miss you more and more because you have missed more and more of our lives. And although in some sense the intense pain has subsided slightly, your absence looms larger than ever.

This weekend we are headed to Chicago for a distraction from our daily routine. Making this trip special is our reservation at Alinea, a world renown restaurant known for incorporating the mind along with all five senses to interpret a dish. It is a once in a lifetime experience, one that I wish I could share with you. I don't want to be an obnoxious blogger/poser at Alinea. So although I might try to snap one picture of one of the 22 courses, I will write more of an emotional review than a blow-by-blow.

I know that you wouldn't want me to be silent forever. So I dedicate these writings to you, my muse.

With undying love,