paris breakfast

Lost in Paris. Woke up this morning at Rue Martel in the shuttered dark room, left virtually untouched after my late arrival. I fell straight into bed and didn't move all night. 

This morning I opened the shutters and the light streamed in from the courtyard where marigold and geranium pots lined the ledge. Coffee was a priority. I dressed and walked up the somewhat familiar Rue de Faubourg St Denis until I came upon Chez Jeanette. 

After my coffee I wandered to Jules and  bought a baguette, jambon and some tomme. On the way home I spied these beautiful green plums and raw hazelnuts.

Breakfast day one:

green plums

tomme with raw hazelnuts

rhubarb yogurt

jambon buerre and baguette

for the love of Pho

Hungry Ghost Contributor Julian Richards writes in from Saigon. Read his tongue twisting tale of Pho.

First morning in Saigon, alone.  Asian jet-lag is akin to being forcep-birthed underwater: thoughts percolate but become slurry en route to the mouth.  Lips are earthworms, eyes jaundiced lychees webbed with capillaries, moist fish balls.  Gerbil tongue.  Moss teeth.  I slither down the staircase of my one-star on Búi Viện, thin haired, darkly bespectacled and retaining water, like a cheap, hungover Elton John.  Out onto the street into a seething pirhana-shoal of motor-scooters.  A suety white man perhaps five years my senior is instantly, mercilessly sideswiped a mere 10 feet from where I stand. He goes down hard, flopping like a carp.  I turn round and go back into my hotel.  The receptionist and her friend look at me gravely.  "Phở", they say.


rainy day hash

This morning amid the torrential downpour, en route to a shoot in Cobble Hill Brooklyn, I suddenly saw a bright spot in an otherwise grey day, Mile End (a Montreal Jewish delicatessen in Brooklyn). I had heard that Mile End had some killer brisket hash. I have had the cured smoked beef brisket sandwich on another rainy day... (rain being the secret to no line at Mile End). Let me tell you, neither the sandwich nor the hash disappoint!

We pulled up, ran in and got three orders to go to share at our shoot. It was all we could do to barely contain ourselves long enough to take this photo before diving in like the vultures we sometimes are.

Our brisket hash arrived in a toasty little brown box, steaming with tiny cubes of perfectly cooked potatoes and larger pieces of sweet onion accompanied by two sunny side up well-seasoned eggs and a pile of smokey meat. What's not to love on this otherwise gloomy day?

If you aren't able to make it to Cobble Hill, you can find them at the Brooklyn Flea on Sundays in Williamsburg.  

Mile End Menu 

I love a place with Lambruso and brisket!

marlow .. again

Last night I had the most delicious hand cut pasta with a smokey pancetta and tomato sauce (with a little kick) at Marlow and Sons in Williamsburg. Marlow is my go-to staple, so it will appear here quite often! We shared the pasta, a baby kale salad with a fried farm fresh egg dressed with lemon and olive oil, sour dough croutons and a shaving of parmesan. We also shared a crostini with ramp cream cheese and poached rhubarb and salad of mustard greens with shaved fennel and red onion... (Unfortunately there is no photo because we just ate it up so quickly!) It was the perfect comfort food for a chilly spring evening.

Osteria Morini

 It is no secret that the food of Emiglia Romagna is some of the best in the world. It is a secret however, that the best time to sample some is lunchtime in New York City at Osteria Morini. Morini is a relative newcomer to the Soho/Noho neighborhood, opening just seven months ago, but bound to be here for the long run and to become, like the food it represents, a classic.

I am freelance, and on the very, and I mean VERY, rare occaision that I finish early, I like to have lunch somewhere out. It feels very civilized and mildly European to sit and have a glass of wine in the middle of the day. It's kind of satsifying, like playing hookey.

Yesterday, as luck would have it, I finished early. So I snuck off to Osteria Morini with my friend Meredith for just one of these lunches. I have been to Morini at night and it is quite crowded and hard to get a table. We walked right in at 2pm and although there were many open tables we decided to sit at the bar and have an appetizer or two.

We sat at the bar and ordered a glass of wine. We are both of similiar minds in our wine preference. We were looking for something a little earthy, smokey and dirty. We found our perfect wine in a Chianti Ruffina, a biodynamic wine with black forest fruits fine chalky tannins and a  little earth.

We shared some mortadella and proccuito polpettine, made with pork and veal and served in a little bowl of tomato sauce. They were so tasy! It brought me right back to my grandmothers house and that smell of sauce that I think has  permanently altered my DNA. That particular smell and taste is home to to me. It conjures up my Nonna in her house dress, her transluscent skinned hand waving that spoon full of sauce in front of me, as I am allowed one little taste, but what a perfect taste it always was. My grandmother was very funny because she could never just sample the pasta to see if it was done, she always had to take a little pasta put a pinch of sauce add one meatball and a little bit of pecorino and taste it all together... this is what Morini's polpettine reminded me of, home.

We then shared a porchetta sandwich of thinly sliced roasted pork with with balsamic pickled onions a salsa verde, arugula and a lardo pesto. It was the perfect amount of food for a midday lunch on rainy spring day.



I have to add that after going the other day...I became obsessed with those meatballs. I had a lunch plan this week with a friend and her daughter. I suggested Morini. Initially she was worried that it might be too crowded or fancy for a toddler as her daughter is just two and a half, but I assured her that it would be fine. We discovered  not only is Morini a great secret spot for lunch, but that it is also really kid friendly! The staff was super nice, they had a booster seat and there were plenty of things for her to eat. She chose a proscuitto and cheese panini and some mozzarella with rosemary olive oil and grapes... we shared the homemade tagliatelle with ragu antica and then finished it off with a panna cotta (served in a little mason jar) with bitter orange marmalade and salty pistachios.


Last night, while it threatened to snow on the second evening of Spring, I had a cozy dinner with a group of friends and photographers in a tiny airstream tucked away behind Diner and Marlow in Williamsburg.  I had heard tell of this little gem but never had the occasion to eat there. The airstream can accommodate  about 22 people, can only be booked for a private dinner and is super cute. It is fashioned with a wood stove took that the chill out of the early spring evening. Time  flew by too quickly, while the plates of food kept coming seamlessly towards us. From the moment I stepped into that little trailer, a glowing sliver pod  against the night sky, I felt transported. The wafts of woodsmoke amidst the din of conversation whirling about, made me feel like I was Upstate. After too much food and drink i made my way back across the bridge and plopped into my cozy bed. A perfect evening.

 To book the airstream just call them up. do it now!. The airstream is seasonal and is only available in the colder months of the year.