City Farmers Markets

Although it’s always great to get out to the Long Island farms for colorful late summer treats, we have our own weekly farmers markets just up or down the street.




Greenmarkets on Sundays behind the Natural History Museum. Further uptown 97th & Broadway on Fridays. And. Thursdays 66th & Columbus.

Local fare from Upstate and New England. Pricey. Yes. Yet. So Fresh.

Photos by G. Levine
81st & Columbus

Iron Art

fenceBeautiful iron work makes artful fences and good neighbors.

In Quests de Cuisine, recent NYC restaurant scene~  our “Picks & Pans”.

Gotta get out and away from the political fray. Old friends & crispy Fall days. That’s the way to stay sane.

That and SNL with Alec Baldwin & Bruno Mars. Still think Kate McKinnon should stand-in for Hillary in the last debate.

Temporary cures for TTSD.

Cuban Sandwich Picadillo

It’s the Cubano Dos and El Trumpo now. Rubio. Cruz. The Cuban crusts. Tricky Ted’s dirty tactics and Nixonian sneer harken back to the Bebe Rebozo corruption days. Marco el Rubio, not really. He’s not blond. But, as his SuperPac says, he is like Harry Potter to Donald’s Voldemort. Well. Sort of. Young and impressionable yes. NeoCons’ new rube.

Then there’s all those slices of ham in the middle. With lots of cheesey drippings. Spicy sauce. And most of the votes.

Recovered Scraps

Parts Unknown this season resurrects America’s wasted past. Bourdain’s recent tour to Vietnam was hard to watch. Reminded how many contemporaries lost so much there. As did they. Why? In Iran this week, Anthony was able to get a rare glimpse of attractive, modern, vibrant families at sumptuous if vigilant tables. Where a mystery action can render a journalist couple jailed. It also shone the light on how U.S. sanctions and old transgressions deeply affect everyday life.

Election over. Can we stop talking about gender and race, now. Please. And focus on competence and governing. What? I woke up from my nap. Nevermind.

Summer Bouillabaise

As bombs and missiles explode, Wednesday Florence farmer’s market fills the heart with much-needed comfort. So lucky that freshest ingredients still exist in these parts. Mark Bittman points out in today’s NYTimes column “French Food Goes Down”, that even the quality of the most coveted cuisine in the world has declined. Frozen chicken, days-old fish. It’s sad. “Fait maison”  signs used to signify regional reliable staples of home cooking. That has gone by the wayside in restaurants of both France and America. Another reason to rely on local produce, fishmongers, butchers.  “Fait maison” from your own kitchen.

For bouillabaisse, find the freshest vegetables, firm fish, clams and simmer in its own essence. Blend in some melon for sweetness. Get a fresh baguette from Bread Euphoria. Better than anything along the byways of Provence these days. RecipeDetours. Bon weekend.

Bon Appétit 2013

The year has yielded mostly 3-star fare around our ‘hood. The Farm Table in Bernardston is fine for lunch outdoors or at the bar. Risotto and wine list worth the trip. Lord Jeffrey Inn’s renovation in Amherst a success, 30 Boltwood cocktail lounge indoors and out, comfy booths, sophisticated supper.

Best restaurants and cuisine remain in Manhattan. Lucky to go often. Classic standbys still great. Da Silvano.  Lure Fishbar.  Gramercy Tavern. Bourdain’s Les Halles. Nobu Next Door. 25-year favorite Gotham Bar & Grill fell from grace. Best new find in the Flatiron Maysville. Mediocre Village’s Blue Hill. Don’t ever bother with Dos Caminos or Atlantic Grill.

Berkshires have consistent spots. On a trip to Great Barrington to seek out Blue Hill Farm, stopped for another visit to Café Adam which had since moved. Gazpacho fresco superb. Bistro Zinc in Lenox always savory burger frites.

Rave reviews from Barcelona~ Sensi Tapas, Arcano, Bodega 1900 liquid olives by Albert Adrià. Bon profit!IMG_5487-1