Owing to a misspent youth and for reasons I’d rather not get into, I have no taste whatever for blended Scotch whiskeys. Thus the dearth of Scotch-based cocktails during the Friday Cocktail Hour. But there are some fine Scotch-based elixirs that deserve attention, such as the classic Rob Roy, inspired by a 19th-century Broadway show. This was a tradition back then, naming drinks after shows—a tradition worth reviving, I think.  How about it, mixers out there? Give me a Kinky Boots! Or go downtown with a Designated Mourner. Or my fave theater experience of the year, also at the Public Theater, Here Lies Love. I’d love to hear that uttered at a bar. “What’ll it be, pal?” “Here Lies Love.” “Comin’ right up.” Herewith, a true classic, served in classic proportions. I am forced by my Read On »

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  Bourdain is waiting at the appointed rendezvous in the Nevada dessert. I’m in a 1970 Olds Cutlass “acquired” for me by a Vegas associate. I didn’t ask questions. Bourdain against the arid landscape is a sight that fills me with a mixture of excitement and fear (but not loathing). He and the intrepid Zero Point Zero production team have brought me here to help Tony explore different sides of this morass of humanity—more precisely, those who serve that morass. But Bourdain has a penchant for getting me into trouble. Carol Blymire texted that she has bail money ready, say the word. Remember, I had to make a quick getaway in the “No Reservations” Las Vegas episode, for those who missed that one. But Tony’s here to explore different sides of Vegas, ones less often covered. I Read On »

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Back to New Orleans, where cocktails seem to be bursting from the seams. While Michael is carousing in Vegas, this week’s Friday Cocktail Hour is a guest post from Bellocq‘s sister saloon Cure (@cureNOLA), which is also located in New Orleans. Cure is yet another creation of the cocktail minds of Kirk Estopinal and Neal Bodenheimer. It was inspired by the historical period when cocktails grew out of medicine and home remedies. Their concept is to have their guests step a bit into the past while they have a libation and a quick nibble that are both healthful and enjoyable. With the fall arriving, Neal Bodenheimer wanted to share with us his creation, For Whom the Sun Rises, which is a twist on the Hemingway Daiquiri.—EJ By  Neal Bodenheimer For Whom the Sun Rises started out as a thought Read On »

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Just back from great Chefs Collaborative event in Charleston, SC, and now must head to Vegas, my favorite city on earth (not—but a call from an old friend presented an offer I couldn’t refuse), then on to book events in New York and Miami. So I’m not doing much cooking, or blogging. But I love this soup, which I posted about last year, and it represents a good basic technique for any soup like it. November is the perfect month to make it, especially here in the Midwest with a cold, wet front about to move through, and it’s a great nutritious meal to cook for your family. —M.R. Weekend before last, I bought, among other things, a butternut squash at the farmers’ market. I had not intended to buy it, but it beckoned. It is Read On »

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I am at the Chefs Collaborative in Charleston, about which I will write more. So in light of the new book Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, I’m reposting what has become one of the most clicked-on posts on this site. That it is a mac and cheese variation speaks to the fact of how beloved it is. Needless to say, raise the quality of your cheese and you make this dish stellar. I needed a dinner that was easy and delicious, would please everyone, one that also reheated well in case my daughter’s track meet ran late, and I had to be able to make it long before serving so it would be just a matter of reheating come dinnertime. There are of course a thousand options that fit these criteria, but last week, Read On »

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