I’ve spent 11 years as a dining critic at two newspapers, most recently Newsday; I occasionally review books as well. Here are a few from the dozens I’ve written over the years.
It’s Friday night inside Small Batch, the hour when noise levels spike precipitously. Just as our dinner plates are being cleared, a party of four reaches a nearby table and crane their necks toward the open kitchen to catch a glimpse of a familiar face they know from television.
By any measure, Frank Abbracciamento had earned his retirement. For decades, the 70-something ran a sprawling Italian restaurant on the Canarsie pier, overlooking Jamaica Bay, that became a touchpoint for a generation of families, politicians and others.
“I’m not eating any fish,” half-joked a family friend one night at Anker, scanning a menu that listed — well, mostly fish. We were seated on the roof patio, feeling a little as if we were on the deck of a yacht.
The time warp begins moments after I heave open the door to Peter Luger and stumble in from the rain. The hostess glances up with a world-weary look, checks the reservation, then cuts to the chase. “You’re aware, no credit cards?”
Steakhouses are as indigenous as can be to New York, tracing their roots back to the frenetic, smoky chophouses of 19th-century Manhattan. Back then, servers screamed orders such as “Three beef, 8!” and chops flew from kitchen to booth with a speed approaching light — and you ate them just as quickly.
“I know you. I know you! How do I know you?” This is what John Rao said as he intercepted me during two of my three visits to Pizzeria Verità, forgetting who I was from one visit to the next, or that I had interviewed him back while he was still planning Burlington’s newest pizzeria.
Light my fire: Hen of the Wood in Burlington Seven Days
“Did you see the pig in the window?” asked my friend as he returned from the bathroom. He seemed both fascinated and slightly horrified. I had.
It’s a brave new world for vegetables. Though my own meat-free days were short-lived, I once subsisted on the pabulum of veggie stir-fries and avocado sandwiches.
For a chef, opening a second restaurant after your first has become famous imposes something akin to the pressure of a sophomore album. That may account for the diminutive street presence of Le Bremner, the new Old Montréal eatery from chef Chuck Hughes…
Perhaps no drink has as charged a back story as coffee. Each sip is the improbable result of a complicated supply chain that sometimes wends its way back to the world’s poorest or most troubled regions: Honduras, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea.
Late last year, scores of people received DNA testing kits as holiday gifts; ancestry.com sold 1.5 million of them between Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone. Each instructs its user to spit into a vial, send that vial off to lab for testing and await your genealogical results.
Victoria James spills tea about the wine world Kirkus Reviews
Victoria James didn’t necessarily intend to stride into the midst of the #MeToo movement when she began writing a memoir five years ago.