signs of the season | whole foods
do any of you locals remember the maisonette, or la normandie? i’m sure you do - either you’ve had the opportunity to dine at one, or both, or at least have heard of them. the maisonette had the longest-running 5-star rating in the country! i think that in itself speaks a lot to the heyday of cincinnati. it had been more than 10 years since they closed, and their former spaces remained unoccupied until now.
chef and restauranteur, david falk, ignited the transformation of these beloved spaces. he moved boca from its former location in oakley to the old maisonette space, and opened a new restaurant, sotto, in the former basement space of la normandie.
this post shares specifically about our dinner at sotto; we had:
- bruschetta (roasted lemons with …? it’st been a few months and i forgot to take note what this was - the current menu on their website has been updated)
- tonnarelli cacio e pepe (butter, black pepper and pecorino)
- bistecca fiorentina (grilled Creekstone porterhouse steak with roasted potatoes and rapini)
- chocolate terrine (olive oil, smoked salt, pistachio)
we look forward to trying out boca sometime soon.
note: if you didn’t already know, chef david falk also owns nada, which is just around the corner, beside the aronoff theatre.
we had the pleasure of experiencing a treme dinner the other night at dayton’s rue dumaine. here was their menu:
- Ruth Fertel’s garlicky white shrimp remoulade
- Poppy Tooker’s crawfish calas with green garlic mayonnaise
- Cochon’s braised pig with stewed turnips and cabbage
- Bayona’s Cafe au lait pots de crème with mudslide cookies
treme cookbook author, lolis eric elie, was on hand to sign copies for purchase, and i was able to peek into our friend’s copy, and the page i turned to had chicken skin cracklings. enough said.
a few scenes from our weekend in detroit:
- egg sandwich and coffees at astro coffee in corktown
- strolled midtown shops: city bird, nest, shinola (where we tried an apple, lemon, ginger juice at the drought bar), hugh and nora
- late lunch at slows bbq before heading home
i felt sad and hopeful for the city. sad seeing so many abandoned buildings, and hopeful that locals still try, in any way they can, to lift the city up - by opening new shops, choosing to live in the city, buying local, etc
we made reservations for dinner at Salt of the Earth, on our first night in pittsburgh. chef kevin sousa is currently a semi-finalist for “Best Chef : Mid-Atlantic”, James Beard 2012, and salt was his first restaurant. opened in 2010, he has since opened two additional restaurants in early 2012: Union Pig & Chicken, and Station Street Hot Dogs.
it was early when we arrived so we chose to be seated at the counter facing the kitchen - who doesn’t like to watch pros prep and cook?? it took a lot for me to not to break the chefs focus, and engage them in conversation; thankfully, the dishes they served up required my full attention.
- steak tartare (mussels, cilantro, nuoc cham, peanuts)
- agnolotti (chicken, pork, pistou)
- chicken (arepas, beans, pork, apricot, cashew)
- cheese (bleu, almond, coffee, peach)
- rye (Rittenhouse, peach, Becherovka, Averna, lemon)
- n/a (yuzu, papaya, mango, lime)
- noble blend - lily pilly
each dish was plated beautifully in these large plates and bowls that served as canvases for art. my favorite has to be the cheese dish - not just for its look, but also the flavors and textures. it is my current favorite dessert!