Tag Archives: sustainable restaurants

canteen has great british food: apricot cobbler, mushroom pie, and other surprises

apricot cobbler with custard from canteen

if my keyboard shorts out from all the drool slowly dripping from my mouth, i fully blame canteen and this ridiculous apricot cobbler.  good lord. this dessert is amazing. warm jammy apricot, fluffy sweet breadiness and your very own mini pitcher of creamy custard. mmmmmmmm. as if things can’t get any better, i spy a neal’s yard dairy cheese plate behind it….

i’ve had a wonderful deluge of visitors over the past few weeks (christine, ant, mom, aunt julia and uncle dick, lexi, sarah, peter, drewstew, becky, and dan…whew!) and our major tourist activity has been eating our way across the city. i enjoy forcefully disabusing people of the all-too-common belief that england has terrible food by shoving something amazing in their mouths.  the old spitalfields market location of canteen turned out to be the perfect restaurant to put this tragically untrue myth to rest once and for all, seeing as their motto is ‘great british food.’ but just how great it was even surprised me too.

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a happy birthday at hazelnut kitchen

Over the weekend, Daniel and I made the twenty-minute drive to Trumansburg, NY to dine at the lovely Hazelnut Kitchen. As you may know, the Ithaca/Finger Lakes area is a destination for foodies who love semi-rural areas, beautiful scenery, and local, sustainable, organictastic food (and wine, but I don’t know anything about that, this being my 19th birthday…). Apologies in advance for the sort of bad pictures. The camera was on the verge of dying, and then it did, right before dessert…I’m new here.

The restaurant was tucked away, almost invisible on the main street, small and homey with a bar and a view of the kitchen. They serve Gimme! coffee and the menu lists all the farms they buy products from, including goat cheese producers, apiaries, and so on.

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That there is the specials blackboard, and a view of the exposed brick walls. 

I’ll get straight to the good stuff. First, bread and appetizers. 

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The bread came in a little metal pail with green onion butter. It was excellent.

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Daniel started with a calamari watercress salad with black olive vinaigrette, feta, wheat berries, and red pepper coulis. Pretty!

hazelnut-egg

I had this genius creation, which I could literally eat every day for the rest of my life. Bottom layer of semolina pasta sheet. Middle layer of smoked ham, ricotta cheese, and garlicky broccoli rabe. Blanket of sunny-side-up organic farm egg. Be still my heart. Be growly my stomach.

Our entree escapades were equally fruitful, or, perhaps more accurately, meatful. Daniel killed some pan seared duck with plum miso sauce, grilled asparagus, snap peas, and baby carrots, and I housed down a roasted, natural, pasture-raised chicken breast wrapped in the most crisp and delightful bacon I’ve ever eaten, over a vinaigrette bread salad with green onion-wrapped asparagus. Feast your eyes. 

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Bonus points for a crispy little bit of thigh on the chicken as well. You can see it peeking out from behind that green onion. Hello, friend.

Dan and I finished the meal with triple espresso chocolate cake and a warm apple galette, both with amazing vanilla ice cream. Alas, I have no pictures, but I think I’ve probably tortured you enough already.

When will I return to Trumansburg, and bring you with me, you ask? 

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May 3 for the chicken BBQ. Buy your bus tickets now.

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incanto, sustainability, and the connection between foie gras and self-determinism

for me, an important part of this blog is to consider the idea of ‘sustainability’ in food. sustainable is a word i use often, despite the complexity of issues surrounding the idea of sustainable eating and the difficulty of even defining the word as used to describe food and food production. the owners of incanto, where i ate last week,  address this topic and much more in a lengthy letter on their website entitled Shock and Foie: The War Against Dietary Self-Determinism.

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warning: explicit ‘head to tail’ food pornography ahead

no, that’s not a kinky fetish subcategory at the adult video store on mission street.  get your mind out of the gutter.

i’m just emerging from a weekend full of some serious meat eating. i just finished poring over the meat issue of edible San Francisco magazine last week and then serendipitously found myself in several places serving kickass sustainable meat. yeeeeeaaah.

for example, incanto in  noe valley has won a bunch of awards for their sustainable practices. check out their website for a whole write-up on their attempts to respect animals and the environment,  including only buying humanely raised and killed animals, obsessively recycling, growing their own herbs, and using all parts of the animal in true ‘head to tail’ fashion.

what’s included in head to tail? we started off with asparagus, poached eggs and sweetbreads. mmm…nothing says tasty like thymus gland.

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