Chez Nous
Hedonist's Gazette

Dinner at Home with Friends

Some friends from France and New York City requested California wines when we entertained them in our home a while ago, and we were able to accommodate them with one exception. It was a magnificent showing for the California wines, which were all from magnum and were decanted 3 to 5 hours before being served. We started with Aubert’s 2009 Chardonnay Larry Hyde Vineyard, which was well-received by everyone for its notes of citrus oil, buttered pears and pineapples along with...

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Thanksgiving Dinner Chez Parker

Since the dressing I usually make for our Thanksgiving turkey is a sausage and Bell’s Poultry Seasoning blend with lots of sauteed onions and celery, relatively robust red wines work well with it, especially if the dressing is eaten along with gravy and turkey. I have tried lighter reds, including Beaujolais and Pinot Noir, but they never work as well as the more fiery, intense southern Rhônes. We started with a magnum of Aubert’s 2007Reuling Vineyard Chardonnay, which is made from...

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Dinner at Home with Friends from New York

Friends from New York, in addition to Dr. Big J, who I hadn’t seen in quite a while, came to lunch, and so we pulled out all the stops. The food was pretty much our standard fare, just right when you want to eat well but don’t want to do too much cooking. The great jumbo lump backfin blue channel crab was still wonderfully sweet, although it was toward the end of season in Maryland. Bryan Flannery has branched out,...

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Mother’s Day Dinner at Home

On Mother’s Day, my wife has the complete selection of the wines and given her adulation of Châteauneuf du Pape, particularly the once-in-a-lifetime vintage of 2007, that was what we drank. Those were preceded by our go to rosés for the summer, the Puech Haut Rosés from the Languedoc-Roussillon corridor. There are two cuvées, the less expensive offering is a blend of Grenache and Cinsault and the Tête de Bélier is 100% Mourvèdre. Obviously, the latter wine is made in a fuller,...

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Eastern Seaboard Story: Chez Leo

...and the darkness becomes consciousness as daylight and heat stream through the dust-stained window and the hubbub below becomes louder and louder and rifling through my battle scarred suitcase I throw on random garb ‘n grab a street map and exit into the metropolis that carries me bobbin’ down Canal Street to raggedy shops selling tacky souvenirs: “I Heart New York” t-shirts and Empire State key-rings and faulty SIM cards and then up to West Village festooned with rainbow flags...

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Dinner at Home

Dinner at home with friends included the wonderful pastrami smoked salmon from Russ and Daughters as well as some gorgeous backfin crab cakes made from Maryland crabs that are just coming into season locally that my wife sautéed in brown butter. That was accompanied by another of her specialties, long-braised chunks of Waygu chuck steak cooked in a broth of onions, mushrooms, carrots and Châteauneuf du Pape. I pulled out all the stops in order to treat these good friends...

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Dinner at Home with Friends

With some good friends, we had a casual meal celebrating my complete recovery from a total knee replacement. The sliced Joselito sliced Ibérico ham was as wonderful as one always remembers, melting in our mouths. I tried to prepare fresh scallops in the manner that Parisian bistro L’Ami Louis does, with loads of garlic and parsley. They were good, but I can’t seem to equal theirs, although of course I can’t get scallops as fresh as they do, with the...

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White Truffle Dinner at Home

This is a combination of two meals, since I bought over a pound of fresh Alba white truffles from Primizie Fine Foods, a fabulous purveyor of high-quality Italian products and seller to most of the top Italian and French restaurants in New York and New Jersey. The best way to have white truffles (and these were top-flight) is simply shaved over something warm. The only exception I make is a dish my wife came up with, which is essentially very finely...

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Dinner at Home with French Friends

With friends from France, we ate in, with my wife doing all the cooking except the Private Reserve steaks from Flannery’s Fine Foods, which I grilled. The food was classic bistro French – although they unfortunately do not have Maryland jumbo lump crabcakes in France – but simple, very pure and of impeccably high quality. I cooked the steaks very rare and, as always, they did not disappoint. Of course, I can eat jumbo lump crabmeat almost daily, as I...

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