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Our next project: Verjus [update]

September 30, 2011

Three weeks ago we hosted an opening night for friends and family at our new wine bar attached to our -soon to be open- restaurant. That same morning the city of Paris denied our restaurant license based on our VISA status. No license meant no serving food, no serving booze, no fun.

In the weeks that followed there were lots of tears, lots of lawyers, lots of paperwork as well as sympathy bottles of wine from Tim at Juveniles, sympathy bottles of champagne from Mark at Willie’s and sympathy sandwiches cooked up by Juan from La Derniere Goutte.

So with license in hand, ovens fired up, plates stacked and glasses polished, let’s see what other kind of drama we can get into. Verjus, our upcoming restaurant, will be opening in a month. Verjus Bar à vin opens this Tuesday October 4th and will continue to be open Tuesdays – Saturdays from 6pm to 11pm.

[update] We said September 12th, then we said October 4th, now we are saying Wednesday October 19th and we expect that you will believe us? We’ll, we are prepping some yummy bar snacks, opening some tasty bottles of wine and flipping the switch on the outside lights. So unless some killer squirrels from Palais Royal attack us or epic floods engulf the entire city of Paris, we will be open. We we hope that you will take our word this time and drop by Wednesday to say hello.

Hope to see you all soon,

Braden and Laura

Protected: Veggie Tasting Menu @ Bob’s Kitchen

June 11, 2011

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Crispity… Crunchity… Pork Belly!

May 25, 2011

For all the people who asked… sorry it took me so long. 

Pork belly is a Hidden Kitchen favorite. It’s a great choice for dinner parties because most of the work can be done in advance and the slabs of belly can be cut to any size. We normally serve our belly with pickled or acidic things to cut through some of the fat. Our favorite paired ingredients are the pickled garden chilies pictured above (with raw baby leeks), capers, artichoke hearts, olives or tart cherries. Like bacon though, pork belly goes well with pretty much anything.


White Salad

January 8, 2011


Usually around the first or second week of December, the lettuce farmers in Eastern Washington would stop bringing the greens we needed for the Dahlia’s mixed green salad. This change signaled the change of seasons, but also for us, the return of the white salad. Regulars at the Dahlia would come back just to order this tasty mix of readily available sturdy winter vegetables with a dressing of heavy truffle oil,salty parmesan and tangy lemon juice.

I personally love this salad because the vegetables are hardy enough to sit in a salad bowl at the table without going limp and droopy like a salad of leafy greens tends to do. The greatness of the salad rests largely on the white truffle oil and finding a great white truffle can sometimes be difficult.


“Making America Proud”

December 12, 2010


At a recent dinner a Frenchman leaned over to me and said, “you have made America proud with this dish!” The extolled dish was our rehashing of an American classic, the baked potato.

As we saw it, the perfect baked potato had six essential elements; potato, bacon, broccoli, chives, sour cream and cheese. Each of these six components served a specific function in the overall success of a dish; potato for neutral volume, bacon for salt, broccoli for refreshing bite, chives for cleansing, sour cream for tang and cheese another form of salt and a somewhat unctuous mouthfeel.


Menu: November 2nd 2010

November 2, 2010


Roasted Parsnip and
Garlic Soup w Brown Butter
Pears and Wild Rice

Cardoon Agnolotti w
Preserved Lemon,
Clams, Scallops and Radish

Braised Mushrooms w
Chestnut Cream and
Poached Quail Egg

Palate Cleanser

Rabbit Pot Pie w
Root Vegetables
and Mustard Cream

Crispy Pork Belly
w Charred Broccoli
and White Cheddar

Shaved Fennel Salad
w Grapefruit, Olive, Tarragon
and Roquefort

Goat Cheese Mouse w
Oatmeal Graham Crust
and Persimmon Ice Cream


Menu: September 25th 2010

September 29, 2010


Roasted Squash Soup w
Smoked Pear, Pumpernickel &
Shaved Fennel

Fig and Anchovy Tart w
Cornmeal Crust, Arugula &
Pickled Roman Cauliflower

Saffron Linguini w
Roasted Mussels, Clams &
Brussels Sprouts

Palate Cleanser

Crispy Pork Belly w Walnut
& Turnip Puree, Caramelized Spinach &
Pickled Chilies

Duck Sausage w
Red Wine Risotto, Braised Chard &
Baked Muscat Grapes

Roasted Pumpkin Salad w
Pomegranates, Parsley &
Goat Cheese

Chestnut Cake w
Poached Plums, Cheddar Crumble &
Chai Tea Ice Cream

Coffee and Cookies

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

September 14, 2010


I have tried to shy away from frying things. It isn’t the health concerns that I fear. It isn’t the danger of oil fires either. It’s simply that when you fry even the smallest thing in your home it makes your place smell like McDonalds for days afterwards.

That being said, as an American I can only go so long before the siren song of ultra crispy crust and moist and juicy meat gets me dusting off our fryer or heavy bottomed pan and filling it with liters of oil.


Carnitas and Tequila Red Onions

August 23, 2010


For as much as I love the cuisine and the culture, I have only been to Mexico once. It was my sophomore year of college and a friend’s parents were invited to stay in a suite at the newly built Aqua for it’s opening week. When the Mexican tourism board offered them a second suite for the week, we eagerly agreed to join in as guinea pigs.

On our first night in Mexico we took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the hotel’s signature restaurant, MB, opened by Miami chef Michelle Bernstein. Just after the ribbons fell, we were handed bright blue and yellow cocktails and encouraged to float in the pool, lounge on the outdoor beds and nibble on chef Bernsteins’ bite-sized canapes that were being passed pool side. Sipping spicy green gazpacho, eating grilled stuffed chili peppers and watching the pool water cascade into the seemingly never ending horizon of the Caribbean Sea, it was hard to imagine wanting to be anywhere else.


Smoking with Frenchie

July 26, 2010


He had me at hello. No seriously, I speak French like sling blade, so when Greg Marchand the chef at Frenchie in Paris said “Hello” in English, I was smitten. The meal that followed that night was one of the best examples of ingredient love and technique restraint that’s quite frankly hard to find in Paris. We started with the smoked trout, a mesquite smoked filet served over avocado puree with pickles and dill. Our main course was a pleasantly salty roasted fork tender pork over cranberry beans, with favas and baby carrots both sweet and still slightly crunchy. Dessert was a milky panna cotta just barely set and served with red fruit coulis and a topping of fresh raspberries.