Carnitas and Tequila Red Onions

August 23, 2010 by

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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.

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Smoking with Frenchie

July 26, 2010 by

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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.

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Juan’s wines of the month: July 2010*

July 22, 2010 by

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*each month Juan Sanchez, owner of La Dernière Goutte and Laura pick out some wines that are drinking especially well. Here are this months selections. Check out previous month’s selections here.

My favorite summer wine is Sauvignon Blanc, it’s crisp and refreshing but still has depth and perfume. Arguably the best Sauvignon Blanc is showcased in the Loire Valley– most famously in Sancerre. Yet a decent Sancerre can cost a pretty penny, so why not explore it’s neighbors? Juan introduced us to it’s south-western voisin, Menetou-Salon. I was really impressed with Domaine Philippe Gilbert’s 2007 Sauvignon Blanc- it starts cool and sharp opening into warmer minerals and citrus. This Mentou-Salon drinks well with a simply prepared white fish, a crisp salad or a dish with fresh tomatoes. A bottle of this beauty will set you back 14.20€ at LDG.

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Flour, Water, Flames & Child Labor

July 14, 2010 by

Recently Laura’s nephew S was asleep in his car seat when his mother pulled into a gas station here in MN. Beside the gas station was one of those tall steel lattice electrical towers. As S slowly started waking up, he looked out the window and with wide eyes said “are we in Paris?”

While S and his younger brother L are still both too young to come visit us in Paris, it hasn’t stopped us from teasing their interest by showing them picture books of the Eiffel Tower, watching Ratatouille and explaining the sail boats and trampolines of the Tuileries gardens.

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The 3rd way*

July 10, 2010 by


*This is part of a series where we highlight a full day of eating and activities in each arrondissement of Paris. Also check out our picks from the 1st and 2nd.

Paris ♥ NYC. Although for as much as the City of Lights-out-at-Midnight loves the City that Never Sleeps, Paris gets around to borrowing only 5% of NYC trends, usually years after they become popular stateside. Hence the current trend of coining Parisian neighborhoods with NYesque names. The neighborhood centered around rue de Martyrs which includes places like Le Cul de Poule, La Pizzetta and Rose Bakery is now referred to as SOPI (south of Pigalle). NOMA is the north Marais, an area usually defined as north of rue des Quatre Fils/rue de la Perle and on either side of rue Charlot and rue Vieille du Temple.

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Buttermilk Corn Bread and Yellow Tomato Jam

July 7, 2010 by

This past week has been a whirlwind. It all started with a bus to the airport, followed by 3500 miles on a plane next to some curmudgeon who complained about Tatie, 5 hours stuck in Boston rush hour traffic, 2 days in New Hampshire where I seem to have developed some nasty adult allergies, 600 mg of diphenhydramine, 36 hours of feeling like a puffy-eyed and snot filled zombie, $50 of additional checked bag fees, 1500 miles on a plane to MN, 1/2 lb of grass-fed steak off the grill, 2 ears of first of the season MN corn and 1 day to prepare for a 4th of July party with 42 people in attendance.

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Some Summer Menu Highlights

June 27, 2010 by

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Juan’s wines of the month: June 2010*

June 17, 2010 by

*each month Juan Sanchez, owner of La Dernière Goutte and Laura pick out some wines that are drinking especially well. Here are this months selections.

We have gone through a lot of cavists over the last three years. Most of the cavists were French, and while they knew their product, they had a difficult time pairing with the flavors and spice of the food we were cooking. We were explaining a course of scallops, chorizo, lime and sweet corn to our old cavist who responded, “how about pairing it with RUM!” As one blogger pointed out after dining early on at HK, “while the food was generally delicious, the wines were not so great”. It felt like even our good pairings came simply by happenstance.

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Menu: June 5th 2010

June 5, 2010 by

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Chilled Lettuce Soup w
Skillet Arancini, Blue, Hazelnuts
& Avocado Mousse

Pan Fried Basil Dumplings w
Roasted Asparagus, Zucchini
& Yellow Pepper Coulis

Butter Poached Langoustine
& Monkfish Rolls w
German Style New Potato Salad

Palate Cleanser

Chicken Liver Ravioli w
Braised Artichokes, Preserved Lemon Coulis
& Spring Onion Salad

Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak
w Spicy Grilled Nectarines
& Arugula

Heirloom Tomatoes w
Ciabatta, Mozz Fondue & Garlic Chips

Dark Chocolate Cake w
Red Wine and Vanilla Poached Cherries
& Mint Ice Cream

Coffee & Doughnuts

Kitchen Playlist:* June 5th

June 5, 2010 by


*Laura and I blow through music like Lindsay Lohan and piles of coke. We have heard the 4+ hours of the Hidden Kitchen playlists so many times that we can time HK nights on which song is currently playing. Because we spend so much time in the kitchen, there is always a podcast or playlist on. Here is what’s on the boombox this week.

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