Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year-end in Paris II

Here are some pictures of year-end food displays in Paris: candied fruits and dried fruits from Bon Marché, caviar from Prunier, cakes from Fauchon and pâte de fruits from Hédiard. Can food really be this gorgeous?

Bobby Jay

Year-end in Paris I

As we have done for the last five years, my wife and I spent the last two weeks of the year in Paris.

For Parisians, this is a time to either leave town or enjoy a réveillon, a huge meal on Christmas or New Year's Eve. The réveillon is a multi-course extravaganza, featuring lavish foods, usually including foie gras, oysters, lobster and/or other shellfish (especially coquilles St-Jacques) and, depending on one's means, caviar and truffles. Desserts, of course, are at their most spectacular, as evidenced by Dalloyau's new "Diva," pictured above.

Whether you are traveling, eating or both, I wish you a Happy New Year!

Bobby Jay

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Ultimate Egg Cream

Gary's Perfect Egg Cream

My friend Gary has made a life-long effort to make the perfect chocolate egg cream, one even better than the ones he had in his youth in Brooklyn. He has granted me permission to share his recipe and technique.

Start with a 12-oz Coca-Cola glass. Fill the stem 3/4 inch with Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup. Then add 3/4 inch of Fox's U-Bet Vanilla Syrup. Fill the rest of the stem with light cream. Fill the rest of the glass with selzer. Stir vigorously with a long spoon pushed all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Do not substitute milk for the light cream or fancy ingredients for the Fox's syrups. That might produce a good drink, but it would not be the real deal.

Bobby Jay

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Negroni Saignée

Negroni Saignée

I'm not much of a fan of mixed drinks, particularly vodka-based ones. But the Negroni Saignée, invented by Sam Clifton of the excellent restaurant Telepan, is a delicious adult cocktail: more bitter than sweet. Combine equal parts of Blood Orange Vodka, Aperol and white Lillet with a splash of Orange Bitters. Shake well in a cocktail shaker or (unless you're James Bond) stir in a pitcher. Serve straight up in a martini glass with a twist of orange peel. I keep the vodka frozen, chill the Aperol, the Lillet and the glasses to produce a very cold drink and cut down on dilution by the ice.

Bobby Jay