This Basque restaurant, which is in its second year, was opened by the chef couple Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero. Chef Raij, born to Argentinean parents living in Minneapolis, learned the value of good food at an early age from her mother who is an excellent cook. Raij believes that cooking is its own language, and that making food for someone can be an expression of love. After meeting while working at the Spanish restaurant Meigas in the late 90’s, she and her husband, a native of Bilbao, travelled to Spain where she was deeply impressed with the lifestyle and culinary culture. Delivering the experience of the convivial family table was important in creating a menu that is the couple’s signature version of traditional Basque cuisine. Pictured are the “Pulpo” octopus carpaccio, and the signature special “Txanquetes” salad with baby arugula and poached egg. When dining out, the couple enjoy eating at Degustation in Manhattan, and Franny’s or Roberta’s in Brooklyn. 240 Ninth Avenue www.txikitonyc.com
Chef Scott Bryan worked in the New York kitchens of Gotham Bar and Grill, Bouley, Le Bernardin and Lespinasse, and was the executive chef and co-owner at Veritas for years. As one would guess, he is extremely assured and yet he is completely unpretentious. He believes in clean, pronounced flavors that stand alone, and says that there should be no more than two good ideas on a plate at a time. When asked about the restaurant business, the chef will tell you he was hooked from the get-go. He finds in cooking an exciting mix of creativity, improvisation and adaptation where one receives instant feedback, or gratification, for the hard work. When going out to eat, Chef Bryan likes to frequent places like Sushi Yasuda, Shorty’s .32 in Soho, or his old haunt Le Bernardin. When eating at home, he prefers to keep it simple and might make some pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe. 60 3rd Avenue www.apiarynyc.com
Thanks to my good friend Trevor who ran into Anthony Bourdain while dining at Dublin’s Chophouse, I have just received this great dedication and copy of Bourdain’s book Nasty Bits! I am a big fan of Bourdain’s biting humor (pun intended) and am excited at the chance to include him on this blog, however remotely.
Have a great weekend!
You may remember chef Gregory Torrech from our our first meeting at Brown cafe (over the body of a suckling pig). As of a month ago, he is the chef at 6th Street Kitchen where he has brought his progressive American cuisine using seasonal ingredients. He and his crew of four work in an open kitchen overlooking the dining room. The best seat in the house, in our humble opinion, is at a small counter which faces the kitchen where one can see the action first-hand. The BBQ Lamb Ribs with cole slaw is the most popular dish. Once home after a long day at work, chef Torrech will often eat cereal topped with granola. We’ve been told the brunch menu may soon reflect this comfort food by including a home-made granola. Some day, Torrech intends to dine at chef Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago.
The owner of this restaurant, chef Chris Genoversa has been in the business his entire life. Asked to elaborate upon his tagline for the restaurant “simple food for complicated people”, he says that he prefers “to serve his favorite foods based on season and availability of product”. He wants “to strive for a loyalty to technique and the integrity of our ingredients”. The evening we met , Genoversa could be seen opening bottles of wine, greeting newcomers and helping to serve the guests. 507 East 6th Street www.6thstreetkitchen.com
While in London this last week, we had the pleasure of having classic afternoon tea at the institution of Fortnum and Mason, which dates back to the 1700’s. The scones with Somerset clotted cream and strawberry preserve did not disappoint (you can find clotted cream in New York here, at Tea and Sympathy). We also discovered the beautiful Wolseley cafe and restaurant. Opened in 2003, it was originally built in 1921 as a car showroom, and subsequently owned by and used as a bank. The impressive space boasts intricate marble floors, tall arches and dramatic columns – not to mention candelabra-esque twin egg cups! Unfortunately, photography is not allowed.