As the clock ticked down on California restaurants serving foie gras legally, many of them prepared special foie gras menus. On June 30, I had the pleasure of enjoying a “Gone But Not Foiegotten” menu at Beer Belly in Los Angeles.
By the time I arrived, the Foie-Q You foie gras sliders with pickled shallots, quail egg and spicy apple beer mustard was already sold out, so I ordered the seared foie gras. When I asked owner Jimmy Han why my order was taking so long, he joked, “Oh, that dish takes foie-ever.” Chef Wes Lieberher used the same joke in naming his creation Foiever, which was my favorite dish. The seared foie gras with cinnamon caramel apple, red wine shallots and celery root purée seemed more at home at a fancy French restaurant than this Koreatown craft beer bar.
The varietals that encompass the wines of Italy are as diverse as the regions from which they are produced. It seems that there is an Italian wine for every occasion, cuisine and season. This year’s Summer Wines of Italy tasting, held at New York’s Italian Trade Commission on June 26, emphasized all that is indicative of summer, namely wines that were fruity, refreshing, light and effervescent.
The event, co-sponsored by the Italian Wine & Food Institute, featured 30 wines. Moscatos, Chardonnays, Proseccos and sparkling rosés dominated, although a number of reds, including Pinot Noir, Merlot blends and Chianti, were also represented.
Even as it focuses on expanding its portfolio around the globe, the Ritz-Carlton hotel group continues to honor its heritage. Along with the recent opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa (to be followed by 2012 launches in Tianjin, Abu Dhabi and Vienna), the company has just completed a comprehensive, $200 million restoration of Ritz-Carlton, Montreal – the birthplace of the iconic Ritz-Carlton name. As with the Okinawa property (where traditional Shurijo motifs and holy water ponds are incorporated into contemporary architecture and landscape design), this 1912 landmark harmoniously blends past and present. A preserved façade and original details such as marble fireplaces complement renovated public spaces and redesigned guest rooms, including the 4,700-square-foot Royal Suite, the largest hotel suite in Montreal. In addition, new facilities include an indoor saltwater pool and Maison Boulud restaurant, where diners can enjoy terrace and greenhouse settings. With a guest list that has ranged from Sir Winston Churchill to the Rolling Stones, the Ritz-Carlton, Montreal is sure to attract high profile travelers and lovers of luxury for years to come.
The California foie gras ban that went into effect yesterday has crossed over the boundaries of the Golden State and the Atlantic Ocean. French Correspondent Caroline Connan of Bloomberg TV in Paris had read the two previous pieces I wrote about the subject, and invited me to visit the studio so Parisians could hear what I had to say. Just watch the video above.
Then, after I made a phone call to chef/owner Gilles Epié of the restaurant Citrus Étoile in Paris, and another to Josiah Citrin’s Melisse restaurant in Santa Monica, CA, the Bloomberg TV crews were invited in to speak with the chefs about the new law. Bloomberg TV has titled its piece: “Chef’s Fury at California Foie Gras Ban.”