Play. Explore. Learn

I pass these words everyday that I drop my 4 year old off at school. They are part of a promotional bumper sticker that her school gives out. Not being a bumper sticker kind of guy, I never really thought about those three words until yesterday.

Play. Explore. Learn. - that sums it all up for me. Now, if you think you don't have time to play or are too important to play then replace 'play' with 'research' or 'study' or 'think'. But for me it is definitely play in the kitchen. 

Connecting Ideas

Connecting ideas or thoughts is at the root of all creativity. It's about understanding the known for not only what it is but what it could be. It is about trying assumptions and honing those thoughts into workable products.

In the kitchen it can be a rapid process because, well, that is the way kitchens work and the worst thing that could happen is that something tastes bad and has to be thrown away. Tonight I made the leap from using Furikake, normally reserved for sushi rice, on my semolina pasta. The connection was that rice and semolina are somewhat neutral starches and they both usually get topped with a generous amount of flavoring. Furikake took my Italian pasta a whole new direction tonight.... I'm thinking a new spin on linguini and clams....

Pints 4 Pete

We are starting to plan our 3rd Pints for Pete fundraiser at the restaurant which is awesome! This years event will be held on May 5 or Cinco de Mayo if you will. We are getting excited and hope to see you here.

Providing the space for events and fundraisers like this is one of the best reasons for owning a restaurant. If you are looking for a fundraising space, please let us know...

The Boston Public Market

I don't know what took me so long to goto the Boston Public Market but it is amazing. An inside year round local farmers market that has a little bit of everything. It is impossible to not start your journey through this space without a fresh cider donut that is waiting for you when entering the building. Every section of the market is full of fresh, local product from pasta to ice cream, produce to a local butcher. Red's Seafood had some rare offerings like fresh sea urchin, salmon collar and monkfish liver that made for an awesome dinner. Go during lunch and get something to eat like the NY deli cut to order pastrami sandwich from Boston Pastrami. The market is a great addition to the city!

Ordinary to Sublime

To be honest the only thing that excites me about St. Patrick's day is making corned beef. Not eating it, although great too, but just making it from scratch. The idea of taking a humble piece of meat, the brisket, and elevating it over time and slow cooking to an amazing delicacy.

Our briskets have been brining in an aromatic solution since last Tuesday. Yesterday we very slowly simmering it in beer and additional flavoring and let it cool over night in the cooking liquid to retain it's moisture and now today... today we feast.

P.S.- It is called corned beef because back in the day the rock salt used for curing looked like corn kernels. 

Girl Scout Cookie Martini

My young daughter just entered the Girl Scouts as a Daisy. We just went through our first cookie drive to raise money for the organization which turned out to be awesome. It allowed me to support the Girl Scouts and buy cookies for our top selling Girl Scout Cookie Martini. Unfortunately, I over bought and have a lot of extra cookies. So instead of letting the staff eat them I would like to offer a 2 for 1 deal on the Girl Scout Cookie Martini (2 cookies for every 1 drink, that is.)

The ‘Will it fit’ game.

At the end of every dinner service part of the nightly cleaning routine is to consolidate all food items into new clean containers. The goal is to find a container that is as small as possible that will hold whatever it is you are trying to ‘flip’. Inevitably there are times when the contain you have chosen leaves you second guessing as to whether or not you will be able to fit everything in it. At that point it is time to play ‘Will it fit’

A simple bet is made with a person near by as to what the outcome will be. The bet is nothing serious maybe a dollar or a beer later on but usually just bragging rights.

It’s pretty easy to entertain yourself after a 12 hour day in the kitchen...

Thinking Backwards

We have several different flavored nuts and seeds on the menu; some garnish salads while others garnish cheese plates. Although they are not hard to make I have had a hard time perfecting the process.

The process is similar for all the different varieties. A salt & sugar ratio is added then herbs and or spices, a little corn starch for binding and then water to make the flavors cling to the nuts & seeds. It is this last step that has been my downfall. If I add too much water all the flavor falls off but if I don't add enough then the sugar and salt won't dissolve for an even coating.

I recently realized that if I performed the process backwards and wet the nuts first then apply everything else I gain the control that I have been looking for. Yet again the answer is obvious but sometimes you have to look backwards to get there.