Summer isn't officially over, but it definitely feels like it is.
It is getting dark much earlier; the crickets' voices are slowing down at night; and the kids are starting school this week in my hood (do I still have to put away my white jeans after Labor Day??).
But the garden is far from over.
The beets and green beans have all been harvested and pulled out.
Same goes for the onions and broccoli.
A fresh new crop of spinach, fall kale, Calabrese broccoli and more beets have been planted.
We'll see what turns up.
I had such a great beet & carrot season this year, that I pickled some of the surplus so I could have an instant lunch of steamed fresh green beans and pickled beets anytime (chive vinegar, sugar and cloves boiled and poured over the cooked and quartered beets & carrots).
I will be eating these well into the fall.
This month's Bon Appetit Magazine came out with their "BEST New Restaurants".
Now the places that you have been trying to get into forever, will still be those places that you are trying to get into, but worse.
That goes for ESTELA in Noho.
I've been hearing about it for over a year, how great it is, blah blah.
We can never get in.
It's a small place, located up some stairs in a weird spot on E. Houston Street (that's pronounced HOW-ston, for some odd reason, not the Texas city pronunciation).
A Sunday at 6 pm on Labor Day weekend is a guarantee to get into most any restaurant you have been wanting to try. Only the tourists are out.
We had a very nice dinner of plates to share.
An amazing endive salad w/ anchovies, walnuts and Pecorino Sardo. Wow.
Cherry tomatoes w/ FRESH FIGS and DRIED shrimp.
What is dried shrimp you ask? I asked the same.
Think bottarga, but found only in Louisiana. Strange, salty and nice.
We had delicious potato and salt cod croquettes w/ aioli, and a arroz negro w/ squid and Romesco (which I forgot to photograph). Nice service and interesting wines by the glass.
I made a batch of these delicious plum poppy muffins with farmer's market red plums.
*I added an extra tablespoon of butter to the recipe (to make it 5 tbsp), as well as 1/2 tsp of almond extract and turned the baking temp down to 375F (from a much too hot 425F). Original recipe can be found here.
These were really delicious.
I am loving all these local pop-up dinners (and I love being invited to them!).
We attended a pop-up dinner at The Long Table of NJ, where 60 local business people got together for a wonderful evening of design and food.
Styled by Bonny Neiman Antiques, and catered by Panetica (Carolyn from the beautiful shed in my town), arranged by the fabulous Helaine Winer..........
It was a BYOB event, and I loved the clever way of tagging your bottles to keep track.
Gorgeous crudite arranged in antique pieces and homemade fig and olive focaccia to start the meal, all made by Carolyn.
A beautiful table setting with a fabulous seasonal menu to match.
What a great way to end the summer season.
I hate to see it go.
1 day ago