by Celia Sin-Tien Cheng
December 18, 2007
It’s hard to believe that it’s the end of the year already. Cravings has had a tremendous 2007, and now is the perfect time to reflect on it.
The food industry continues to evolve and mature in quality, diversity, sophistication and innovation. I’m not a fan of molecular gastronomy, but there are innovative and fun creations that don’t go to extremes. Two of my favorites this year were halloumi dust and a deep-fried soft boiled egg. The halloumi dust accompanied a chocolate dessert by Chef Michael Psilakis at Anthos. The menu at Anthos changes daily, and lately we’ve spotted this magical halloumi dust on the menu accompanying different fish entrées. Whether savory or sweet, this dust, made from dehydrated then grated halloumi cheese, is a wonderful complement. The unforgettable fried soft-boiled egg was served with kabocha squash purée for brunch at Colin and Renée Alevras’ The Tasting Room*. My favorite new sushi restaurant is Soto, though the price point keeps it from being an everyday meal. Reliving old favorites, I love ending my sushi meal at Sushi Yasuda with the uni roll. Cauliflower continues to vie with Brussels sprouts as my favored vegetable, and this year we have two winners: the cauliflower pizza from Grandaisy Bakery and the cauliflower and taleggio cheese gratin at Smith’s.
One of my most memorable experiences this year was visiting DB Bistro Moderne, Chef Olivier Muller’s kitchen. Chef Muller’s personality is directly reflected in the subtle and elegant cuisine he serves at DB Bistro Moderne. Olivier’s Alsatian Flammenkûche is another constant craving I have, and he shares the recipe for his delicious tart flambée on Celebrations.
While I have endless cravings to recommend in New York City, my favorite meal of the year was in Washington, D.C. at . Another U.S. city, Chicago, was a gastronomically eye-opening experience. I was wholeheartedly moved by the amazing blues of the Greek waters, which inspired me to do a little survey of . Speaking of gorgeous blues, one of my favorite trips this year was my return to Honolulu.
We started Cravings Events this year, in response to your feedback that you’d like to do more than just read about good food. With Events, we go straight to the source to experience delicious creations and meet the masters behind New York’s diverse gastronomic scene. We held three very different events this year at Caffé Falai (standing hors d’oeuvres mixer), Dim Sum Go Go (ten-course Chinese banquet) and Kyotofu (shochu pairing dinner). Join us next year for more fun opportunities to indulge in decadent foods and meet like-minded food lovers!
Also in 2007, Cynthia started a new column called, Happening, citing all creative phenomena that catch her eye. These range from children’s books, photography, and architecture to, of course, her favorite topic, champagne and wine.
And finally, one of my greatest joys, Baking Fridays, also started in 2007! For those unfamiliar with Baking Friday, it’s a sweepstakes for you to win free food-related goods. Baking Fridays started because I used to bake on Fridays and give away all the treats. The Cravings team thought it would be fun to share the goods with our readers and make it more interactive. In keeping with the Cravings mission to introduce you to selected goodies in town, we decided to ask local pastry chefs to donate their baked goods. Now, on select Friday mornings, we ask a question on the site, and if you post an answer, you are entered in a drawing to win prizes as wide-ranging as cookbooks, artisanal chocolates or pickles. Here’s a quick recap of the prizes in 2007:
- Bomboloncini from Falai Panetteria
- Pies from Quality Meats
- Cupcakes + cream’wiches from ‘wichcraft
- Tea Sweets from Amai Tea & Bake House
- Gelato from Il Laboratorio del Gelato
- Treat box from Kyotofu
- Almond cookies from Donatella
- Cookies from Dough Ray Me
- Artisanal mixers from Fever-Tree
- Pickles from Wheelhouse Pickles
- Cupcakes from Joyce Bakeshop
- Cookbooks (Adventures of an Italian Food Lover and The Art of Simple Food) from Random House
- Ice cream from Adirondack Creamery
- Chocolates from Chocolat Moderne
- Baked goods from Treats Truck
- Collector’s gift box from Martine’s Chocolates
We want to thank you for your continued support and wish you and your family happy holidays! See you in 2008.
* Since publication of this feature, The Tasting Room has closed — June 2008.