So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Categories: DiGregorio

When I launched Fork in the Road nearly three years ago, I never imagined it would evolve into the funny, opinionated, and independent entity it has become, thanks to the combined voices of Robert Sietsema, Rebecca Marx, and Chantal Martineau and the editing of Brian Parks. Today is my last day at the Voice, and, although I'm sad to leave, it feels good to know that Fork in the Road will continue on its way. Now I'll be a regular reader.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and supporting this blog and my reviews. You can catch me over at Food Network Magazine starting Monday.

Wishing you good eating until we meet again ...


Limoges Celebrates Sheep Testicles, Dried Lamb's Blood Sausage

The New York Times has a beautiful story today about a group of traditional butchers in Limoges, France, who are trying to popularize and preserve the traditional organ-meat cookery of the area.

Every October, the butchers of Limoges throw a festival called La Frairie des Petits Ventres, or the Brotherhood of Small Bellies. The celebration includes day-long street fairs in which butchers sell all manner of offal, and ends with religious processions in the evening. Residents tuck into local specialties like "the nose of love," a boned pig snout filled with pig tongue, and amourettes, sheep's testicles stewed in garlic, parsley, and port.

We know where we're going for vacation next year ...

Where Am I Eating? Pão

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Thanks to everyone who played this week's Where Am I Eating? Like in a Rorschach inkblot, everyone saw something different -- from ceviche to noodles -- in the mysterious dish shown above.

But it was Mak who guessed correctly, identifying both the foodstuff and the restaurant -- açorda at Pão in the far West Village. The dish in question is a wonderful, savory Portuguese bread pudding, the bread chewy and silken by turns and suffused with the brine of shrimp, mussels, and clams.

Mak, please email Natasha to pick the book you'd like. And stay tuned for another contest next week.


Where Am I Eating?

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Welcome back to our weekly contest, Where Am I Eating?

The quiz is two-pronged this time: Check out the food above and identify both the dish and the restaurant it was eaten in. The first commenter(s) to guess both questions (or either question) correctly will win his or her choice from a selection of cookbooks. If you've won in the last month, please sit on your hands this time.

If no one guesses by this evening, hints will be forthcoming ...


Dino's Orecchiette With Arugula-Pistachio Pesto

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Dino, which opened this summer in Fort Greene, is a pleasant neighborhood restaurant that serves Italian-ish food. There's a selection of pastas, mains like roast chicken and grilled pork chops, and crostini, most of which are tasty, save the "wild" mushroom version, which is topped with regular old button mushrooms. It's certainly not a restaurant to travel to, but it's a solid place for a plate of pasta and a glass of wine if you're in the area.

Vegetarians -- or those craving something meatless -- might be drawn to the orecchiette with arugula-pistachio pesto ($12).


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A Catalog of Dishes at Breukelen, New in Cobble Hill

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Chef Andrew Karasz, formerly of Django, has recently opened Breukelen in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. The brand of seasonal, New American/Mediterranean cooking that Breukelen offers has become endemic in Kings County, but Breukelen stands out for the quality of its cooking. I hesitate to call it "comforting" because the term is so overused, but there's something about the generous and skilled -- but conventional -- plates that's relaxing. The neighbors seem to think so, too, as the place is packed nearly every night. If you can't get a table, grab a stool at the bar.


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Pumpkin Ale Taste-Off

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"It's like every brewer has to make a pumpkin ale now," said the bearded fellow at Whole Foods' beer shop. "But if you don't like any of these," he continued, gesturing to my shopping bag, "I think you should probably just give up on pumpkin ales."

Pumpkin ales start popping up everywhere in the fall, becoming more popular every year. But I've always found the style to be sickly sweet, heavy, and sometimes over-spiced. So for today's Battle of the Dishes, I tracked down some of the most critically acclaimed pumpkin ales and tasted them along with a panel of intrepid Fork-in-the-Road-ites to find out once and for all if there are any pumpkin ales out there that don't taste like pumpkin pie smothered in corn syrup.

I started out with a list of the top-rated pumpkin ales according to Beer Advocate. Unfortunately, it seems that only one out of the top six is available in New York. But I was able to gather five ales that are all relatively highly rated and/or were recommended as good examples of the style by the guy at Whole Foods.

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Checking In On Golden Carriage's Pork Buns

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Yesterday, our Best of New York 2010 came out, and this morning I was wandering around Chinatown when I came across Golden Carriage Bakery, which, in 2008, I picked as having the best pork bun.


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Lucky Plaza Restaurant: New Cantonese in Chinatown

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Rice casserole with ground pork and Chinese sausage.

Lucky Plaza opened up about two months ago in the old Rice Village space on Chrystie Street in Chinatown. Like its predecessor, Lucky Plaza serves a large menu of Cantonese fare, specializing in barbecued meats, noodles, congee, and bo zai fan, the Hong Kong-style dish of rice steamed in a clay pot and topped with your choice of meat.


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Who Will Be Bon Appétit's New Editor in Chief?

Yesterday, Eater and Gawker speculated about who will replace Barbara Fairchild as editor in chief of Bon Appétit, which is moving its offices from Los Angeles to New York.

The rumor is that there are three candidates: Bon Appétit deputy editor Hugh Garvey, former Cookie editor Pilar Guzman, and GQ's Adam Rapoport. Who are you putting your money on? In any case, we won't have to speculate for long, as the new editor is expected to be announced soon.

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