back in the city

I wish it were easier to keep up with this blog, but I am going to skip the self-criticism and move directly to a description of my brief food journey to New York City. It has been a series of mishaps that have brought me here, beginning with a food show, that was last month, (don't ask, it is too embarrassing), then I was early for my 9.45 am train that actually departed at 9.12 am (again, don't ask), safely arriving in Penn Station, I left my papers and sun glasses on the seat before I navigated the subway (and, yes, my sense of city savvy was diminished considerably when I realized that I left the sunglasses behind). Okay, but here I am in New York, so my mission is to eat at as many restaurants as possible, seeking new combinations, inspiration for new menu ideas, new products, and fabulous wine pairings. It is a tough job, but I will do my best for you.

Before strapping on the feedbag, I ventured on a short run to build up am appetite. Have you been on the Highline? Up till now, I had only heard about how great it was, and now I know.

From the crowded Highline, I headed to the Hudson River Park, which is aptly named winding along the Hudson, so cool. Having burned sufficient calories, I am ready for some food and wine!

Pastis is not new, and it is one of many brasserie style restaurants in New York. I am not alone in my love of all things French, and it is conveniently located across from my hotel in the Meat Packing District. It has a welcoming atmosphere, and the moment you walk through the door you are transported to Paris...I wish I were being adventuresome, but I go for the favorite...

That is right, and I challenge you to find a better choice! Their salad niçoise has a nice balance of arugula for crispness and peppery flavors with the salad's other salty and sweet combinations, like the shaved fennel and olives, or the seared tuna, with its char and salt with the sweet bell peppers roasted in olive oil. Yes, I admit, fresh tuna is taking the salad to a different level, fancier than the canned tuna that traditionally adorns the plate, but simply put, it tastes good, particularly when the chef gets that charred bit on the outside, which compliments the other flavors so well. With my salad, I am enjoying a simple cotes du provence rosé, which I have said enough about before, but will just add that the freshness of this simple refreshing wine paired with the acidity of the salad makes me feel nourished and cleansed in equal parts. A satisfying, if simple, meal. The surprising thing about the is combination is the fennel and the rosé, these two flavors make me want to roast up some fennel, gratin style, and just smear it on some crusty french bread, thickly cut, and smothered with French butter with Fleur de sel and a glass of rosé....maybe that will be on the menu at LPG next week....

more later from the Chelsea Food Market!