Posts from March 2010

2 Tartines, 2 Tartine Bistro, Monaco and Ohio, A Bistro A Day, March 31

I have not kept up with this new A Bistro A Day feature in past few days.

To make up for it a bit, I decided to serve you 2 Tartines in this edition.

We're not talking bread slices here.

The tartines in question are 2 bistros using the same Tartine Bistro moniker.

First to appear on my radar was Bistrot Tartine in Monaco.

Weather permitting you can choose to eat in the dining room with its warm recycled wood interior or escape to the terrace.


You get a chance to sample Mediterranean cooking of Stéphane Chenneveau with 2 course lunch for 15.80.

Next we pay a visit to Tartine Bistro in Rocky River, Ohio.

The Monday through Wednesday Happy Hour from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM (at Bar only) sounds like worth checking.

Here's a sample of what $10 ($5 per food item, $5 per 2 wines by the glass) gets you:


Wines by the Glass:

picpoul de pinet 2008 coteaux du languedoc for white

At Casa Artusi in Emilia Romagna, Food is Culture

There might be at least 50 places on my must visit list already so I felt a bit guilty exploring a few of the many things that Emilia Romagna has to offer.

There is wine, history, music and food of course.

Unfortunately, details for a number of events were in Italian only.

I would have liked to read more about 'Alla scoperta del tempo perduto' (In search of lost time) from Musei da gustare in Modena (April 16-18)...


I was saved from language barriers when discovering Casa Artusi which Alberto Capatti describes with these words:

"....the first living cookery museum, visited at night by the spirit of Pellegrino and during the day open to cooks, amateurs, gastronomes, food lovers, children and everyone who for no special reason still loves to wear an apron, sit at the table and enjoy it as much as possible. It is not only a home of memories and fame but also the home of appetite."

Besides exploring the culture of food, you can taste local wines, cheese and other culinary treats at the Osteria of Casa Artusi. Many will be surely delighted to know that the Osteria is opened from 7:30 PM to 2:00 AM. It is closed on Tuesdays.


Casa Artusi is located in the Centre of Forlimpopoli on Via Emilia in complex of the Chiesa dei Servi.

Words You Can Eat, Poetry Cupcakes via GPS, Global Poetry System

Culture does not have to be staid and the Southbank Center in London is a living proof.

One of their ongoing projects is G.P.S or Global Poetry System whose motto is find it, map it, share it.

They came up with words you can eat in the form of Poetry Cupcakes (pictured below).

Poetry Cupcakes on Global Poetry System

What's the root of this 'Poetry Digest':

"Inspired by the Scottish Poetry Library's brilliant Carry a Poem campaign, we made some poetry cupcakes. The quote is from one of the "carry a poem" wallet cards and is from e. e. cummings' poem "i carry your heart with me( i carry it in'.

We decided we wanted to carry a poem in our stomachs, and Mr Swithun Cooper came up with the perfect title for the poetry cupcakes: Poetry Digest. Hopefully, we'll make some more very soon."

Food for thought

Answer Tropicalismo Trivia, Get Signed Copy of The Brazilian Kitchen

Strangely enough, we don't have a winner yet for our Brazilian Kitchen book contest.

"In The Brazilian Kitchen, Leticia's first cookbook, she shares her passion for her country's cuisine with the home cook and aims to bring Brazil's favorite foods into American kitchens.

The book is a collection of delicious classic and inspirational recipes. With simple techniques and well-explained directions, dishes like Meat Croquette, Bolinho de Bacalhau, Molton Dulce de Leche Cake with a Sour Cream Sorbet will simply become part of your everyday cooking repertoire."

To make it even more special, Chef Leticia agreed to offer a signed copy.

Brazilian kitchen


Give us the names of 2 Brazilian singers who were part of the Tropicalismo movement in the 60's.

Send your answer to info [at] njconcierges [dot] com by April 4th, 2010 (Midnight, US Eastern Time).

Since there is only one copy to win, this contest is on a first come, first served basis.

Good Luck!

Seductive Scent of Chocolate Flowers. Chocolate Museum in Bruges

Even if a visit to the Venice of the North is not in the cards for you in the near future, the Chocolate Museum in Bruges (pictured below) does its best to give you a reason or two to include the city in future plans.


The museum gives you a taste of how broad their offerings are with a quick guide on Wine and Chocolate and more intriguing a look at Cocoa Flowers like the Chocolate Orchid.

They made their first encounter with this Chocolate Orchid while visiting Soroa's Orchid Garden at the University of Pinar del Rio in Cuba which counts 700 species of orchids they say.

Another popular if inedible cocoa flower is the Chocolate Cosmos which Linda Jenkinson describes lovingly:

"Slender stems look like candy kisses on a stick and fill the late afternoon with the sweet scent of vanilla tinged chocolate."


If you want to add a dark chocolate scent and a velvety touch to an event, you can purchase some of this Cosmos from Whole Blossoms whose picture I borrowed from May to October.

Don't taste them!

Five Years, Serge the Concierge Turned 5 on March 22, 2010

With a death in the family, technical glitches, juggling bills and other unpleasant realities that life sends our way, last week was pretty unsettling.

So much so that I only realized today that Serge the Concierge passed the 5 year mark on March 22.

Our very first story was New favorite wine....Castano 2003 (Spain) Monastrell Red Wine (March 22, 2005).

Looking back, my favorite in this first week is Making the Most of the Ingredients you have on hand (March 24)...In hindsight, story would benefit from being expanded.

An upcoming interview with Chef and New Zealand native, Peter Gordon on and around his book Fusion will be an occasion to do that.

Want to make us feel warm and fuzzy, send us some Chocolate Fritture (an Easter treat in France) or a few words. 2005 was a good vintage for wine actually.

3000 plus stories later. a belated 5th birthday note!

Thanks for keeping us going

Turning Wine Barrels Into Furniture near Bordeaux, MayDouelle

Should I blame it on the stormy weather, a rainy and windswept day? To be honest, I have not accomplished much this morning, I've been meandering.

I did manage do sketch a few chocolate stories to make you salivate in the run up to Easter.

I am also happy to have spotted a little French company MayDouelle that turns Wine Barrels into Furniture.

I guess their location in Le Bouscat near Bordeaux is no accident.

The proximity to a steady supply of old barrels is a must in their field.

So far, their line includes 3 products, a chair named 'Dantoine' (pictured below), a table, a wine rack.


Creative recycling for Green Day # 121

Previously: Saving Trees, One Receipt at a Time, Transaction Tree

Port Wine Went Pink And I Failed To Notice

Port went pink and I failed to noticed until I read The last word: Breathing new life into port (FT, March 25th) by Richard Milne.

The article tells us how Porto the city tries attract a new stream of tourists while Port wine wants to shed its dusty image and conquer new fans.

As far as I can tell only one producer Croft ventured down that road with Pink Port (pictured below) which they suggest served chilled in a wine glass.


Seems like it was actually launched 2 years ago if I trust Marks & Spencer launch pink port for women (Telegraph UK, January 08).

Like Rosé for Port!

Over 50, Ready for an Encore Career, By 2018 You Might Be In Luck

One of the facts that jumped at me in The Little Big Things, Tom Peters latest opus, was the view of turning 50 as actually passing the halfway mark in our lives.

I heard an echo of that in the Bluestone Paper (March 5th). It is published by Encore Careers whose focus is to put to use skills collected over time by individuals in new and more fulfilling jobs.


Like many studies they take a mid to long term view at trends.

Let me share a couple highlights:

"With nearly 10 percent of the American labor force unemployed and another 7 percent so discouraged by their job prospects that they have either dropped out of the labor force altogether or are working at part time jobs when they would prefer full-time employment, it may come as something of a surprise that within less than a decade, the United States may face exactly the opposite problem – not enough workers to fill expected job openings.

When the nation comes out of the current jobs recession, we will begin to see spot shortages in labor markets."

Hang in there, hope is on the way, between now and 2018.

Getting ready for an Encore Career or Two this Monday Work Etiquette # 135

Previously: Mono Tasking, Is Changing Scenery a Productive Move?

Abacate Creme Brulee Recipe Could be Yours...Win Brazilian Kitchen Cookbook

Want to put a little sunshine into your home cooking, Brazilian native turned Connecticut resident Leticia Moreinos Schwartz lifts the curtain on 100 Classic and Contemporary Recipes for the Home Cook in The Brazilian Kitchen (Kyle Books, March 2010).

Brazilian food has not benefited of as much attention as Spanish cuisine. Leticia wants to remedy to that and describes her effort as a Mission of Love.
Food is roots, and Brazilian food brings together 3 cultures, Portuguese, African and Native Indian as Chef Leticia reminds us.

Born and raised in Ipanema, Leticia was given her first recipe notebook when she turned 8.
She came to New York in 1997 and enrolled at the French Culinary Institute, then worked in a number of NY eateries before marrying and moving to Connecticut where she combines catering work and cooking classes.

Let's go over a few recipes that caught my eye in this Brazilian Kitchen.

Petiscos (Bar Food, Starters) first:

The Pumpkin Flan with Jerk Meat (Carne Seca) Salad ( Page 26) makes ample use of garlic. Pumpkin seeds add a nice touch to the vinaigrette.
In her side notes on that dish, she shares that Brazilian like to use a pressure cooker for everything including to make Carne Seca soft and tender.

For parties, having something to munch on is a must. Her Yucca Sticks 'Biscoito Palito de Povilho' (page 34) will be a crowd pleaser.

The Stuffed Crab Shells 'Casquinha de Siri' (page 36) look like a Coquilles St Jacques twin, same look except for crabmeat instead of scallops.

Let's move on to Pratos Principais (Main Dishes):

The Baked Shellfish Frittata 'Torta Capixaba' (Page 82) has comfort food all over it. In Brazil Capixaba we learn means that 'whatever is being served originates from the state of Espirito Santo.
It is baked and served in a clay dish.

I would definitely like to try her Slow-roasted duck breast with Cupuaçu sauce 'Peito de Pata Assado com Molho de Cupuacu'. She chose Cupuaçu (a pre-Columbian fruit specie) for the sauce because she loves' its banana-like constitency'.

To conclude with the Sobremesas (Desserts), Leticia shows more adventurous spirit than many in the flavor department with her Avocado Creme Brulee 'Creme Brulee de Abacate'.

Brazilian kitchen

Want to know more about this Girl from Ipanema visit Chef Letitia where those traveling to Brazil will be happy to find restaurant recommendations.


Give us the names of 2 Brazilian musicians who were part of the Tropicalismo movement in the 60's.

Send your answer to info [at] njconcierges [dot] com by April 4th, 2010 (Midnight, US Eastern Time).

Since there is only one copy to win, this contest is on a first come, first served basis.

Good Luck!