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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fork Slapping Goodness?

I lied. I said there was ‘one’ NYC restaurant I’d really like to go back to eat in and, well, like I said…

Even at brunch a short while back, you could tell the new Le Pescadeux is a spot to watch: there’s a perfect smoked trout omelette and a steak and eggs that might stop your heart for multiple reasons at prices that won’t. And that’s not even counting Champagne and chats with Chuck.

Dinner’s what I’d really like to try, preferably with a partner for footsie. The restaurant’s fish-focused Quebec cuisine (harking back to owner Charles Perelmutter’s origins) is on display – and he’s breaking his new chef’s back to please by offering dinner ‘duets’ - a pair of half-sized portions – a great way to showcase what you can do and get a good new restaurant’s good name out there. Perelmutter chalks it up to “culinary A.D.D.”

I checked in with Perelmutter to find out about a chef change – the impressive Matthew Ridgway left and has been replaced by Adriano Ricco (clever poaching on Chuck’s part as Ricco’s done stints at BLT Fish and Tabla) – here’s what Chuck had to say about the ‘duet’ concept.

Even if I am in a great Seafood restaurant I get bored with my fish halfway through, and look to see what I can ‘mooch’ from others, usually with no success (people don’t share anymore). I decided I would not be bored again and now I, and my guests, can enjoy 2 different half orders of fish prepared 2 different ways without getting their reaching fork slapped away.

Note the capitalization of Seafood.

Right now, I’d take the grilled octopus and Wild Rock bass with a little neck nage … kick the tires on a fun concept and see what the new chef can do.

Le Pescadeux - MAP
90 Thompson St
New York
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lisbon’s Locavores

After a few blissful days in Lisbon, a local friend who lives in NYC and is back visiting her hometown takes her brother and me out to the Moinho de Baixo (a.k.a. “Meco”) beach about 40 minutes outside of town. It’s a perfect break from the city: beaches and dunes, breaking turquoise waves and not a tourist in sight. It’s amazing to think that it’s this easy to get out of town.

Once the sun goes down, we head to the Bar do Peixe, have a seat and dig in. Dinner starts with Azeitao cheese, the main course is half of a grilled robalo (tasty snook) caught by the owner’s fisherman husband and we drink a white from the Setubal Peninsula – everything comes from less than 40 minutes away.

“The fish comes from there,” says the owner, eyeing the horizon. Cut in half lengthwise, grilled and drizzled with olive oil, it’s a lesson in simplicity.

“When I come home,” says my friend, “this is what I want.”

Bar do Peixe
Rua Praia do Moinho de Baixo
Near the town of Alfarim, Portugal

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