Tag Archives: restaurants

Loveletter to NYC (and to Montana)

As a Chicago girl, I know I’m not supposed to say this…but I love New York City. I’ve been there ten times in two years, and this time it was for fun. Everything about it was fun. I met amazingly generous people who are doing amazingly inspiring things with their lives in the world of art and media. I left half day chunks to myself and went to the De Kooning exhibit at MOMA (which I highly recommend).  I hung out in the Madison Square Park dog park with my dear friend (a culture unto itself), poked around Chinatown and ate dumplings, walked and walked and walked until shin splints had me crying uncle and justifying a two hour sushi meal to relieve them. Ate a ridiculous four course dinner at Eleven Madison Park which my culinary genius friends/hosts think is currently the best food in NYC.  And I was so inspired by Lee and Bob Woodruff’s Stand up for Heroes gala which had me staring up-close-and-personal at people I idolize like Katie Couric (who I met!!! and gushed all over like an idiot), Bill Clinton, John Stewart, Rick Gervais, Bruce friggin Springsteen, Seth Meyer, Brian Williams… The city stuns me.

And yet, flying home into our little valley, I love that I’m limited here in Montana by the possibilities of what I can hold in my hand and pay for with a credit card. I love that the currency comes in snow plows and back hoes and chickens and horses who are easy keepers. I love that it’s going to get hairy now as the snow twirls in gusts around my office window. I love that I have a fire going and that I’ll need to keep it going most of the winter, propane prices being what they are. I love that my head will be cold in my bed at night and that I’ll see my breath when I wake. I love that it is hard here. I love who I am here. People kept asking me in New York why I have lived here so long. Why not come back to the land of the sophisticate, opportunity, options in full feast. “I trust myself in Montana. I trust the currency. I trust what it asks of me and I trust how I answer its questions.” But THANK YOU, New York, for one heck of a week. Maybe it’s because of weeks like this that I can receive Montana. yrs. Laura

Lee and Bob Woodruff raise money for wounded vets in a fabulous evening of entertainment-- Beacon Theater, NYC

Bob and Lee Woodruff with Bruce!

This is NOT with a zoom. Almost lost my lunch.

Today Show anchor, Natalie Morales at 30 Rock. This has been a dream since Jane Pauley Days-- look what she's holding...


Stone Crab and Uni at Eataly-- mecca!

Art Installation at MOMA

A dumpling walk in Chinatown

Thanks Sarah Brokaw for all your support of my book! Go buy hers: FORTYTUDE! So empowering!

A bastion of publishing-- the Hearst Building where I met with some FAB editors from Good Housekeeping!


This was my favorite!
Such expression. Here I go back to Montana….

I'll take the M train home now...

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Filed under City Hits, Little Hymns to Montana, My Posts

For the love of a little decadence. Or a lot.

From time to time I stumble upon edible items that make me want to weep, and whilst touring around the country this last year, every so often I’ve gotten the urge to splurge food-wise. I usually do it in a fabulous glass of wine and an appetizer. This was one of those weepful splurges.

It was the night before Good Morning America. I’d had the stomach flu a few days prior, puking my brains out all day in a mid-town Manhattan hotel on, yes April 1st, and yes, my book’s PUB day. I know– very funny. So once my green in the gills-ness cleared, I thought I’d take a stroll. And lo, somehow I landed at one of the best restaurants in the world. That’s what I get for wandering into the Four Seasons. L’Altelier de Joel Robuchon.

I ordered two things and I ordered well: one of Robuchon’s signature dishes, sea urchin in lobster gelée, topped with a cauliflower cream with a ring of parsley mayonnaise dots. My god, it should be outlawed.

And with it, I had a gorgeous glass of Sancerre. I love two kinds of wine these days, a good rose, and a good Sancerre. This writer can tell you all about why it made me want to weep. I just know that it was good. So good. We all deserve a little ridiculous with our sublime.

May you find a moment like this wherever you live and no matter what your pocketbook looks like these days. Back in Montana, it’s going to come in the way of cider by the fire and that makes me want to weep too. There is no end to extravagance when the heart is open. So much in the way of salvation via sal-i-vation. May your holiday time be full of just that…and so many gifts given and received.

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Filed under Food, My Posts

Ceres’ Table– Fantastic New Chicago Restaurant!

Ceres’ Table: 4882 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640 773. 878. 4882

Ceres is the ancient Roman goddess of the harvest. She was born in Sicily, like our chef.

Recently I had the pleasure of dining at a new Chicago restaurant in a part of town that you might not stumble upon if you aren’t a local. The Sicillian born owner, Giuseppe Scurato (formerly of Boka and Landmark) brings the freshest, most local ingredients to his tradition of Sicilian cuisine, which given its trade history and geographical orientation, is quite different from my idea of Italian food. Sicilians have long enjoyed spices and flavors not indicative of other Italian regions, so I found myself eating unlikely items– currants, saffron, sardines, walnuts– and in preparations I’d never seen in my year living in Florence. Sicilians eat very little meat and the menu reflected that, full of halibut, swordfish, scallops, cod, and crab.

These were some of our favorites: (but it was all food that made you want to weep it was so good!)
Day boat scallops with lobster agnolotti, baby carrots, spring onions, cress and lobster cream sauce.

Corzetti (hand-stamped pasta) with fennel, anchovies, currants and pinenuts.

Anancini– rice balls made with artichoke and saffron rissoto, filled with taleggio.

Yukon Gold potato gnocchi, with a pesto Genovese, green beans, toasted walnuts, and parmagiano reggiano.

 
It was the kind of menu I love: the prices were very fair, and the portions perfect for sharing. My friends and I were joined by Giuseppe’s wife, Carolyn, who graciously walked us through the menu and suggested her house favorites, and since she lives with the chef, in this case “house” really means “house.” She is intimately apart of these dishes and you can see the pride in her eyes for what she and her husband have co-created.

In short, we ended up ordering most of the small plates, and feasting for hours all the way through to Giuseppe’s delicious homemade Limoncello.

Ceres is getting great reviews all over Chicagoland, and I was thrilled that my local friends were savvy enough to find this little gem.  It’s nice to have foodies in every port!

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Filed under City Hits, Food, My Posts