Tag Archives: Rancho Gordo

Review of Anthony David’s; Italian Cocktails Having a Moment; Say Cheez in Princeton

Anthony Pino Updates His Hoboken Flagship


Private Dining Room anthonydavids.com

No one can accuse Hoboken chef/restaurateur Pino and his wife, Liz, of standing still. Here, from the August issue of New Jersey Monthly, is my review of the latest iteration of Anthony David’s.
p.s. Pino, who also is behind Bin 14, will be opening a third restaurant any day now.

Italian Cocktails Past, Present, Future

I have always thanked my Italian heritage for my being partial to bitter flavors in food and drink, especially the herbaceous liqueurs like Campari, Fernet, and the amaro family. Until recently I have considered myself in the minority. But 3 area events – past and future – are telling me otherwise. (Why New Brunswick was and will be the setting for all three beats me.)

Negroni Sbagliato & Crostini with Anchovy-Chickpea Schmear, Clydz New Brunswick

Negroni Sbagliato & Crostini with Anchovy-Chickpea Schmear, Clydz New Brunswick

In August Katie Parla, the Rome-based food and beverage journalist who grew up in West Windsor, invited me to a fun Italian cocktail tasting at her father Mike’s restaurant, the venerable Clydz in New Brunswick. Eight selections ranged from classics such as the above Negroni Sbagliato (Campari, Vermouth Cinzano rosso, sparkling wine) to new inspirations from bartenders currently working in Rome. I particularly enjoyed Patrick Pistolesi‘s Cosa Nostra (Campari, Rabarbaro Zucca, Fernet Branca, Buffalo Trace bourbon, simple syrup).

I was sorry to have to miss the “Garden Tasting of Aperitifs and Digestifs” with Jeremy Fisher of the Frog & Peach on September 18. His tasting included all of my Italian faves, plus Spanish and French liqueurs and fortified wines, including 2 lesser knowns that I am partial to: Pineau de Charentes and Suze.

Due Mari, New Brunswick Courtesy duemarinj.com

Due Mari, New Brunswick
Courtesy duemarinj.com

I wouldn’t tease you about these past events if there weren’t another one on the horizon. On Saturday, September 26, the folks at Heirloom Kitchen are teaming up with those at Michael White’s Due Mari for a 3 pm Italian cocktail class at that New Brunswick restaurant. The session ($58) covers the classics as well as  the nouveau. Students take home recipes and a shaker, and Due Mari light fare, such as arancini and crostini, will be served. Details & sign up here.

A Take-out Shop Devoted to Grilled Cheese; Heirloom Beans; A New Addition to the Princeton Happy Hour Scene

The "Princeton" & Tiger Fries, Say Cheez Princeton

The “Princeton” & Tiger Fries, Say Cheez Princeton

Those are the subjects of my September “Food for Thought” column in the Princeton Echo. Read about Say Cheez, which I fully expected to loathe – and clearly did not – as well as why Rancho Gordo’s heirloom dried beans are worth seeking out (and where to find them), plus what the bartenders and chef at Agricola are bringing to the expanding Princeton happy hour scene.


Marsilio’s Review; Getting Kids to Eat Right; Your Cookie Recipe = $1000?; More


This erstwhile Chambersburg Italian stalwart has resurfaced in Ewing. The incomparable chicken cacciatore is back – but how does the rest of it measure up? Here’s my review from the October issue of New Jersey Monthly.


Since 2005 Stacey Antine’s HealthBarn USA in Wyckoff (and now Westchester NY) has been getting real results teaching kids and their parents how to eat well and happily. You may have seen her on Rachael Ray and CNN. Here’s my Princeton Packet profile – with recipes – of her first book, just out. The book’s title: Appetite for Life: The Thumbs-Up, No-Yucks Guide to Getting Your Kid to be a Great Eater.


Like to bake? The founder of Tate’s Bake Shop – you’re probably familiar with her Southampton (NY) company’s high-end packaged cookies – recently published a cookbook titled Baking for Friends, and you can win $1000 by downloading from the website, adapting, and personalizing 1 of 5 cookie recipes. Check out the details on the Tate’s website.


Recently I was interviewed on radio station WDVR, based in Sergeantsville. Host Walt Haake and I had a lively discussion on everything from Mayor Bloomberg’s big-soda ban to what I look for when I review restaurants. Listen to it here.


How is it possible I haven’t mentioned Rancho Gordo heirloom beans here before? I’ve been a fan and customer of Steve Sando’s Napa-based enterprise for years. His October newsletter (You like beans? Sign up – you won’t regret it) includes a recipe for cannellini beans cooked in the oven with a head of garlic, left whole. It’s from the blog of his pal Judy Witts Francini , a talented American woman who has lived in Tuscany for years, where she runs a well-respected cooking school and culinary tour biz, Divina Cucina. I was hooked on her bean recipe as soon as I read this:

an oven-baked version which also creates a cassoulet style crust on top of the beans

I have used other of Ms. Francini’s recipes before and they are uniformly great. Check out her oven-roasted bean recipe here.



Did you catch Mark Bittman’s piece about Alzheimer’s as Type 3 Diabetes? Makes a lot of sense to me. What do you think?