Fun Friday

The kids were so delighted to be in a hotel that they spent our post-zoo afternoon immersed in imaginative play on their bed. Amen. Despite efforts to the contrary, T and I fell asleep in ours. A quick refresher nap and then it was time to get ready for the evening. The babysitter arrived and we decided to take ourselves out for a pre-First Sight aperitif at Perennial Virant, the restaurant downstairs in the Hotel Lincoln. I ordered a glass of rosé, T a beer and we asked for the food menu. In the meantime, I spied some pickled ramps in the bar fridge and got a little excited. Then I looked down the bar and saw a jar of blueberries- pickled? preserved? I asked and was treated to a sample of a pickled ramp and pearl onion as well as some blueberries which were done as an aigre-doux (cooked with wine, vinegar, sugar, spices). Delicious.

As it turns out, the chef at Virant is Paul Virant, an avid canner and preserver and author of a looovveely cookbook, The Preservation Kitchen. I bought one immediately and cannot wait to get home and try many of the recipes, including those blueberries.

Our snacks arrived: hush puppies with creamed corn, tasso and collards; and pan-fried gnudi with morels and Parm. The hush puppies were out of this world. Oh my god on the perfectly vinegared collards, the depth the tasso provided, the full-of-flavor corn and the pups!! I was in heaven. The gnudi were a far second though the morels were perfectly done. Aah. More later, children (up at 4:20) calling wildly...

Virant hush puppies