Love

Guppy Love

Print Email
by Juliet Seniff

goldfish.jpgIt's no secret that some of us urban dwellers face commitment issues. Embrace them, even. The greener grasses and more infinite infinity pools are a form of optimism. Some of us arrested developers avoid opportunities (read: obligations) by holding out for the perfect job, the perfect relationship. But perhaps getting stuck between a responsibility rock and a commitment place isn’t so bad.

In my case, that place showed up at midnight in West Hollywood on my birthday. Now I'm the kind of girl who can't keep a pet rock alive and can barely assemble a PB & banana sandwich. So in acknowledgment of another year of supposed maturity, I’m imbibing elderflower champagne at the Palihouse. I mean I’m really not expecting any sort of responsibility. And suddenly, there it is. A responsibility-filled, Ziploc bag containing a tiny goldfish (translation: my birthday present). The carnival winning of two friends back from the San Gennaro Italian Festival.

Shut Up and Love Me

Print Email
by Sara Mohazzebi

ImageI always know the exact moment love officially strikes me clear and hard. The world actually goes silent. I can’t help but smile. My eyes light up. And most importantly, I shut up. Because in that very moment, no matter how ridiculous it sounds, I’m rendered speechless since there’s only one truth: I’m alive and I love you and I know it and that’s all there is to it.

I fell in love last year. It’s pretty hard to shut me up but then again, I think almost everyone would become as smitten as me around this man. You know those people that make you feel like the very best version of yourself? Now imagine that person but also make them an incredible cook, a fantastic writer, a brilliant designer, a true gentleman, and too handsome for anyone’s own good in a George Clooney type of way. This isn’t a romance I’m talking about. It’s even better. When you’re having a really bad day or you’ve just returned from a long out of town trip, he’ll cook an amazing dinner for you and make you coffee and talk to you about books and art. When you’re heartbroken and nothing seems to make sense, he’ll bring dark chocolate gourmet pudding and hugs to your door and make you laugh till you cry better tears. This isn’t a joke. This is the universe showing off when it introduced me to one of my best friends. I wish everyone had their own Oualid. But fortunately and unfortunately, there’s only one of this man.

Meet Me at the Ritz

Print Email
by Amy Ephron

peninsula.jpgI admit it – I have a soft spot for hotel bars partly because the first time my present husband declared himself to me was at a hotel bar – albeit it was coming on the heels of “I think you have another girlfriend (true) and if you want to keep seeing me, you’d better tell her good-bye....” In fairness, we’d only been dating for a week and we hadn’t kissed yet. And my version of the story is way more dramatic than his. In my version, I exit the table and he runs after me and says, “Wait, wait...I think I’m falling in love with you.” In his version, the dialogue is the same, but he claims he didn’t run after me in the patio of the bar at The Peninsula in Beverly Hills and dramatically stop my exit, he simply said it at the table. (I’m right, by the way....)

Neither of us dispute the second part – that the first time we kissed was in the driveway of the Peninsula (about three minutes after the declaration) as we were both waiting for our own cars and the possibility that we might never see each other again was hanging in the air. The valets all started laughing and smiling, and in my writer’s mind, there was also applause (this is potentially debatable) but the valets were pretty sweet since basically it was sort of old people making out and could have elicited a slightly different reaction, like yucch, and if this is “too much information” for my children, I apologize about that....

On Love, Oysters and Marriage

Print Email
by Amy Sherman

coupole.jpgSure it's a cliche, but Paris really is a tremendously romantic city. The grand brasseries like the art nouveau Bofinger or the art deco La Coupole don't just transport you to another place, but another time. They are joyful places where you want to be extravagant and order bottles of wine and big platters of seafood. When I think about my time in Paris with my husband-to-be at the time, I remember the feeling of indulgence and even decadence as if nothing beyond those gilded dining rooms mattered at all. And I remember the seafood, those big multi-tiered platters brimming with oysters, clams and lobster.

Anyone who has been through it will tell you, getting married is not nearly as stressful as the wedding itself. The relatives, the seating charts, the guest list, the cost. Oh I could go on and on. But I won't. Instead I'll tell you about the night before I got married. After weeks of handling last minute details, celebrating a birthday, entertaining and seeing to the needs of out-of-town guests and relatives, it felt like the night before our wedding was the first moment we had alone in ages.

A Tale of Two Betties

Print Email
by Robert Keats

fish.jpgBettie One sang like a bird and dressed like a pirate and sent my libido into overdrive. She was an intoxicating beauty with a multitude of talent. But she didn’t have a talent for food presentation.

One dinner in particular stands out. Maybe “stands out” is the wrong way to put it. “Haunts me” is more like it. 

See's Kisses

Print Email
by Amy Spies

crunch.jpg Candy has been a bond between me and my pal Joy since we first became best friends in sixth grade at Beverly Vista Elementary School in Beverly Hills, California.   Sure, there’s been humor, loyalty, shared heart-throbs, and tears…but from the get-go, there were shared Nestle Crunch candy bars filled with crinkly chocolate that we bought every day as we walked home from school together.  It became a ritual, peeling off the blue and white wrapper, then the foil, and eating the crunchy bar while hysterically laughing over some inside joke that was funny only to ourselves.  But it was better that way.

"Hi, I'm Pam"

Print Email
by Pam Felcher

50dove.jpg My husband Mike points out that the room goes silent as I watch a quivering gooey strand of icing bridge a hunk of pastry being pried apart by delicate hands in an Entenman's commercial. And when a pool of thick, rich Dove chocolate swirls around and folds itself magically over a brick of vanilla ice cream, my eyes glaze over. Then, when the caramel and chocolate of a Milky Way is fully exposed in delectable close up, my jaw goes slack. He tells me to face it: these commercials are, for me, like watching porn. Yes, I embarrassedly admit that I have fallen prey to the sexualized enticements of sugary things. 

For the Love of Chocolate

Print Email
by Laura Johnson

mainlogo1.gif I am addicted to chocolate. I don't mean that I just like to eat chocolate, I have to eat  chocolate. There is no twelve step program, there are no support groups but I know it is genetic. My mother is also addicted to chocolate as are two of my six little nieces. Sometimes the four of us sit around the kitchen table in silence eating chocolate. I am the enabler. I buy chocolate every time I pass through a duty free store in an airport. I stop in every bakery I see to buy anything chocolate they have. I know exactly where all the nice chocolate shops are in New York City. You get my point?

 Tell us your favorite candy...and where we can get it.

My Chocolate Life

Print Email
by David Wolf

kisses.jpg I love chocolate.  I have always loved chocolate.  I have lived my life by the principle,  So much chocolate, so little time.  The expansiveness of my love of chocolate is such that it would be impossible for me to name a favorite – it would be like asking me to pick a favorite among my children. (Or maybe not exactly like that; after all, I only have one child). 

On the other hand, if you asked me to name three of my favorite chocolate moments: Life begins with Hershey's kisses and chocolate bars, in my case, Nestle's Crunch, Three Musketeers, Milky Way, Cup-O-Gold (a chocolate shell with embedded cocoanut, filled with a gooey white cream that was supposedly marshmallow but tasted like the residue of some lab experiment gone terribly wrong) and, most significantly, the Mounds Bar. 

L’Amour De Porc

Print Email
by Paul Mones

ncporklogo.jpg This summer marks my thirtieth year as an attorney. But when I think back to the summer of 1978 it is not a courtroom that I see; rather I recall a brilliant sunny July day barbecuing at the base of the Seattle Space Needle on a Weber grill. About  twenty of us from the country’s largest pork producing states  were vying for first place in National Pork Cook-Out Contest. Truth be told though the southern states, principally North Carolina, Texas and  Tennessee are known for barbecue the big boys of pork are Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska and  Kansas. They were the guys to beat.

For me the event was the culmination of a 2-year grilling odyssey that began in 1976 when I entered the North Carolina State Pork Cooking Championship and came away with a respectable but disappointing third place for Orange Flavored Pork. Despite the loss (and despite my New York Jewish heritage), I knew I had it in me to bring home the bacon so to speak.  Though I had always loved pork – mostly in the form of ribs slathered in ‘duck sauce’ from the local Chinese take out joint – I really never really embraced the true pig in me until I had come to Chapel Hill, North Carolina two years earlier to attend law school.

 

restaurant news

Morgenland
Europe
by Anna Harari

ImageIt was a Lonely Planet recommendation, but the description made it hard to tell – it was definitely trendy, but would it be good? We arrived, and it was, as promised, a scene. A hungover...

Read more...
CityZen Plain: A Tale of Four Dinners in D.C.
Washington, DC
by Alan Sandler

cityzenIt was the best of climes…it was the worst of climes. Well, perhaps not either, but pretty damn cold.

A winter meeting in Washington: five days, four nights, and four dinners to review…

With the...

Read more...
Seattle's Best: Salumi Artisan Cured Meats
Washington
by Amy Sherman

meatballsandwichsalumiHave you been to Seattle? If you have, perhaps you've experienced what I have--that everyone there is awfully nice. I don't mean to generalize but from all of my visits over the years including a...

Read more...
Canele
Los Angeles
by Charles G. Thompson

caneleoutside.jpgA canelé is a specialty of the Bordeaux region of France. A small pastry with a soft custard center and a dark caramelized crust. They are eaten for breakfast, as a snack, and for dessert. Canelé...

Read more...