Last night I ate at Piccolo and one of the courses was a chopped chicken liver that was outstanding. This raises an interesting point: On a Sunday night, with the chef on a night off, the food was flawless. There were four of us, we ordered one of everything on the menu, about 20 plates and we had five more of the calves foot agnolotti, three pavlovas, two additional pheasants, an extra porchetta, an extra pannacotta, extra lamb, three extra chopped livers, and the list goes on. That’s the sign of a great kitchen, one that is humming along and filled with a staff that is 100 percent committed to excellence. That’s a great reflection on Doug Flicker and his leadership abilities as well, it’s a great restaurant . . . and in my mind one of the five best new restaurants I ate in all year long, right up there with Benu in San Francisco. And just a friendly piece of advice, if you go to dinner there with a buddy who plays in the NHL, just order pairs of everything. Those guys have big appetites. And for the record, Flicker’s chopped liver was so awesome I could have sworn my aunt Rhoda was in the kitchen.
My assistant, Molly, went to one of the pre-dinners at Masu Sushi and Robata, and she thought a lot of what she ate was pretty solid; I can’t wait to try it.
Don Saunders sent me an e-mail giving me a heads up that Jim Kyndberg, formerly of Bayport Cookery and currently Executive Chef of Crave restaurants, is cooking his “Morel Fest,” the same one he was famous for at BC, at Saunders Seasons the weekend of May 27th. It’s $60 per person and wine pairings are available; call (612) 926-0105 for reservations.
In national news everyone is talking about the big news over at ABC.
Look, the soaps have been in decline for almost 20 years and frankly a smart, food-centric talk show sounds great to me. Don’t blame Mario Batali; he’s the best thing about that show, the other three hosts have opinions that I could care less about. But listening to Batali and Michael Symon will be a real treat, and as long as they get in their deskmates grills when they bring something uninformed to the table, I will be happy to watch. The Chew sounds like a good try at something different. Nice move ABC.
By the way, I was a good Jew all year long, did I overlook my invite to this Seder? Speaking of which if you need some good Seder recipes to help you celebrate Passover in style, check ‘em out on andrewzimmern.com.