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What We're Eating

JBF Editors

September 22, 2014

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Pizzas at Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix

When our editors aren't thinking about food, writing about food, or researching food, they're eating it. This month's installment of "What We're Eating" includes some superlative pizza in Arizona, a surprising salad in Minneapolis, and some great dishes here on our home turf in New York City.

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Alison Tozzi Liu, Editorial Director: "I've been hearing about Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix all of my adult life, and my (several) trips there last weekend while out West for Taste America did not disappoint. Each dish was a lesson in highlighting what's special about local ingredients: the wheat used in the pizza dough (and in the handmade pastas at the newer location) is grown and milled locally; the Bianco di Napoli tomatoes are, as the name suggests, a collaboration with a grower and packer; the olive oil is made with olives grown locally by Greek Orthodox monks. One of my favorite pizzas was the Rosa: Parmesan cheese (one of the few imported items), red onions, rosemary, and crushed Arizona pistachios."

Maggie Borden, Assistant Editor: "I was recently taken on a Chinatown dumpling tour as a belated birthday present. After a series of mainstream dim sum fare, we rounded out the tour with a stop at Xi’an Famous Foods. It was my first time experiencing their well-regarded blend of Chinese and Middle Eastern flavors, and the spicy and sour lamb dumplings did not disappoint: tender and flavorful lamb wrapped in delicate dough and doused with Xi’an’s signature sauce, adding just enough heat to balance the cooling cilantro and cucumber on top.

Anna Mowry, Senior Editor: "If there's anything more played out than a beet and goat cheese salad, perhaps it's our habit of dismissing it as a token of unoriginality. At Heyday, which arrived in Minneapolis this past spring, chef Jim Christiansen has given the familiar recipe a delightful reboot, adding surprising elements like beet gelée and freeze-dried raspberries. It's a riot of flavor and texture, and the perfect representation of one of the most delicious and playful meals I've had this year."

Elena North-Kelly, Senior Editor: "Sitting at the bar at Harold Dieterle's Perilla is one of my favorite weeknight indulgences. A standout dish was their tofu misozuke starter. Tofu misozuke is traditionally made by slathering tofu with a combination of sake, sugar, and miso, then leaving it to ferment. Perilla chef de cuisine Garett McMahan put his own elegant spin on the dish with the addition of sweet plums, bright sorrel, crunchy hazelnuts, buttery brioche, and a subtle lavender–mirin gastrique. The richness, texture, and depth of flavor was evocative of foie gras, but without the guilt."