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 a vibrant winter salad from a JBF Award winner, fine dining in the British West Indies, and a breakfast sandwich that's worth a ride on Metro North.
Yellowfin Tuna Paillard with Crispy Sweetbreads, Pickled Fennel, Artichokes, Capers, and Local Arugula / The Restaurant at Malliouhana, An Auberge Resort, Anguilla, British West Indies
Tropical beach destinations aren’t often revered for their spot-on haute cuisine, but with the recent opening of Anguilla’s Malliouhana, that tenor is shifting. Overseen by Jeremy Bearman, formerly of New York City's Rouge Tomate, the Restaurant at Malliouhana offers innovative riffs on local flavors with an ingredient-driven, seasonal menu that favors fresh seafood and bright vegetable preparations. On a recent trip to the island, I enjoyed the delectable yellowfin tuna paillard. The dish was luxe, piquant, and almost as visually appealing as the restaurant’s open-air setting, perched high above the Caribbean sea—but it's hard to top that.
—Elena North-Kelly, Senior Editor
Isabelle’s Request / Estia’s American, Darien, CT
With so many options in New York City, it takes a lot to justify driving to another state just for brunch. But I’m very glad a tenacious friend convinced me to trek up to Darien for a trip to Estia’s American. On his recommendation, I had the “Isabelle’s Request,” a rustic, open-faced sandwich of Tuscan toast piled high with goat cheese, spinach, tomatoes, onions, and two perfectly poached eggs. Between the crunch of the crusty bread, the vibrant vegetables, and the rich yolks spilling into each bite, I found myself quickly running the numbers on the feasibility of a reverse commute for Sunday brunch.
—Maggie Borden, Assistant Editor
Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad with Arugula and Hazelnuts / Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin
I love Suzanne Goin's cookbooks. They are very technique-driven, so even the more simple dishes, such as this salad, can teach you something new and useful. When making this dish, I discovered a great technique for skinning hazelnuts: fill a medium sauce pot with water and add hazelnuts and two tablespoons of baking soda. Bring to a boil and let boil for a few minutes. Drain the nuts and rinse with cold water. The bitter skins will slip off easily. Goin also uses hazelnut oil to season the nuts and enhance the salad's vinaigrette; the flavor is a delicious foil to the sharpness of the arugula.
—Anna Mowry, Senior Editor
Okinomiyaki / Shalom Japan, Brookyn
Some of my most memorable culinary experiences from a year spent in Japan in the late '90s are of okinomiyaki restaurants, where I'd crack an egg into my bowl of ingredients (cabbage, meat and/or seafood, and a variety of other ingredients), mix and pour the batter onto a tabletop griddle, and top the finished savory pancake-omelet-pizza hybrid with okinomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, seaweed, and bonito flakes. I was thrilled to find a fantastic, of-of-the-moment, only-in-NYC version at Shalom Japan in Williamsburg, where the shredded cabbage is replaced with sauerkraut, the protein of choice is corned lamb's tounge, and the cooking is left to the pros (chefs Aaron Israel and Sawa Bear), but it's just as delicious as I remember.
—Alison Tozzi Liu, Editorial Director