Carlita’s 2011 favorites…

A few highlights from 2011!

San Antonio Tex Mex- In March I headed south to San Antonio, birthplace of tex-mex, for my niece Amy’s wedding.  We stayed on the river walk but the best food was at the catered wedding and rehearsal dinners.  The groom’s family, native’s of San Antonio,  treated us to an awesome brunch the following day at La Fonda on Main, the oldest Mexican restaurant in San Antonio opened 1932.

Jura wine dinner-chicken with morels, etc, etc…thanks Beth Baye for the most memorable dinner party, what a line up! Dom Berthet-Bondet, Puffeney, Bourdy, Dom Montborgeau…….

Favorite recipe: Poblanos stuffed with herbed goat cheese with a fresh corn sauce and sliced heirloom tomatoes.  An impromtu summer dinner party with the best of the August farmer’s market…

Meg’s bread-she has been perfecting this recipe for years and swears by the bread bible.  Made with a combination of flours and starter and baked in a regular oven, these loaves come out crusty and rustic.

Book:  Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones and Butter – She came in through the back door, one chef who has not sold out to the cult of celebrity.

Cookbook:  Ron Suhanosky, The Italian Table-from the former chef of Sfoglia and now of Nonna’s Table, a small take out establishment in upper Manhattan.  A refreshing update on rustic Italian.

Restaurant: Turkish Kitchen – My friend and fellow Turkeyphile Stacy Greene treated me to a birthday celebration at the Turkish Kitchen.  Haven’t been in years and the joint has gone white tablecloth, French service.  It’s nice to see a NYC Turkish restaurant go beyond Kabobs and play up the elegance of this under-rated cuisine.

Wine:  Anything from Louis Dressner Selections.   Sadly, founder Joe Dressner passed away this year and will be celebrated for his irreverence and herculean efforts to alter the wine landscape .  Thanks for paving the way Joe, now there are many small companies focusing on naturally made terroir driven wines.

Art:  Metropolitan Museum of Art – the met is on a roll with newly designed galleries and excellent shows from Alexander McQueen, Indian miniatures to Italian portraits.  A great way to spend a Friday night with wine, music and art….