Altura Takes Itself Just Seriously Enough

It was a coincidence that Altura received a semi-finalist nomination for a James Beard Foundation award the day we had reservations. It made it all the more surprising that tables around us sat empty for hours as we ate, despite my needing to book two weeks out to get a reasonable time slot. After the level of service and cuisine we witnessed, I can't help but wonder (hope!) if it was purposeful--to relax the kitchen and the waitstaff workload--so that the diner's experience is impeccable. If not, perhaps we were just fortunate that nobody read the nominations and tried to jump on the … [Read more...]

Pasta without a Pasta Maker: Orechiette

Before I owned a pasta maker, I too fell into the lazy pattern of assumption. I assumed I lacked the rolling pin skills to make pasta. I assumed I could buy pasta that was good. I assumed that those assholes with pasta makers were the only ones who got to have real, homemade pasta every night, up there, in their pasta-maker having castles. In Italy, I'm sure. Now I have a pasta maker, but sometimes, you just don't want to get down all the gear, and you just want some FREAKING PASTA. This is me, like, all the time. I'm a pasta maniac. So at times like this, the solution is Orechiette. It … [Read more...]