Friday, August 1, 2008

Food Porn Friday

My mother-in-law wanted to spend the day with the baby, so that meant a whole day to do what I had to do and to do what I wanted to do. I managed to fit a lot of action into those five hours.

I had to get started on the Maldroid article which has been stewing and brewing, awaiting my Alors, Et Toi deadline. As the outline fleshed itself out, I began to look outside at the heatwaves simmering in my backyard. It was time to hit the pool.

I found myself a lounge chair that was half in the shade and half in the baking sun. I re-read my notes, press kit and interview outline, occasionally Googling items. When I tried to edit my Google doc, I was depressed to realize my BlackBerry could only display the document; I couldn't actually work in it. Furthermore, clouds rolled in and it started to rain.

Not about to let a little technological snafu and rain piss on my parade, I schlepped over to Tin Fish for a solo lunch and to read the book I'm reviewing, also for the Fall issue of AET. Even though it was my objective to work through my delicious lunch, I couldn't help it: I was distracted by the pornographic wonderfulness of the food I had before me, and decided my current projects could wait; it was time to talk dirty to all my foodies out there.

I started off with four raw oysters, two East Coast and two West Coast. As my server explained, the East Coast varieties are sweeter where the West Coast are saltier. In this picture, you can see that the larger ones on the left (she positioned the plate with the East Coast oysters facing east, the West facing west) are obscenely huge, large enough for me to taste alone, with lemon, with a bit of the cocktail/horseradish sauce and a taste of Tabasco. They were cold, firm and sweet--perfect.



Their West Coast counterparts were, by comparison, smaller, far saltier and swimming in more of the briny liquor. Not large enough to try each of the preceding flavor combinations, but possessing far more potent oceanic taste than the East Coast oysters, I found myself wishing I had just ordered six East and half a dozen West instead of the tasty and delicious seared tuna salad I ended up getting.



No regrets there, though. Coated in toasted black and white sesame seeds, the barely and perfectly cooked slab of tuna sat in a nest of watercress, tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers and pickled ginger with a light sesame lime dressing. Rather than chicken of the sea, tuna like this is very much the filet mignon of the sea, mild in flavor, tender yet substantially fleshy. Yum. The sauvignon blanc my server brought to me was delicate and citrusy, a perfect compliment to a seafood lunch.

Eavesdropping as I do, I heard her describing the fresh Michigan blueberries they'd just gotten in for their special dessert. Usually cooked fruit makes me feel like gagging, but for some reason, the sound of the blueberry and almond crisp served with vanilla ice cream sounded rather T & A to me, so I decided to try the half-size portion.



Good thing. The dessert wasn't that big, but it was super rich. The blueberries were cooked into a juicy stew, while maintaining their structural integrity. Mushy fruit, after all, is my nemesis. Not to worry, though. The hot berry slurry was covered by a salty, crunchy almond crust and a perfect sphere of vanilla ice cream. With a cup of strong, hot coffee, I completely forgot about the two projects I had originally brought in to work on and slipped into the irrevocable food porn mode.

If you're ever near 183rd and Harlem, check out Tin Fish. They have an excellent raw bar, a great lunch menu and kick ass service. I'm already plotting what to have next time I make it in there.

11 comments:

Ratherto said...

you make this sound so good that even I want to go there...and I'm allergic to fish! Maybe if I'm ever diagnosed with as incureable disease, I'll spend the day.

Nora said...

Wow! If I can make deadly food sound enticing to you, I must be onto something!

God, that just makes me think of that day I almost made salmon pasta for you and Slippy. Who ever thought a tornado would save your life?

Slippy said...

Well, unlike Ratherto, I am not allergic to seafood and have been wanting to go there forever. Count me in next time!

Nora said...

Count you in? The reservations are made. For three. Me, you and the Jude!

Slippy said...

Just let me know the time and date!

theeriver said...

Tin Fish. Pure Awesomeness.

Jude said...

Nora,any day but Thurs.....and even then I could make an exception!!

Jude said...

If we could mix THE FISH with my other favorite in Tinley,no,not Durbins...Isabellas...then summer life would almost be perfect!!! Even tho you have the traffic on Oak Park you can sit outside and pray for a long train so it is a bit quieter.Reminds me of some of the boites in Germany and France,tho not as much FASHION passes by!!!
May have to mention to the Grand Pooh-Pah that on tonites menu is Tomato Surprise....that's always a good way to get to go out for dinner!

Nora said...

River--it totally is.

Jude and Jenny--name a day and time.

Ratherto--they have steak.

Nora said...

Mom--Isabella's was food pornariffic last time I went there. I was with Hot Buns Murphy. It was divine. But we should hit up the Tin Fish one day very soon. Like ... Tomorrow?

Ratherto said...

If they have steak...I'm in