On Monday I went to Stones Throw for their final Eat Like a Chef, Drink Like a Somm dinner of the year. This one was a three-pastry-chef blow-out: William Werner, Bill Corbett, and Matt Tinder were on hand, forgoing their sweet impulses in favor of savory applications. All of them succeeded handsomely: Werner produced a spin on whitefish salad, Corbett knocked out some farro arancini, and Tinder did beautiful things with yuba, those cool, slippery ribbons of bean curd skin. I loved it all, but Corbett's arancini continue to seep into my daydreams for the simple reason that making arancini out of farro is kind of brilliant and was also, in Corbett's hands, incredibly delicious, all crunchy but pliant crust and creamy innards, served with squash purée and Greek yogurt. I could pop them like malt balls, and given the opportunity, probably would.
If you're partial to smoked salmon served in improbably generous quantities, do yourself a favor and take a seat at Les Clos, where the lunch menu features a smoked salmon tartine to end all smoked salmon tartines. Served over a healthy smear of creme fraiche and garnished with capers and chives, the fish comes to you in a silky, voluptuous pile; eating it is an exercise in pescatarian ecstasy, a little journey down the cobbled lane to unabashed hedonism. Sure, you can tell yourself that you're getting a big helping of omega-3s, but really, this is all about pure pleasure, delivered cold.
I've never been one to let pesky salmonella fears get in the way of consuming raw dough of any kind, but that doesn't lessen my appreciation for Dough & Co., the local company that traffics in logs of raw chocolate chip cookie dough. You can, of course, bake the dough into perfectly good cookies and eat them like a grown-up person, but why would you when you can instead surrender to your basest impulses and just eat it raw, secure in the knowledge that it doesn't contain eggs? Omar Mamoon, the company's founder, has swapped them out for finely ground chia seeds, a trade-off that has zero negative impact on flavor but may have a discernibly positive impact on your mood. It did on mine.