Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bits & Morsels

Whole Wheat Pasta with vegetables at Primola.

"Bits and Morsels" is an ongoing collection of information from the world of the foodies and foodblogs:

This past Saturday night I dined at the bustling Primola on 2nd Avenue and 64th Street. Why the bustling? Simply because the food and service are consistently good. They serve Italian food with a lighter than usual touch. Most of the dishes are hearty yet health-conscious so you don’t need a digestive nap after dining there. I especially like their crudités which make for a nice alternative to bread and butter.

Primola is very much a neighborhood restaurant and is always packed with locals. This past Saturday night, however, the restaurant was almost too busy to be enjoyable. The air was a bit stale and the diners were packed in like sardines. Parties of four were seated at tables for two and it was nearly impossible to conduct a conversation over the blanket of noise. You could say it’s a testament to the high quality of Primola’s cuisine. Only in New York …
Crudités in place of bread.
Fried artichokes.
Asparagus salad.
Grilled Halibut with sauteed spinach.
Primola filled to the brim.
A cappuccino to maintain the frenetic pace.
The newly renovated Food Emporium on 68th and Third Avenue is an asset to the neighborhood. The market that New Yorkers love to hate has gone through a very impressive makeover. The whole upper level has been converted into a fine foods department. Food Emporium hired Hans Heer (who had been at Harrods in London) as the architect of the new concept. They have devoted sections of the store to flowers, chocolate, teas, sushi and much more. And the variety of their chocolate department is mind blowing. They also have a coffee bar which serves Illy coffee and is a peaceful nook to linger after food shopping. This new concept will soon come to all Food Emporiums in Manhattan, so shoppers rejoice.
The new and vastly improved Food Emporium.
Researchers in California have discovered that “how much you like something” is linked to “how much it costs.” Meaning, the more expensive it is, the better you think it tastes. In this study participants agreed that wine priced at $90 tasted better than the same exact wine priced at $10; showing the impact marketing has on how we perceive taste. [Cnet News]

We will all dearly miss the entrepreneurial spirit of Carl N. Karcher, who died last Friday at age 90. In 1941 he bought a hot dog cart for $324 and managed to turn it into one of the largest hamburger chains in America, Carl’s Jr. He is credited with introducing self serve beverage stations as well as char broiled chicken sandwiches to the fast food industry. Today Carl’s Jr. has over 1,000 locations. [The New York Times]

Don’t be fooled when you catch Atlantic salmon on a menu, as it is likely farmed and not wild salmon. We know this because there is hardly any wild Atlantic salmon left in our waters. Some may think that wild salmon is healthier but worse for the environment as fish stocks are dwindling. Ordering fish these days is always a tradeoff; everyone has different reasons for ordering one over the other. [Sun Sentinel]

Till we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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