Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bits and Morsels goes to the mall

The view of Columbus Circle and Central Park from the bar at Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center.

Meet me in Columbus Circle. When the dog days of summer arrive, a great way to pass those seemingly endless days is to head over to the Time Warner Center, located in Columbus Circle, and explore its fantastic shops and restaurants.

Hard to believe it's already been five years since The Time Warner Center was unveiled (to many dissenters, mind you). I am a fan, however. And my first stop is always Williams Sonoma. Every Sunday at 11:00 am they offer free cooking demonstrations (as well as technique classes and product demonstrations). And so, there is almost always something good cooking in the kitchen on Sunday mornings ... with plenty of samples made available. Last Sunday, we were treated to pizza with a Florentine spinach sauce. This coming week, the demonstration is all about the flavors of summer and how to best utilize summer vegetables.
Peeking into Central Park while walking along Central Park South.
Pizza samples at Williams Sonoma.
A selection of great shops at the Time Warner Center ...
Lunch: the place to go is Bouchon Bakery on the 3rd floor. There is a Café and a takeout counter. If time permits, sit in the café as it has stunning views of all the action going on in the lobby of the Time Warner Center as well as outside in Columbus Circle. I tend to sit at the bar or the communal table and watch the world go by. The cuisine is casual with classics like grilled cheese with tomato soup and quiche (different every day). Bouchon bakery is a Thomas Keller restaurant, so you know the food is not taken lightly.

My go-to lunch at Bouchon is the Tuna Nicoise Tartine (extra pickles for me). I always crave a cold Diet Coke and they carry it in the bottle. The counter presents many baked goods (in addition to the lunch menu): assorted macaroons, croissants, muffins and TKOS (Thomas Keller Oreos), which are to die for. They also make an especially good Arnold Palmer, which I order to go.
Extra pickles at Bouchon Bakery. Tuna Tartine.
Bouchon Bakery Pastries. TKO - Thomas Keller Oreos.
My guilty pleasure: Diet Coke from the bottle. Arnold Palmer from Bouchon Bakery. Iced coffee at Whole Foods.
After a bite at Bouchon ... I head to Borders to loiter and thumb through some new releases. I’m always interested in what others are reading, so if I see someone in the dog, food or diet and nutrition section, I'm not afraid to ask for suggestions.

The Borders at The Time Warner Center is usually mobbed and quite conducive to meeting people.
Browsing the Diet and Nutrition section at Borders.
Alas, the real reason I go to the Time Warner Center: to shop at Whole Foods, located in the lower level. I love getting my produce there. I always seek out the employees who are putting out the produce, so I know it's fresh. They also have a salad bar stocked with healthy choices. On some of my lazier nights, I will even go to whole foods for dinner.

Now, I am aware the Time Warner Center is not exactly a revelation, but on a hot and humid Sunday in July ... I will take what I can get.
My basket at Whole Foods.
Resurfacing from Whole Foods.
I’m excited to read Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal. It’s upsetting and unsettling to read about all the food that consumers, as well as corporations, waste everyday. People are literally starving and we are throwing out perfectly acceptable food. [The Financial Times]

The future is not looking good
for Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines. Print magazines on the whole aren’t doing well, but the add pages are down sharply for these two Conde Nast magazines. I’m a fan of both and I would hate to see either one of them fold. [Eat me Daily]

This article is an interesting glimpse
into what the competitors of the Tour De France eat every day. The riders require 5,000 – 8,000 calories a day to be able to compete effectively. Some teams hire their own chefs to ensure that they are eating expertly prepared nutritious food. [The New York Times]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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