Tag Archives: olives

Best of New York: John’s Pizzeria

John’s Pizzeria
(Greenwich Village)

My second cousin took me to John’s Pizzeria. I had to double-check the address with him, because there are tons of variations on the name in Greenwich Village. He impressed upon me that we weren’t just going for the best pizza in New York; we were going for The Best Pizza in New York.

To be fair, he didn’t give me a chance to try any of the impersonators in the neighbourhood, so I have no idea what the competitors were offering.

But John’s pizza is delicious. The thin crust is simultaneously crispy yet chewy. More amazingly, the crust actually tastes like something: like flour, yeast, and salt. We had a margherita pizza, with brightly fresh tomato sauce and basil. It was perfect. The tomato sauce is rich and full, just salty enough, and complements the crust beautifully.

We also had one with pepperoni and garlic, and another with anchovy and black olives. Both were good, but neither came close to the plain old tomato sauce and basil pizza.

Also, the Murray Cheese Company is just down the street at 254 Bleeker Street. They have a beautiful selection of cheese, meat and other goodies. Like chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

John’s Pizzeria
278 Bleecker Street, between Seventh Avenue and Jones Street
New York, NY
212-243-1680
John's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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Have your foie gras and eat it, too.

Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for this one. Kevin posted this on Foodists.ca, and I can’t believe that I hadn’t heard about it sooner.

This video sums up my sentiments about the importance of sustainable agriculture, eating local/seasonal food, and how you can taste all the love and hard work that goes into your food. Surprisingly enough, Dan Barber uses foie gras to illustrate his point.

He talks about his trip to Spain to visit a farm that produces humane foie gras. The geese feast on figs, olives and seeds. They’re happy and plump. And the resulting foie gras won the 2006 Paris International Food Salon Coupe de Coeur award for innovation. Dan Barber calls it “the best culinary experience of [his] life.”

The video’s 20 minutes long, and it will change your life. I’ve watched it twice, both times rapt with attention. Watch the whole thing, but pay attention to the second half. I mean, the first half is great, but it really hits its stride after the 12:50 mark. I wish I had said it, but Dan says it better.

It’s snowing cats and dogs

I haven’t seen this much snow, or snowflakes this size, since my first year living in Kingston. And that was Kingston, not Vancouver. Crazy.

Apparently, grocery stores are running out of food. We’re definitely getting creative at my house. With the Christmas party (and turkey) cancelled, this might just be the year to start a new tradition: Christmas pizza.

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I could live on bread and water…

…but only if the bread came from Terra Breads and I could choose from anything that they make.  My all-time favourite is the fig & anise loaf, which is dark and dense with pockets of licorice-y goodness and dark dried figs.  However, the green olive loaf is a close second.  Their levain loaf uses a mixture of white and whole wheat flour, and is leavened using a sourdough starter.  The resulting texture is yeasty and porous, with a satisfyingly crunchy crust.  

It’s expensive stuff – about $5 for a large loaf – but well worth it.  The only trouble is, it doesn’t last that long.  I dare you not to eat an entire loaf in a day or two. 

Terra Breads
various locations in Vancouver
www.terrabreads.com
Terra Breads Cafe on Urbanspoon

Birthday pizza

To celebrate my 27th year of existence, I hosted a movie marathon with a “make yer own pizza, bitch” component. The latter featured homemade pizza dough and tomato sauce and whatever toppings I purchased at the market the day before: mushrooms, arugula, asparagus, spicy olives, and three kinds of cheese (brie, bocconcini, and regular mozzarella). It was deliciousness, although there was an almost-incident when an over-greased pan started smoking in the oven for a few minutes, and for a few minutes the kitchen looked like a bad 80’s nightclub with the smoke machine cranked up.

I did end up making my own birthday cake, but since it was a caramel-pear mousse cake I didn’t mind. It was a chance to practice all those techniques I worked so hard to learn in culinary school.