Food – a twist on the Classics

Classic dishes are like Madonna: They don’t go away, they just reinvent themselves.damn1

First we’re going to start with 3 basics that have been around forever and probably everyone has eaten at least once in their lifetime.  I’m talking Caesar Salad, the BLT and good ol’ Southern fried chicken.  Then we’re going to put a bit of a twist on them and turn each into a sandwich because there’s something to be said about a great sandwich.  Of course the BLT is already a sandwich…but it’s where the bacon is grilled that’s the ticket.

This is how it’s done

The Caesar Salad
Transformed into a genius sandwich on toasted brioche at Damn the Weather in Seattle.

Damn the Weather, Seattle
Damn the Weather, Seattle

According to Bon Appétit:

Not only does this place win the title of best bar name of 2015, it’s also home to some of the best bar food we ate all year. After being lured to this brick building in Pioneer Square by its outstanding cocktail program, we ended up ditching our dinner plans and hunkering down at the bar for a meal. Would you walk out on a duck chili dog? Didn’t think so. Sure, you can get a killer burger and fries. But you won’t want to miss daring dishes like a spaghetti-and-meatball burger, and salt-and-pepper chicken skins. Should you need more courage to ditch your comfort zone, consult the cocktail list, which is heavy on food-friendly aperitifs like Calvados and tonic or Zucca amaro and soda.

damn6This time, the bacon’s grilled at The Polo Bar in NYC. This one is owned by fashion legend Ralph Lauren

Lauren’s third restaurant (after Ralph’s in Paris and RL in Chicago) includes all the ingredients that make his style so quintessentially American. Think equestrian vibes, country club-style leather accents and luxuriously-crafted interiors. It’s an ode to the preppy American, the Wild West (saddle leather & equestrian art) and the stylish sportif Lauren best represents in his collections. The staff is, of course, outfitted in Ralph Lauren.

It would help to dress in RL
DRESS CODE: It would help to dress in RL

Fittingly, the new restaurant is located beside the Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store at Fifth Avenue and East 55th Street, where Lauren launched his own coffee shop, Ralph’s Coffee—serving up organic espressos and Americanos—last fall. But The Polo Bar serves much more than coffee. American fare such as locally-raised steaks and burgers (from his own cattle ranch in Colorado, whenever possible), fresh oysters, crab cakes, Alaskan black cod, corned beef sandwiches, Loch Duart wild salmon and BLT salads are among the choices offered on the menu. The designer’s favorite item on the menu is rumored to be the corned beef sandwich, toasted on rye bread with classic mustard and coleslaw. One thing is clear: the menu and the décor are drenched in tradition. Other options include the dover sole—one of the most delicate-tasting fish available—and the caviar and fingerling potatoes, another classic yet hard-to-find offering. Source: Harper’s Bazaar Magazine

Fried Chicken Sandwich – a la Chicken Milanese 

Photo: Crystal Coser
Photo: Crystal Coser

Apparently L.A. is having a current obsession with fried-chicken sandwiches.  Who knew? Those cravings can be satisfied at Alimento  where  chef  Zach Pollack  makes a killer Milanese version at the bar – a new addition to his Italian menu.

A review in Los Angeles Eater has this to say:  The richness of super crisp fried chicken and layer of prosciutto is perfectly balanced by the bite of pepperoncini and a pleasantly bitter puntarelle slaw.  damn4

But Pollack’s biggest contribution to modern thought might just be his tortellini, a soup-dumpling heist in which rich broth is tucked inside delicate pasta dough. These culinary feats (and others) all take place in a chic, fuss-free room—the kind of grown-up, date-night spot that any neighborhood would be lucky to have.

Oh right; date night….

Well looks like I’ll  start with the Caesar sandwich in Seattle and work my way down or is it up?  Doesn’t matter – I’ll work my way around it all.

Where would you start?

Damn the Weather: 116 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104, United States      Phone:+1 206-946-1283

Alimento: 1710 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, United States             Phone:+1 323-928-2888

 The Polo Bar: 1 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022, United States

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