Food Fairy on the Fly

DSCN0125From NYC on the nearer coast to the nether reaches of the far Northwest’s Seattle and Vancouver BC, Food Fairy has made dazzling discoveries in mid-six months of 2011.

NORTHEAST: Bottom line? The Corcorans (that would be Food Fairy and the Music Man aka Mark & Bill) are crazy for NYC. We’ll grasp the flimsiest of excuses to justify a trip to “the city.” A single evening commitment to attend a family wedding on Long Island was all we needed to rationalize a 4-day stay in Manhattan where we discovered:

EATALY USA, 200 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District. A Google search for the nearest Mario Batali restaurant led us to this culinary Emerald City. This 50,000 sq. ft. marvel of eating and shopping boasts four wizards behind its curtain: Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, Joe Bastianich and Oscar Farinetti, a food and wine entrepreneur from Turin, Italy. read more...

NORTHWEST: En route to Vancouver BC, we stopped in Seattle and tried Maria Hines” (James Beard winner) TILTH, a farm-to-table-house-turned-restaurant (a lot of that going around lately) where FF found the snug coziness claustrophobic and the food good, but predictably trendy with au courant requisites of beet/hazelnut salad, carnaroli risotto, beef cheeks and duck sliders. Tilth has added its two cents to make the ubiquitous pork belly the new calamari – a given on menus way too far and much too wide.

Seattle also hides an absolute treasure in LARK on Capitol Hill. read more...

BEYOND THE BORDER: Vancouver, British Columbia has got it all: snow-capped mountains, sunny beaches and effing fabulous food! This oh-so-hip city has gone way beyond the coronation of salmon as king. Our faves are in historic Gastown, the gently gentrified district of eco-eclectic retail and rendezvous raucous or refined. Food is front and center with hottest ticket in town, L’ABATTOIR housed in Vancouver’s first jail. This time around folk are lining up to get into the joint. This sleek, respectful retrofit is pulling out the stops with an edgy interior and artfully plated culinary creations. An appetizing toasted brioche silo of Dungeness crab, garlic custard and carrot pickles was ga-ga-gorgeous and brought a real party to the palate. The Steak Diane is a knockout! read more...

NEXT UP? GOING DOWN (you should pardon the expression) by about 21 degrees of latitude to Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's Pacific coast for a 7-day-shot of sunshine and siestas. On Food Fairy radar are Vista Grill, La Palapa, newcomer Taste and up to a rooftop for Barcelona Tapas. South-of-the-border snowbirds are welcome to suggest personal faves for this itinerary.