The family that eats together — and everything together — can avert travel melt-downs through rigorous training and palette refining, one family goes on a food odyssey in NYC — from foul to foie gras — and discover they can all have good tastes.
DINNER. OR: THE NIGHT OF A THOUSAND SWEETBREADS
AFTER EATING AT RECETTE, NEW YORK Magazine's Adam Platt wrote: "I felt like an opera buff who'd stumbled on a group of world-class tenors singing arias in their garage." That's exactly the way to describe what the laidback, tattooed chef Jesse Schenker and his swashbuckling crew are up to. They transform French food in a way that is baroque and brazen but also accessible to even the smallest among us.
But we still didn't want to reveal exactly what was in our Tete de Veau — Foie Gras Terrine, Bone Marrow Toast and "Buffalo" Sweetbreads. Surely, had we told Oona that she was eating "calf's head," she wouldn't have gone near it. But she didn't object to the unexplained treat and gobbled it up. (Should we feel guilty as parents for that? Yes, probably.) Daphne, meanwhile, blithely dunked her sweetbreads into the thickly divine Blu di Bufala Dip. Parenting blogs can — and probably will — call us bad parents, but our kids ate like French queens. We ate the Salt Cod Fritters, hovering atop a Lamb Ragu and flecked with Curry Aioli, and the Berkshire Pork Belly were truly transcendent. Oona called these dishes "too exotic" — due to a string of unfamiliar words Schenker used to describe them. Daphne preferred her sweetbreads. It's true that she may not have liked them had we called them, say, bovine intestines.
Both girls resolutely put down their forks when confronted with the Hawaiian Blue Prawn Crudo. Maybe it was the caper-sized crustacean eyeballs that did it. Our girls peeked through slatted fingers as we popped the tentacled suckers. Nothing washes down a tasty bite like the high-pitched screams of your daughters: "Don't do it, daddy!" Lesson learned, avoid any dish with eyeballs that may have been featured in Disney movie.