The other night we had a lovely dinner at the Blue Morel in Morristown, NJ. I haven't enjoyed dinner as much in several weeks. The food, the service and the cocktails all were spot on. Especially the friendly welcome. After the week we've had here in NJ, a warm- smiling face means everything to us.
It's been a rough 10 days since Sandy spoiled the party here in Morristown, NJ. For those of you who haven't followed the news, we had a super-storm/ hurricane here in NJ. Most of the attention, and rightfully so has been on the shore and NYC/Staten Islands and beyond.
Here in Morristown, we've been without power. That means no heat and no water. I've been up heating the house with the most marvelous Jotul Wood Burning Stove. A 602 N. (N for Norway, where they are required to have at least one woodstove in every home)
Downstairs at home it is a balmy 35 degrees. Upstairs where the stove penetrates deeply, it is nearly 70. I can live with 70.
Dinner at the Blue Morel was a lovely idea. The Duck Confit, a pleasure to sup- perfectly cooked Puy Lentils with a dark-duck demi glace and a tiny yet robust, lemon tinged frisee salad. In a word, exemplary.
The Calvados Sidecar washed this little teardrop (the shape of the plate) of confit down. Expertly woven of Calvados, Cointreau Orange Liqueur, Lemon Juice and a bit of orange on the side of the glass, this was the most perfect complement to the salad. It was fall in a glass. Very warming, potent. Slippery going down.
I want to personally thank Chef Kevin Takafuji for taking such good care of us last night and especially your marvelous service staff at the restaurant, who made us feel cared for and not hurried.
Thanks also to Thomas Ciszak for taking care of us in other ways. Thank you sir.
Now, why the Jotul wood burning stove? Because that little powerhouse has permitted us to live in our home for ten days without power or heat.
They know how to keep warm in Norway!
I must say that the greatest gift of all is the water that we drink. We've been forced to use town water because our well pump is electric. So no well water. I've been running all the town water through my Mavea pitcher. Amazing how close this fabulous filtration system makes my water taste to the water I'm accustomed to drinking.
When you burn wood for heat the air gets really dry, so many glasses of water from the Mavea pitcher makes the dryness go away. Thank you!
Warren Bobrow is the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild River Review/ Wild Table, located in Princeton, New Jersey.
He is one of 12 journalists world-wide, and the only one from the USA to participate in the Fête de la Gastronomie- the weekend of September 22nd. 2012 in Burgundy.
He attended Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans as a journalist/photo-journalist in 2011/2012.
Warren presented a seminar on freestyle mixology at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon. (2012)
Warren co-judged the Iron Mixology competition at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival (2012)
Warren has published over three hundred articles on everything from cocktail mixology to restaurant reviews to travel articles.
You may also find him on the web at: http://www.cocktailwhisperer.com
Warren is also a published food writer and former chef.
He's written food and cocktail articles and news for DrinkupNY, Edible Jersey, Beverage Journal, Chutzpah Magazine, Voda Magazine, Tasting Panel, Serious Eats and Total Food Service Magazine.
Warren attended the Kentucky Derby and the Oaks Day Races this year while on assignment for Voda Magazine.
He writes for the "Fabulous Beekman 1802 Boys" as their cocktail writer. (The Soused Gnome on Facebook)
He also writes for The Daily Basics, Leaf Magazine and Modenus.
He writes for Williams-Sonoma on their Blender Blog.
He is a Ministry of Rum judge.
Warren began his climb to becoming a chef as a pot scrubber at the York Harbor Inn in York Harbor, Maine in 1985.
He cooked at Alberta's in Portland, Maine during mid-80's.
Warren is the former owner and co- founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in Charleston, SC while cooking at the Primerose House and Tavern. (Also in Charleston)
He spent Hurricane Hugo (1989) in his former home in Charleston and lost his business.
Warren was # 30 in Saveur Magazine's 100 for his writing about the humble Tuna Melt.
Headshot photograph taken at the Ministry of Rum in San Francisco- August 2010