Our weekly roundup of bites and bevvies we can’t stop thinking about
Story by The Editors
What we craved this week: A whole lot of home cooking and one last visit to a Columbus restaurant where we’ve wined, dined and been surprised too many times to count.
Alana’s has been “closing” or “moving” for as long as I have been a patron (so at least four years). I always felt like it was a sort of inside joke—quirky, never-settled chef and co-owner Alana Shock teasing diners with the notion that she’s here today, but could be gone tomorrow, just like every dish on her menu. But the restaurant’s run officially comes to a close tonight—at least according to Schock’s husband and business partner Kevin Bertschi, the restaurant’s menus, waitstaff and other Columbus media outlets.
If you can, stop by for one last Surprise, like I did this week. Diners are kept in the dark about Alana’s Surprises (typically there are appetizer and entree options) until the food arrives at the table. It’s a gamble I’ve rarely regretted. The Surprise always ended up being what I didn’t know I wanted. This last time was no different: A hoppin’ john-spiced rabbit tenderloin on a bed of frisee with hazelnut brown butter to start, and an herbaceous short rib with sausage and pepper risotto as a main. Alana’s is going out on a high note—and the restaurant will be sorely missed.
For a meal train for friends who just had a baby, I took a stab at a new recipe this week: Bon Appetit‘s Greens and Cheese Lasagna. It was my first experience with homemade béchamel (but definitely not my last) and turned out great. (And so, so cheesy.) Bonus: It was easy. I’m always up for that.
The Beyond Meat Beyond Burger finally won my $5.99 this week at Whole Foods. I’ve been eating veggie burgers since 1993 or so, when Gardenburger was the sexiest thing on the shelves at Fresh Fields, so I’ve been super-curious about the new class of patties that are supposed to look, cook and taste just like beef (Impossible Burger, the other big name in the category, counts David Chang as a fan, Harold McGee as an advisor and Bill Gates as a backer).
Some veggie burgers are meant to taste like vegetables, grains and the like. Others aspire to taste like meat. The latter usually taste like finely aged Birkenstocks soles. Not so with the Beyond Burger! I pan-fried a couple of these babies and tucked them in a wheat brioche bun with some tomato, dijon and mayo and was shockingly satisfied. Yeah, the patties smelled a bit like dog food out of the package, but as soon as they hit the hot pan, the kitchen was suffused with a beefy aroma. Really impressive, and worth a try if you’re in the mood for a meat vacation. Whole Foods Market Dublin, 3670 W. Dublin-Granville Road, Dublin
I felt like breakfast for dinner this week, but that’s not unusual in my house. We love whipping up pancakes or scrambling eggs when we’re not willing to trek to the grocery. (Those ingredients are always on hand.) When I came across this fabulous-looking salmon frittata on my Instagram feed (via @whole30recipes), I thought I’d give it a try. Yes, it’s Whole30-friendly, but I’m not on a Whole30. It came together in no time, looked beautiful next to my dressed greens and felt infinitely more special than our typical eggs and toast “brinners.” Please don’t skip the caper and dill mayo.