March 23, 2005
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At Les Halles

Linda and I went to Les Halles, Anthony Bourdain's place in New York. She had onion soup -- among the best she's ever tasted -- and steal frites.

I tried the rillettes, chiefly because Bourdain adores them and I had no idea what to expect. To be honest, I'm not sure I understand the fuss -- a pleasant dish, sure, but it doesn't seem to be the stuff of which poems are made. The special onglet, on the other hand, was special -- beautiful meat, beautifully done by a cook who is not frightened of medium-rare, and perfect mashed potatoes.

It's comfort food, diner food with an accent. And the combination of french butchering and really good American beef is great,

We had a nice Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Vieux-Télégraphe Telegramme 2002) with dinner at a reasonable price. But somehow the wine didn't live up to the label. I'm still feeling my way here, but I'm really pretty sure I've had Gigondas that was fuller, rounder, and more complex.

Update: It turns out the wine has a backstory.