A year and a bit of food blogging had done awful things to the way some of my clothes were fitting, so I’ve put the last couple of months to good use and have been on a rather tedious diet. The next month or so promises to be interesting blog-fodder – I’m off to the US skiing again this year (there being no snow in Europe), but I’ll be stopping off in Las Vegas for a few days beforehand and am hoping to snag a booking at Le Cirque or Picasso, as well as Michael Mina’s new restaurant at Mandalay Bay which, of course, you’ll get to hear all about. Sad news for Vegas-loving foodies; Commander’s Palace, one of my favourite Vegas restaurants, is closing from today (Jan 16). For the uninitiated, Commander’s Palace is an exceptionally good Creole restaurant, whose impeccable service, 25c Martinis and glorious, glorious Tasso Shrimp Henican were always a real highlight of our trips to Vegas. They were to reopen at The Palazzo (the Venetian’s new extension), but apparently talks with the Venetian have stalled – I’ll let you know if I hear any news about a new location. (Of course, the original Commander’s Palace in New Orleans is still open and still marvellous, by all accounts.) Rumour has it that the restaurant location in the Miracle Mile shopping mall (formerly the Desert Passage) will become a Jamaican restaurant.
More sad news comes from Oriental City in Edgware. It’s still open for now, but there are plans to redevelop the site it occupies for housing, a DIY superstore and a school. The developers are making vague noises about rehousing the retailers and food stalls when the current building is bulldozed, but there is very little detail as yet; for now, watch this space and I’ll keep you updated. Do visit soon if you can – it’s a great experience which may not be around for much longer.
So, what have I been up to for the last couple of months? Well, I’ve been eating a lot of porridge with skimmed milk, discovering that a cappuccino really doesn’t work with skimmed milk in it, and that it is highly irritating to watch your husband eat toast and honey every evening before bed when you can’t.
There’s plenty to blog about, anyway. I’ve been to visit my brother in France, where I spent an hour or so annoying market stallholders with a camera. I bought a truffle in Cambridge, learned a new application for my Chinese cleaver, gained custody of a box of cocoa nibs, found a new and excellent supplier of herbs, worked out how to make a pilaf in the rice-cooker, and have come into possession of a moulded brick of tea. It’s good to be back – I’m off now to do something interesting with some bits of chicken.