Sunday, April 21, 2019
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Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: The case against laminated menus—and why Salt Bae is my soulmate

People sneeze on laminated menus. They handle them with greasy paws. What I want on my table is a clean sheet of paper (no need for fancy stock) printed fresh every day. Plus: why I'm in love with finishing salts.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Some people watch ballet. I admire the Dance of the Short-Order Cook.

Some people have season tickets to the ballet; others follow sports. The spectacle I’m addicted to, every bit as physical in its own way but more quotidian, is the artistry of the short-order cook.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Why all restaurants should come with a service button

I hate hovering servers, but I also don’t want to be completely ignored. One easy way to negotiate the right level of service is the buzzer common in Korean restaurants. Picture a red button mounted next to your table. Push it, and a server materializes, ready to turn down the flame below your sizzling meat, refill your kimchi bowl, or bring you more barley tea.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Enough with the monster-sized pastries

I have lived in the United States for decades, but the monumental size of everything still shocks me. The Frenchwoman in me yearns for reasonable dimensions: skinny baguettes rather than ones as fat as my arm; one-bite chocolate bonbons making up in intensity what they lack in bulk.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Who serves toast in a bowl?

Bowls have their place when serving food, but please, don't put toast in a bowl ever again. Plus, nut milk from Virginia-Highland's Press & Grind has made me a convert.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Stop swirling your Champagne, you idiot

Champagnes and other sparkling wines are fragile! Swirl them and they’ll go flat, which means you lose the aromatics that the bubbles are meant to deliver.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Cheese later, not now

I cannot contain my disdain for the appetizer cheese course. Cheese is rich and, depending on the kind, funky. It satiates your appetite. It induces sleepiness, even. Why would anyone eat it at the beginning of the meal?
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Want the best restaurant meal ever? Go. Early.

After more than 40 years of professional dining experience, I can safely say this: The later you eat, the worse you are likely to eat.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Can we please use our inside voices at restaurants?

Quiet dining rooms are pretty much out of vogue. How many times have you crossed the threshold of a restaurant only to be assaulted by a racket resembling that of a colony of monkeys at the zoo?
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Here’s how you ruin ribs

Contrary to popular opinion, the meat should not be falling off the bone. On the other hand, I should not have had to forcefully wrench the meat away with my teeth.

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