January 2023

Celebrating December in New York for the first time without a dining room to welcome our guests kept us a little off balance! Our fair city was packed and for us this was an amazing thing to see as we moved in and out of the side streets to try and not be stuck in the middle, exhilarated by the pulse of the streets to have that NYC feeling return and I know for our fellow colleagues a welcome uptick.

But we can admit that not being in the center and nestled in our little cocoon of a neighborhood, allowing the celebratory moments to enter the front door was a best of both worlds situation. All of the merry merry without the harried harried!

Our festivities kicked off with an incredible gathering on a Sunday afternoon/evening? of a deep dive into cassoulet, with all the other trimmings of decadence, at the Sprung’s convivial and hospitality infused home on the Upper West Side. Many food forward friends contributing their talents to the table, and to the glass. Chip brought his pate de Grand Mere and Prune Armagnac Glace, keeping with the theme of Gascogne. Conversation, music, food, more food, wine, more wine, laughter and all around joy filled their dining room. We are of good fortune to be included in this group of taste seekers.

Cassoulet-fest wine

Our incredible guest Anne Ziff sent us the surprise treat of tickets to witness The Hours at the Metropolitan Opera House and the sheer power of this performance filled us up on all senses. The Arts, sustaining, carries all of us forward, allows an escape. Delicious in its own way.

chefs knifes

A quick trip down to the DC area to spend long overdue time with family. Early Christmas dinner of a roasted rack of pork, butternut squash caramelized in the oven, salad of shaved fennel and orange with pistachios, macaroni and cheese, biscuits. Christmas Eve found us in the company of our dear friends Christopher and Stacy. She delights in preparing a meal that would be envied by many chefs…promises to come and work Garde Manger station for Chip when we re-open. I warned her to be careful of what she says, we may just take her up on that!

And cold in New York City that weekend, old school cold, reminds me of early days when I first lived here and the time spent bundled up against the wind, strolling oh so romantically with Chip through the Lower East Side and East Village. The old and lasting song “what are you doing New Year’s Eve” took on a new meaning for us, being the first in 27 years that we were not toasting with guests in a flurry of midnight kisses. Instead, a quiet evening at home with an oh so Paris chef style late night dinner, minus the luxury of truffles and caviar. Champagne Brocard Pierre “Bulles de Blanc” 2014, Domaine Couturier “Clos Scelles” Pouilly-Fuisse 2019. Omelette of Comte and green onion, Caesar salad, potato and caramelized onion gratin.

Other wines that have been delicious, Canadel Bandol Rose 2018 and a 2009 Muscadet from la Pepiere and Marc Olivier. These sexy bottles are thanks to my friends John Mcclwain and Ryan Looper…our personal wine Santas!

New Year’s Day will find us enjoying without fail the dinner of blackeyed peas, collard greens, corn bread hoping that every bite brings us the luck it promises in lore! A bottle of Camille Melinand Fleurie is patiently waiting for me on the counter.


And on that note we say to all of our friends, Happy New Year. We hope that it brings good health, joy, adventures and the occasional surprise for all of you. Our wish is for the key to the kingdom of continued hospitality, warmth, and your company. Remember to take good care of yourselves and those around you.

With love,

–Chip and Tina

Goat Cheese Souffle

Goat Cheese Souffle