Olivia Dish

Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Cafe on Concourse B

In Georgia, Restaurant on February 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm
Cafe Intermezzo

Really, had I found charm at the Atlanta airport?

I’ve read the articles about good meals that food writers discover in airports, and they make me wonder what’s wrong with me.  Even though I’ve had a few bits of luck (Seattle, Baltimore, D.C.),  it’s not the norm. I assume it’s because I’m just not that clever.

So I didn’t want to get my hopes up when I stepped off the escalator at Concourse B in the Atlanta airport this week. But there it was, looking so gosh darned charming, a “sidewalk” cafe in front of a bookstore. White table cloths. Twinkling lights.  People lingering over glasses of wine and pots of tea as if they were at Laduree in Paris.

I had two hours before my flight might even hope to start boarding. I decided to give this Cafe Intermezzo a try.

I was led to a table inside, not far from the curving bar, a space with warm wood paneling, polished copper accents, and more white linens.  As I balanced my stuff in the spare chair at my table, I looked up to see the guy across from me accepting delivery of a giant piece of red velvet cake. I don’t get the fuss over that particular flavor, but I had to admit to myself: the cake looked pretty good. He swore it was and did an admirable job of polishing it off.
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Why So Crabby?

In Baltimore, Restaurant on February 21, 2011 at 10:02 pm
Luna Del Sea Bistro

Would it be crazy to think they have, say, crab on the menu?

Dear Baltimore, I’m sure your residents don’t eat crab three times a day. Or do they?

I just arrived here for an overnight assignment, after so many delays I feared my return flight might leave before I even landed.  Tired though I was, the prospect of my hotel’s restaurant wasn’t too appealing. I wanted to venture out into Baltimore, if only a half block.  With the concierge’s help, I did.

“I was hoping for some place I can walk to,” I told him.

“Do you like beer?” he asked.

I hesitated. Was this a trick question?

“Yes,” I said.

He handed me a card for a free beer and directed me to Luna Del Sea Bistro.  I admit, I did think he said “lunacy” at first, and that suited me just fine.  “It’s the place with the white lights in the trees,” he instructed me.  A bistro and white lights.

And of course, that was followed by, “They have excellent crab cakes.”

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Stovetop Mac ‘n’ Brie

In Homemade on February 8, 2011 at 7:45 am

When there's no cheddar in the house....

A few years ago, I wrote a Food Network show that posed the potentially world-changing question: could you make real mac ‘n’ cheese on the stovetop that was (almost) as quick and easy as breaking open a box of Kraft?  And could that homemade version satisfy a box-mac-n-cheese-loving kid?


Brie, on a board made by Maine prison inmates.

I’m not the biggest mac ‘n’ cheese fan, and I like it baked with some of the noodles on top browned and crunchy, the way my grandmother made it.

It was lunchtime on a cold, rainy day and for some reason, I craved macaroni and cheese.   There was no cheddar in the house.  I wasn’t going to the market, and I was too hungry to wait around for an oven concoction.

I did have a huge hunk of mediocre brie in my fridge, a cheese so average I could barely bring myself to eat it. And bowtie pasta, eggs, butter, and milk. Could I make a brie version of stovetop mac ‘n’ cheese? Macaroni and brie?

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