Dinner Menus – Second Sunday Supper Circle

The Queen of Tarts, She Made Some Hearts

I’d decided to put my apartment up for sale, and head to Key West. I have friends there, I was long growing tired of New York City – the climate, the “rat race”, and, with only a few exceptions, all of my closest friends from over the years had moved away to various other parts of the globe. I was negotiating on a small building, a former bakery, to build out a small restaurant, it had a second floor apartment where I could live. The amount I was selling my NYC studio for plus some savings would pretty much cover the cost of the building and the renovations. I’d decided I deserved a break, and a longer stretch exploring Argentina, and maybe even see if there was more to the spark between Henry and I. What would it take, if so, to convince him to leave South American and come to that States, and how would we get all the logistics worked out?

Little did I know that my six week vacation plan would become an ostensibly permanent move. The deal in Key West fell through while I was in Buenos Aires, Henry and I fanned the spark into a flame, I was already there. Everything I owned was in storage, ready to ship to anywhere… why not? But, at the beginning of April, that had not come to pass. I knew some of it was coming – the offer on my apartment had been agreed upon, the paperwork in process, I was doing all the stuff I needed to do to move on to the next step in life. But, a last goodbye dinner had to be had, with a few of those folk who’d been the mainstays of friendship and my time (23 years!) in the city. I don’t think I even remembered that I’d already done a “hearts” dinner at the time – it had been five years earlier.

April 10, 2005

The Second Sunday Supper Circle
“The Queen of Tarts, She Made Some Hearts”

Cold Cruel Hearts of Palm Soup
1983 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Milenaires

Leek& Artichoke Heart Tart with Molasses Dressing
1989 Marcel Deiss Riesling Grand Cru Schoenenbourg

Butter-Roasted Pom-Pom Mushrooms
1976 Mommessin Clos de Tart

Roasted Marrow Bones with Parsley Salad
1985 Mommessin Clos de Tart

Valdeon Blue Cheese
1990 Mommessin Clos de Tart

And… just as an experiment… we open the iffy looking
magnum of
1969 Mommessin Clos de Tart



Culinary Adventures in South America

Having recently returned from my first trip to Argentina and Uruguay, I was filled with excitement at the various new foodstuffs I’d tried. In retrospect, it seems rather tame, I didn’t eat anything unusual, nor anything I hadn’t had before, elsewhere, but I guess a combination of the setting, a magical vacation, and meeting Henry (a big part of the magic), it seemed much more interesting at the time, than it does looking back from today. I also had no idea that this was approaching the end of the road for the Second Sunday Supper Circle, with only a single dinner to come….

Second Sunday Supper Circle
Sunday, March 13, 2005

A dinner inspired by my culinary adventures in South America

Champagne Chartogne-Taillet

Sweetbreads with Fennel & Ginger
1996 Kante Sauvignon

Hanger Steaks with Chimichurri
1994 Errazuriz “Don Maximiano”

Dulce de Leche with Dates
Lustau East India Solera Sherry


The White Party

There’s an annual party in the gay club scene in NYC (and probably in other cities as well), called The White Party. The idea being to dress all in white, sexy, clubby, etc., and dance the night away. There’s also The Black Party, which tends towards a lot of leather. This dinner had nothing to do with either, other than probably an inspiration for the name of the evening. It was a white, monochromatic dinner (ooh, yet another one, so long before the trend), in midwinter, so presumably a bit on the snowy side outside the walls of my 16th floor apartment.

Sunday, January 16, 2005
The White Party

Shichimi-seared Albacore Tuna, White Miso Sauce
Rihaku “Dreamy Clouds” Nigori Sake

Celeriac Soup, Sea Scallops, Gorgonzola Dolce
Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Blanc de Blancs, 1985

Slow-roasted Cauliflower, Walnut Puree, Dried Cherry Chutney
F. Chauvenet Meursault “Les Bouchères”, 1986

Blanquette de Veau
Touchais “Grande Année”, 1976

Blandy’s 5-year old Verdelho Madeira


Traditional Autumn Chocolate Rabbit Dinner

My first thought looking at this was, wtf? Then, looking at the title, I thought, well, maybe I’d done my version of my favorite chocolate braised rabbit several times before in the fall. And indeed, there, a decade earlier, in 1994, late October…. but the only other time was for a chocolate dinner in February of 1996. So, a tradition born of a single previous offering. So be it.

second sunday supper circle
traditional autumn chocolate rabbit dinner
sunday, november 14, 2004

cream of radish soup
classic cocktail: the booomerang

veal scallopini, meyer lemon salsa
1999 michel redde “cuvee marjorum” pouilly-fume

braised rabbit in chocolate
1982 torres gran coronas black label

nutmeg pie
1993 livio felluga picolit


A Celebration of Giuseppe Verdi’s Birthday

Although one doesn’t normally make a big deal out of 191st birthday, it was Giuseppe Verdi, so why not? We even accompanied the dinner with his music. He was something of a gourmand, and a trio of his favorite recipes turned out to be easy to find.

Sunday, 10 October 2004

The Second Sunday Supper Circle presents:

A Celebration of Giuseppe Verdi’s Birthday

With a selection of his own music from Rigoletto, Otello, I Vespri Siciliani & La Traviata

La Squisita Minestra di Giuseppi Verdi
(Vegetable and pasta soup)
1982 Pol Roger Brut Chardonnay

Risotto alla Salernitana
(One of my favorite risottos, finished with prosciutto di parma, parmigiano and mozzarella)
1995 Leone Conti Contiriserva

Supremes de Volailles Verdi & Fagiolini Verdi alla Pesto Balsamico
(Chicken breasts with a fresh cheese, walnut, and bell pepper cream sauce; green beans with a balsamic pesto)
1978 Pio Cesare Barolo Riserva

I can’t imagine that we had a dinner without either a cheese course and/or a dessert, but I suppose it’s possible….


It’s Way Out There

Pioneer 10 reached it’s 21st birthday, and what better thing to celebrate, with a few off-beat dishes?

Second Sunday Supper Circle
June 13, 2004

21 Years Ago, Pioneer 10 Became the First Human-made Object
To Leave the Solar System…
…This Spring It’s Way Out There

Charred Green Tomato Gazpacho
Mumm DVX 1997

Rye Bruschetta, Fresh Morel Sauce
Dirler Riesling “Spiegel” Grand Cru 1992

Wild Bass Sashimi Crab & Root Vegetable Stuffing
Apostles Palo Cortado Muy Viejo 30-Year Old Sherry

Slow-Braised Pork, Salmon Roe Buerre Noisette, Swiss Chard
Chateau de la Charriere Santenay “Clos de la Confrerie” 1988

Chocolate-Rhubarb Pudding
Borgogno Barolo Chinato


President’s Month Dinner

An obvious theme here, February, and a quartet of president’s birthdays, albeit only two of which we celebrate in the U.S. as official holidays. I know I have a copy of The First Ladies Cookbook: Favorite Recipes of all the Presidents of the United States in my library, and it’s probably something I picked up at random on a sale table at somewhere like The Strand, and so for three of the presidents was the inspiration behind the choices of dishes (when the book was published, Reagan hadn’t yet been president).

Second Sunday Supper Circle
President’s Month Dinner
The First Ladies Cook Their Husbands’ Favorite Dishes
February 8, 2004

Ronald Reagan (February 6, 1911)

   Onion Wine Soup
   N.V. Mumm Napa Blanc de Noirs

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809)

   Scalloped Oysters
   2002 J Pinot Gris

William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773)

   Pan-Roasted Duck Breasts with Applejack Sauce
   Fresh Corn Cakes
   1978 Green & Red Zinfandel “Chiles Canyon”

George Washington (February 22, 1732)

   1997 Macari “Essencia”


A Chilly Dinner

An odd sort of dinner, I can’t look at it and see any real theme to it, not even particularly related to the season, or being the start of the new year, or even a coherence to the menu. Perhaps the choice of caviar as a starting course was a celebratory one. I have for years maintained that the choice to pair the fish eggs with the iced Maraschino (not the disgusting, vermilion sweet cherries, but the slightly bitter, intense liqueur) was a page out of, one of my favorite sci-fi authors, Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver, where one of his characters is describing it as a far better match than caviar and champagne. The timing fits, the book was published in mid to late 2003, so I’d likely just read it, but I’ve just done a word search through my ebook version of the tome and not found it. There is a caviar eating scene in his book Cryptonomicon, but no Maraschino mentioned. So I’m at a loss now to recall where I read the scene. Nonetheless, at the time, I decided to give it a try, and it’s actually quite true – it’s an amazing combination. Where whomever wrote it got the idea from, I have no idea, it’s not something that I’ve encountered anywhere else in gastronomic literature (or any other literature for that matter).

Second Sunday Supper Circle
January 11, 2004

Beluga Caviar
Iced Maraschino

Nectarine & Fennel Salad; Rose Dressing
Edi Kante Chardonnay, 1996

Chicken Giblet & Root Vegetable Ragout; Wild Rice
Villa di Capezzana Carmignano Riserva, 1990

Cheese Plate:
Mountain Gorgonzola; Dark Chocolate
Oka; Chestnut Confiture
Aged Manchego; Fig Jam
Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon, 1973

Indian Pudding
Pineapple Guava White Tea