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Monday, August 21, 2006

Ah, exalted New York restaurants with their grass-fed beef, artisanal cheeses and local produce bicycled over from the farmer’s market—how lucky you Manhattanites are! And us outer-borough dwellers, if we don’t mind trekking in and scurrying back to our provincial hovels when the meal’s over.

Out here in Forest Hills, restaurants haven’t yet grasped the concepts of “local,” “seasonal,” or “good” food, for that matter. With the exception of one excellent pizza joint and a Kosher Uzbeki restaurant Brian and I are quite fond of (but that’s closed on Fridays and Saturdays for the Jewish Sabbath) the places around here tend to either be TGI Friday’s or Applebee’s or serve food indistinguishable from TGI Friday’s or Applebee’s—gallingly, at twice the price.

After many, many bad meals, it’s finally sunk in that if we want to eat well in the neighborhood—let alone enjoy the bounty of the season—Brian and I are best off doing the cooking ourselves. So on Saturday, we trolled the farmer’s market in Manhattan, picking up some colorful heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, and a red onion. We made a quick stop at Whole Foods to buy some scallops, and headed back to the sticks to see what we could whip up. We combined the tomatoes, corn, and a bit of the red onion into a simple salad topped with curls of parmigiano and dressed with balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. The scallops we just seasoned up and seared. We were glad we stayed in.

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