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Rascals, an Inspired Restaurant and Performance Space in the Crossgates Mall, Albany(Comments Off on Rascals, an Inspired Restaurant and Performance Space in the Crossgates Mall, Albany)

December 14, 2016

In cooking, as in any art, you have to know the rules—the more profoundly the better—to break them. While en route, appropriately enough, to Albany, I heard a radio interview with the manager and the chef of a new restaurant near the University of Albany. As I threaded my way through the rolling hills and forests that separate the capital of New York State from the Berkshires, slowing in all the notorious speed traps, I found this interview unusually absorbing. The chef, Nicholas Armstrong, was impressively articulate about the science of cooking

September Tomatoes, Caretaker Farm, Williamstown, MA. Photo © 2005 Michael Miller.

With summer gone…Lagrein, Madiran, Garnacha, Cabernet…Chinon!

With summer fading into the past, one compensation for earlier nightfalls and chillier water temperatures that limit swims to only intensely sunny midday outings is the pumped-up output happily spilling out of the vegetable garden. The squash vines have wound out into improbable places, and, if one pokes around under those umbrella-like leaves, there are plenty of butternut and spaghetti squashes playing hide and seek. Every day tomatoes are dropping off their stems. And suddenly there are lots of reasons for searching out some ripe, dense, maybe even rustic red wines to accompany all there is to eat.

Inama's vines. Photo by Giò Martorana.

A Plea to Wine Lovers

Pessimist by nature that I am, my fears about the state of the wine universe were revived by two incidents within the space of one week.

Walker Evans, Kitchen Wall, Alabama Farmstead, 1936

Ruth Reichl, Ellen Doré Watson, Patty Crane, Francine Prose, and Elizabeth Graver respond to Walker Evans’ “Kitchen Wall, Alabama Farmstead” now posted on the new Gastronomica online..with interviews with Darra Goldstein and Hannah Fries

As part of the second annual Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, Orion and Gastronomica co-hosted a reading featuring renowned food writer Ruth Reichl, poets Ellen Doré Watson and Patty Crane, and fiction writers Francine Prose (finalist for the National Book Award) and Elizabeth Graver. Their contributions have now been posted on the new Gastronomica site as a Web exclusive.


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