Khujand - Panjshanbe Bazaar

Tajik Adventures, Part 3: Khujand’s Panjshanbe Bazaar

In my previous Tajik Adventures post, we looked at the more pedestrian attractions of Khujand, Tajikistan’s second largest city: decrepit hotel Leninabad, the ill-fated Lenin statue, and Café Rashvan. So far, none of these features really justify a journey to that remote part of an already remote country. Enter Panjshanbe Bazaar, regularly mentioned on lists […]

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Buckwheat Blini with Trout, Cabbage Sauce and Honey-Glazed Turnips

Buckwheat Blini with Trout and Chanterelles, Cabbage Sauce and Honey-Glazed Turnips

Steelhead season on the Salmon River was rather slow this year. A little bit like deer season, come to think of it, a consequence of two consecutive cold winters. Considering that I grouped my hunting and fishing outings into a single trip around Thanksgiving, it made for an uneventful and often frustrating ten days (except for the […]

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Manoir Hovey - Le Hatley Restaurant

Red Alert: Le Hatley in the Eastern Townships, Quebec

Red Alert! Random Eastern European dishes are invading our streets and restaurants! Should you duck and cover, or welcome the enemy? Quebec is particularly well-suited for Red Alerts. First, the latitude and climate aren’t that different from those of many places in Eastern Europe, which means that at least some of the flora and fauna […]

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Kazakh Lamb's Head

Kazakh Boiled Sheep’s Head

When I published my beshbarmak recipe, I promised that I would soon write another post about its indispensable complement on any successful Kazakh festive dinner table: a boiled sheep’s head, to be served to the most honored guest. Well, even after several attempts at perfecting the unlikely delicacy, I must say that I still find this to be a […]

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Khojand - Lenin Statue

Tajik Adventures, Part 2: Khujand, Where Lenin Is Bad

Once upon a time, there was a country named Soviet Union. It was known, among other things, for its adoration of the great Vladimir Ilyich Lenin; its peculiar conception of art, known as socialist realism, and its insistence on making such art omnipresent in the lives of its citizens; its obsession with WW2 and its slightly distorted historical […]

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The Best and Worst Restaurants of 2015

The Best and Worst Restaurants of 2015

Only six full-on restaurant reviews this year, just like in 2014. Sigh… Will I live long enough to review all the Eastern European joints in NYC? Though some of them sadly closed shortly after their openings, several of this year’s entries are enduring institutions, so there’s hope. Then again, quantity shouldn’t trump quality. Just look […]

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Happy Holidays 2015

Happy Holidays 2015!

Dear readers, Happy holidays! I’m getting ready for a ten-day family trip to Quebec, where I intend to find out just how one can enjoy winter activities in places that have barely seen their first snowflakes of the season, and where ice can still only be found in freezers. But I wouldn’t want you to […]

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Pasta-Caviar Duo

Russian Pasta-Caviar Duo, Moscow-New York

It all begins about 20 years ago in Moscow. There aren’t that many noteworthy restaurants in the Russian capital yet. I don’t know if Pizzeria San Marco, on the Arbat, really counts as noteworthy (it just serves pizza and pasta), but hey, it’s near the small apartment where I’m staying, and in the middle of the economic […]

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Shubat, Fermented Camel's Milk

Shubat, Central Asian Fermented Camel’s Milk

If you read my recent post and were inspired to start making your own real kefir, don’t put your kefir grains in the freezer just yet—I’ve got another recipe for you! Well, don’t set your expectations too high, as there are only so many things you can do with those grains. In fact, there’s only one: […]

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Russian Cuisine - Kapowski's

Restaurant Review: Kapowski’s

A note about my restaurant reviews: New York City counts many Eastern European restaurants scattered across the five boroughs, most of them ignored by restaurant critics and diners alike. I intend to visit as many as I can and report! I knew it would happen sooner or later: the restaurant I’m reviewing today shut its doors before […]

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