Hors d'Oeuvre and Canapes, James Beard inspired party











Last week we cooked for a party in honor of the actor Nick Olcott who is the star in the one man show about James Beard, I Love to Eat.

James Beards reverence for seasonal ingredient driven food and his first book, Hors d'Oeuvre and Canapes served as inspiration for the all passed dinner–

PASSED- Wood Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Sweet Potato and Mustard, Grilled Chicken with Chestnut and Shallot, Cod and Leek Salad on Cucumber, Seared Scallop with Bacon and Sorrel, Pickled English Breakfast Radish with Parsley, Grilled Shishito Peppers, California White Sturgeon Caviar on Potato with Chives, Lamb Sausage on Focaccia with Rhubarb Ketchup and Caramel Onion, Grilled Chanterelle, Stuffed Squash Blossom, Roasted Parsnip, Brussel Sprouts with Pickled Ginger and Sesame

Dining Room Table- Cabot Cheese, Walnut Crackers, Sunflower Buckwheat Bread, Gingersnaps, Pine Nut Macaroon, Chocolate Pistachio Chip, Salted Rosemary Walnut Biscotti, Oatmeal Sesame, Chocolate Cakes, Pumpkin Seed Brittle, Fresh Figs

Drink- Bay Leaf Vodka Martini, (Delaunay) VDP Jardins Touraine Sauv. Blanc TYDY 2011, (Domaine du Meix Foulot) Mercurey Rouge 1er Cru 2007

Friends for Dinner Friday June 22

Six of us had dinner at our house on Friday night– it was hot outside we dined under a ceiling fan– I cooked nearly everything on the outdoor wood burning grill to keep the inside temperature down– grabbed ingredients at the Penn Quarter Farmers market in about 5 minutes and later figured out what went with what– lots of small dishes driven by the herbs in my garden and ingredients– so much good food to choose from this time of year including first corn okra and apricots of the season– had food on the table when friends arrived so there would be no jumping up and down just a relaxed visit... For me, a perfect summer night!

Dinner: Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, Tomato with Peach and Basil, Corn with Leek Sorrel and Okra, Giant White Lima Beans with Green Tomatoes and Garlic Chives, Baby Collards with New Potato and Rosemary, Rhubarb Ketchup,  Small Cucumbers with Salad Burnet and Mint, Eggplant with Beets Beet Greens and Onion, Maiitake Mushrooms, Spelt Bread

Dessert: Macadamia Coconut Macaroons, Tiny Lavender Cakes with Rose and Pistachio, Gooseberries, Black Raspberries, Watermelon, Apricot, Coconut Cream, Bittersweet Chocolate

(Tissot) Cremant du Jura Brut, (Henri Jouan) Bourgogne Pase-Tout-Grain 2009

Home Restaurant March 3, 2012

Photo Kate Headley













At open Home Restaurants it is a joy to bring people together to share a meal and enjoy conversation with other guests they have just met.  Consistently we have found that guests who choose to dine with us are open to the experience and make fast friends with the other diners.  Last night was no exception, conversation was steady, intense and animated.  When guests left many exchanged contact information and I guess that many conversations will continue long past the duration of the dinner– We had a good night!  Thanks to everyone who joined us last night.


White Sturgeon Caviar, Sweet Potato/ Celery, Celery Root, Celery Seed/ Shad Roe, Sorrel/ Flat Iron, Caramelized Onion/ Oregon Black Truffle, Potato/ Parsnip, Fermented Grains, Chives/ Radish, Parsley, Sesame

(Ch. L'Eperonniere) Rose de Loire 2010Bay Leaf Lemon Vodka Cocktail


Guinea Hen, Dashi, Leek, Carrot, Giant White Lima Beams, Crinkle Cress– 48 Hour Farm Bread  (La Sauvageonne) Coteaux du Languedoc "Les Ruffes" 2009

Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Pickled Baby Turnip, Pickled Baby Beet, Black Rice, Pea Shoots, Black Walnuts– Spelt Olive Oil Bread  (Thevenet) St. Veran 'Clos de l'Ermitage' V.V. 2009

Rockfish, Salsify, Scorzonera, Rhubarb, Baby Kale– Cornmeal Herb Roll  (Jean Marc Pillot) Bourgogne Rouge 'Les Grands Terres' 2008

Rush Creek Reserve Cheese and Cracker

Sauterne Olive Oil Cake, Mandarin Oranges, Frozen Sesame and Dates  (Eudald) 'Familia' Brut Cava NV

Cookies: Black Tea Savi Seed Oatmeal Crisps, Cornmeal Rosemary Walnut Drops, Chocolate Cake with Hickory Nuts and Coconut, Salty Macadamia Nut Chocolate Biscotti

Take Home: Chocolate, Fig and Red Walnut Bread

Home Restaurant February 11, 2012

photo Kate Headley

Fabulous group gathered for a birthday celebration this past Saturday– this is what we served...


Parsnip with Garlic, Argmanac and Port Puree

Potato and Black Truffle

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Rosemary

Vin de Paille Broth with Chive

Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion

Pickled China Rose, Black Spanish and Watermelon Radishes

Bay Leaf Vodka Martini, (Labbe) Abymes Savoie 2010


Monkfish, Cabbage, Celery Root, Grainy Mustard and Black Walnuts– 48 hour farm bread

(Dom. des Roy) Touraine ROUGE "Les Linottes" 2009

Chiogga, White and Red Ace Beets – Tendersweet, Sugarsnax and Sweetness Carrots–  Gold Ball, Scarlet Queen and Purple Top Turnips on Arugula with Sesame Poppy Seed Dressing and Savi Seeds– herb whole wheat roll

(Tenuta Roveglia) Lugana Superiore Vigne di Catullo 2010

Wood Grilled Guinea Hen, Leeks, Salsify, White Lima Beans and Pea Shoots– olive oil spelt focaccia

(Dom. de Fenouillet) Beaumes de Venise "Cuvee Yvon Soard" 2009 MAGNUM

Grayson Cheese and Olive Cracker

Frozen Pistachio, Chocolate Cake, Thick Chocolate Sauce and Cocoa Nibs

Bites:  Salty Rosemary Walnut Biscotti, Coconut Almond Macaroon, Olive Oil Carrot Cake

Nouveau Nez

Vegan Home Restaurant

Last night we were very excited to host our first all vegan Home Restaurant.  Often we accommodate vegans at 1508 but this was the first time we served an entire vegan meal...


Garlic, Port and Armagnac Puree

Mashed Potato and Black Truffle on Roasted Potato

Roasted Parsnip

Vin de Paille Broth with Chive

Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion

Pickled China Rose, Black Spanish and Watermelon Radishes

(Ch. Les Valentines) Cotes du Provence ROSE Estate 2010, Bay Leaf Vodka Martini 


Root Vegetable Salad: Chiogga, White and Red Ace Beets on Baby Arugula and Savi Seed Dressing– Tendersweet, Sugarsnax and Sweetness Carrots on Baby Blue Kale and Sesame Dressing–  Gold Ball, Scarlet Queen and Purple Top Turnips on Pea Shoots and Poppy Seed Dressing

(Tenuta Roveglia) Lugana Superiore Vigne di Catullo 2010

Leek and Wood Grilled Salsify Stew with White Lima Beans and Sorrel

(Cheveau) Saint Amour 'En Rontey' 2009 

Napa Cabbage filled with Yellow Oyster Mushrooms, Savoy Cabbage filled with Shiitake, Green Cabbage filled with Button Mushrooms, on Celery Root Puree with Roasted Chanterelle and Black Walnuts

(Triacca) Sassella Valtenllina Superiore 2008

Grain and Nut Yogurt Cheese on Walnut Cracker

Frozen Pistachio on Chocolate Cake with Thick Chocolate Sauce, Roasted Pistachios and Cocoa Nibs

(Moutard) Champagne 'Cuvee 6 Cepages' 2004 

Bites: Coconut Almond Macaroons, Salty Rosemary Walnut Biscotti, Mini Carrot Olive Oil Cake

Take Home: Sesame Coated Bread

Home Restaurant Hors d'oeuvre

Hors d'oeuvre translates into English as “a part from the main work” or “outside the oeuvre.”  Passing small bites or ‘hor d’oeuvres’ during cocktail hour is something that can’t really happen in a traditional restaurant.  We used to serve an amuse-bouche to people as they sat down in our former restaurant Rupperts. However this seemed very much a part of the main meal for us-- A gift from the chef to try to make people feel at home.  Of course the trend these days in restaurants is small plates— multiple small plates that aggregate into the main meal.  But how does one serve something at a dinner and keep it separate from that dinner.  During our Home Restaurants we create small bites that are served during a cocktail hour. Guests gather and visit in the library or out in the garden, weather permitting.  We use the time to develop relations with the diner.  A stranger has entered in to our home to eat, not the usual entitlement that goes along with the hard and cold contract of dinner reservations at a restaurant.  We want to introduce the guest to who we are with out intruding on the meal they are about to encounter.  There are three thoughts that we take into consideration as we try to do this. 1. Size… Knowing that people can only eat so much–  keep it small,  and light— avoid heavy ingredients.  2. Function…Make it easy to eat so it is welcoming and there are no awkward moments in an already unfamiliar setting.  3. A part from the main meal… Look for lacunas in the sit down portion, maybe there is no poultry or seafood, or maybe there is something that you do really well and that something did not make it on to your menu.

We have gone back in forth over the last few years with our bites and feel just recently to have gotten the hang of this ‘outside’ of the meal.  We look at it simply as if we were in our mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen and she would offer us a taste of something that she had stashed away but wasn’t on offering that night. Simple and raw, which is to say: beginnings always start from the outside.

Take Home Gift– chocolate, fig and walnut bread

I have always been a fan of both giving and receiving goodie bags.  When we do Home Restaurants we send guests home with something in hand, often warm bread just out of the oven– eaten by some on the way home from dinner and others for breakfast the following morning. My favorite take home gift of the moment is chocolate, dried fig and walnut bread.  The bonus is that we always make an extra loaf or two so we can enjoy it for breakfast the morning after we cook.

Birthday– Wednesday, February 1

-Salsify from Path Valley Cooperative, Pennsylvania

We were thrilled to host a birthday celebration for a friend of ours we met years ago at our former restaurant, Ruppert's. American wines were requested, not usually the origin of wines at our table. Tom, the wine importer who we count on to help us match food and wine did an outstanding job as always.  We enjoyed tasting wines that were all new to 1508.


Shiitake Soup, Kale with Sesame and Watermelon Radish, Parsnip, Celery Root and Shallot, Egg and Sorrel, Sweet Potato and Candy Onions, Guinea Hen and Parsley

(Illahe Vineyards) Pinot Gris Willamette 2010

Titos (Austin TX) Bay Leaf Vodka Cocktail


Wood Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Savoy Cabbage, Butternut Squash, Tiny Potato– Farm Bread

(Porter Creek) Zinfandel Sonoma 2009

Fennel, Black Walnut, White Lima Beans, Beets, Turnip, Carrot, Black Truffle– Rosemary Whole Grain Roll

(White Rock Vnyds) Chardonnay Napa 2009

Rockfish, Salsify, Saffron, Pea Shoots– Spelt Focaccia

(Porter Creek) Pinot Noir Russian River 2008

Harbison Cheese, Cracker

Carrot Cake, Coconut Sorbet, Toasted Coconut, Almonds, Pineapple

(Red Newt) Finger Lakes Riesling 'Circle' 2010

 Mini Chocolate Cakes, Tonka Bean Crisps, Chocolate Mint Drops

Take Home: Chocolate, Fig, Walnut Bread


Looking Back to a December Party...

Just before the holidays we co-hosted a party to celebrate a major accomplishment of a couple friends.  The whole event was very relaxed with food to graze on, bay leaf vodka cocktail and rose champagne to sip.  In the kitchen we had a big pot of white lima bean soup on the stove and guests filled themselves bowl and topped them with arugula, black walnuts and black truffles... Lucky for us Abby Jiu documented the event.