Sunday, June 28, 2020

Where Everybody Knows Your Name: The M&M Gottlieb File

6 Tamuz 5780.

It’s been a while since I wrote anything for the “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” segment of my blog. COVID-19 has scared us out of nearly all dining away from home, which means there was a little money in the budget for a couple of adventures.

Also, in these economically-devastating times, if you’re going to spend your money at all, why not spend it to try to support the local small businesses of your choice? The team of Miriam and Marc Gottlieb does such remarkably fine work, we love to do business with them. Miriam crafts beautiful, light-and-color mosaic masterpieces. 

We have needed small tables for food and beverage, because replacing computers due to spillage is far outside our family budget. And Miriam communicates zealously to be sure that the finished product suits your individual tastes. The Dearly Beloved chose a guitar motif. He was happily surprised at how perfect and full of joyful color was the resulting work. I chose a colorful naïve-art house that looks like a place from which music and poetry might spring. Miriam is available at her Facebook page Mosaics by Miriam not only to create something you will love, but to teach classes in the art of making your own beautiful mosaics.

With so much time at home, learning a new art, especially along with family members, can add a lot of joy to the coming summer days.

Since the lads were all converging on us with their families for a pre-Shabbat birthday barbecue bash for two of the little girls, and it would be the first time we were seeing all of them together since Chanukah, we decided to give Marc the gift of allowing him to provide our Shabbat feast. And an elegant feast it was!

We had the Boeuf Bourguignon and the Magret d’Oie Fumée (my personal favorite). The Dearly Beloved really loved the beef, remarking several times that the dish was tender and flavorful, and that the mushrooms were absolutely delicious. I felt like royalty dining on the simultaneously rich and delicate goose breast, a treat I taste maybe twice every half-century. I always worry that breast meat will end up being dry; but this need not have concerned me. This dish was sublimeI’m not eating white potatoes these days, but the Dearly Beloved remarked, “Ah. This is exactly the way I like my potatoes!”

Speaking of royalty – the Duet de Tartinades is a dance on your taste-buds you must try at least once before you drop off the twig. Short of John Keats level poetry, I’m not sure I can give over to you how lovely this little duet was. “I feel like I could get used to being a rich person with a personal chef,” I remarked to the Dearly Beloved.  You never tasted chicken liver as refined as the Pâté de foie de poulet, graced with a not-overwhelming enhancement of wine. The Rillettes d’oie is perhaps the fanciest spread I have ever tasted, consisting of an awe-inspiring blend of bits of goose leg in oil and seasonings. It is so rich that I will be having a smidgen of it with my lunch for at least a week, reaching around to see where I left my queens crown every few moments.

We chose the Salade Grillée to accompany the mains. While among the dishes, this is the one I could have made myself, it was prepared perfectly, with finely grilled vegetables on a variety of fresh lettuces. We’re not usually dressing fans, but this one was perfectly balanced, worth throwing care to the winds and risking the extra calories.

There was no room for dessert, so we saved the very rich and tasty Tarte au Chocolat for Seudat Shlishit. The low-sugar recipe kept the chocolate cream from being cloyingly sweet. Rather, it was very satisfying to whatever sweet-tooth we still possess after years of dialing back our sugar addiction.

Marc is a culinary artist. Just as any musician or writer or painter crafts their work, Marc delights in making of food a thing of beauty and a joy forever. And when it’s in celebration of his birthday and of that of his favorite chef, Anthony Bourdain (may he rest in peace), he spares no artistic effort.

All I can say is that Tony would be proud.

To get your (delicious) meat-fix in before the Nine Days, check out Marc’s weekly S’wichboard menu for sumptuous and generous sandwiches. Not only is the meat (and vegetarian fare) varied and delicious, but the prices are extremely reasonable, and he delivers to Jerusalem and Gush Etzion. There’s even the added attraction of a “buy 9, the 10th is free” membership card. B’teyavon!

Photos either my own or used with permission.

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