When the Mistress of Sarcasm and I were in Washington, D.C. last month visiting Elder Daughter, we had a wonderful time wandering the aisles of Dean & DeLuca’s Georgetown outpost.
D&D, for those unfamiliar with the name, is an upscale Purveyor of Fine Comestibles - a fancy-pants delicatessen. Given that most of us do not live within easy travel distance of Zabar’s on New York’s upper west side, Dean & DeLuca is the next best thing. (Alas, most of us also do not live anywhere near a D&D - in my case, the closest one is in Charlotte, North Carolina, a five hour drive away. Thank Gawd for the Internet.)
When you want a nice slug of fresh malossol Beluga caviar, you’re likely to find it at D&D. When you develop a jones for smoked Scottish salmon, or white truffle-infused olive oil from Umbria, or caramels sprinkled with Maldon sea salt, D&D can bring teh happy... as long as you bring plenty of teh money.
They have exotic cheeses of every description. You want mouse milk cheese? They probably can supply it, though it be small.
They offer an array of fine charcuterie: meats and sausages of all descriptions, made from the flesh of all manner of beasts.
An astounding variety of olives awaits the discerning shopper.
And let us not forget the sweet stuff. Not shown in the photograph above is D&D’s famous Chocolate Babka, a cake with the density of dwarf star matter. Astounding.
Aside from being there to browse the plentifully stocked aisles and, in the process, develop a massive Food-Boner, I was there to pick up a few odds and ends to bring to the Slideluck Potshow, a multimedia slideshow and potluck supper event we were planning to attend later that evening.
I feel confident that the goodies I brought to that Arty Party, while not especially fancy, were on the upper end of the quality scale. No surprise, given that most of the food other people brought consisted of pretty basic home-cooked vittles... made, for the most part, by underpaid artists whose specialties were more in the line of the Visual Arts. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable evening that included some excellent photography.
The real art showed up the following evening, after a massive feed at Elder Daughter’s place. Rather than eat out, we all joined together in a group cookathon that included platanos maduros (fried ripe plantains), moros y cristianos (black beans and rice), roasted salmon, and kale and avocado salad. Washed down with liberal lashings of wine, everything was delicious.
And then, out came the most beautiful chocolate bar I had ever seen...
Chocolart: a chocolate bar almost (but not quite) too pretty to eat. [Click to embiggen.]
My Gawd - what the hell was in that thing? A cherry... a candied orange slice... sliced almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios... cardamom seeds... sea salt (or was it crack cocaine?)... unbelievable!
I would have said it was too pretty to eat, but there apparently was a consensus that said otherwise. The whole damn thing was devoured in minutes.
When Hippocrates said “Ars longa, vita brevis,” he clearly was not talking about Edible Art.
6 months ago