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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Say Goodbye to RWA 09

Why does it always take me a week to get back into the swing of normal life after conference? This time it's at least partly that I have (much-loved, but still) company at my house for the next two weeks. And did my husband go grocery shopping even once the week I was gone? No. That was partly my fault--I left him too well supplied. I even made casseroles for him to eat! Chicken Hash from James Beard and Mark Bittman's Eggplant Parmesan. I know. I'm such a Susie Homemaker, I kill me. But I hadn't cooked in weeks while I struggled with that deadline, and I was so in the mood to slice and dice!

Anyway, quick conference roundup. I could talk about workshops (the Amazon one turned out to be mostly a long infomercial about Kindle; the contract trends one was very interesting and made me want to hire a lawyer--so, a more successful infomercial) but really, you don't come here for my insightful comments about the romance industry, do you? No. I know you. You're here for the food.

And who am I to deny you? So here we go. The first night we ate at the little Italian place down the hill from the hotel, and it was fab. I had fettucine with pine nuts, olive oil, basil and parmesan--a sort of deconstructed pesto. Yum!

We ate multiple times at Sake Club, where they had a sake list more extensive than many restaurants' wine lists, but I managed to keep it in my pants most days and order the delicious iced green tea. The sushi was beautiful, and the chirashi some of the best I've ever had, but I never managed to get a picture. Sorry!

My editor wanted to take me out for dinner and asked me to choose the place. Keeping in mind that I have a rep to maintain and that she lives in NYC, I wanted someplace fun and cool with fantastic, unique food. One of my D.C. faves is Cafe Atlantico, Juan Andres's funky Nuevo Latino fusion place. I've never had a bad meal there, plus there are exciting cocktails (which was a big decider for me, since cocktails are thin on the ground here in Ohio.) It was great! The meeting with the editor, yeah, that went wonderfully (I love her! She's awesome! And she approved my idea for the third Recipe for Love book, so yay!) but the food. Oh. So good. The cocktails ended up being more hilarious conversation pieces than drinks, actually, hers more than mine. I tried the strawberry gin rickey and liked it a lot, very tart and refreshing. She had a "magic mojito" that involved a fluffy dollop of, I'm not making this up, cotton candy in a glass that then had mojito poured over it, which melted the cotton candy. It turned out a little too sweet for our taste, but it made a seriously cool presentation.

I started dinner with foie gras soup. Yeah, you heard me. It was unreal. Thick and luscious, salty and rich, with floating islands of corn foam. I almost never wimp out on a dish, but this one was truly too rich to finish. I wouldn't have missed it for anything, though! L'Editrice had tuna ceviche covered with beautiful slices of avocado, a particular weakness of hers. She was stunned, said somehow they made avocado taste even better and more avocado-y than normal.For entrees, I had the duck confit. I'm not going to say it's my life philosophy or something, but I have a really hard time ever passing up a dish with duck confit--and in this case, it was the entire dish! It came with a gorgeous sugar crust, laid on a bed of creamy truffled potato with morels, ramps, and turnips (classic, the duck/turnip combo, loved it!) It was divine. With that one, rich as it was, I wanted to lick the plate. L'Editrice had the jerk chicken, which turned out to be quite a big meal, the beautifully crisp chicken surrounded by piles of roasted vegetables and meaty chunks of bacon. She did a good job on it, though. I was impressed!Those were the foodie highlights of my time in D.C. They were interspersed with meeting some wonderful writers, getting some fantastic advice from the trenches, and lots of wine at the bar. I'm already looking forward to next year!


Congrats on a good editor meeting and thanks for the food recap. The pics were wonderful.

I made my editor take pics of her dinner before she could eat it. Looking back, I kind of can't believe I did that.

Hey, she knows you were using the pics for a good cause right? I don't mean to pimp your book... I mean to make me drool.

what a lovely pictures of is really impressive...

Now I'm hungry. Again.

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