On Links.

I’ve just re-organized my column of links and wanted to take you on a quick tour of my most-visited food-, book- and travel-focused sites.

A note: Coincidentally, alphabetically, the one Armenian-ish blog I read follows the one Filipino-ish blog I read.  Fate?  Or my genetics translated into the Internet?

30 Bucks a Week
Two Brooklynites spend $15 each on their week’s worth of groceries.  Then they write about it.

101 Cookbooks
Heidi Swanson collects cookbooks and recipes.  She also takes great photographs.

Alinea at Home
Carol Blymire is cooking every recipe in the Alinea Cookbook.

Burnt Lumpia
Marvin cooks Filipino food.

Cave Cibum
Fellow Armenian Pam eats out and cooks a lot.

Chocolate + Zucchini
Parisian Clotilde Dusoulier writes in French and English about recipes, cookbooks, idioms and kitchen tools.

Cooked Books
Rebecca Federman has what just might be one of the coolest-sounding jobs ever: culinary librarian at the New York Public Library.

What New Yorkers are really reading.

David Lebovitz
The observant and funny cookbook author writes about life in Paris and what he eats there.

Diner’s Journal
New York Times
‘s one-stop combination of its three dining blogs.

Formaggio Kitchen’s Cheese Blog
This is pretty self-explanatory.

Arthur Frommer talks (writes?) travel.

Fucshia Dunlop
The memoirist/cookbook author’s blog.

Grub Street Boston
New York Magazine ‘s up-to-date info on the Boston dining scene.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
A great source for recipes + cooking techniques.

In the Kitchen + on the Road with Dorie
The often-adorable and always informative Dorie Greenspan splits her time between Paris and the East Coast. Oh, she also bakes. A lot.

In Transit
Another New York Times blog. This one’s about travel.

the kitchn
Apartment Therapy‘s site for people who love cooking and don’t mind making a mess whilst making dinner.

Lois Lowry
I want to be just like her when I grow up. In the meantime, I’ll just read her books and blog.

Lottie + Doof
A pretty food blog with a funny name.

Michael Ruhlman
The author of The Making of a Chef + Ratio cooks too.

The Millions
One of the best book-centric sites out there.

The New Vegetarian
Yotam Ottolenghi ‘s weekly column for the Guardian.

Nigel Slater
Recipes and writing from one of my favorite authors of food-related books.

One Minute Book Reviews
Also pretty self-explanatory.

Molly Wizenberg lives and writes in Seattle.

Paper Cuts
The editors of The New York Times Book Review blog too.

The Prognosticators
My friends Beth + Bob moved to Prague; these are pictures of their travels.

Reading is My Superpower
Annie Frisbie reads faster than I do. She blogs more often too.

Sandwiches might be my favorite.

Smitten Kitchen
Good things come from small kitchens.

A Bite + a Cocktail at Jazz Standard.

Just a few steps away from the 28th Street subway station is Jazz Standard, the jazz bar New York Magazine called “the best jazz club.”  It’s also below Blue Smoke, which Time Out New York named “best barbecue.”  The thing is, I can’t speak to either — my knowledge of jazz is limited to smatterings of bossa nova and “Take Five,” and barbecue is not my forte.  When I can speak to is the ambiance downstairs, the taste of a certain side dish and the Mingus Dynasty.

Judy, Dorian, Dennis, Keith and I swept past Blue Smoke entirely, heading straight downstairs for the nightly live music.  As a bassist and lover of jazz, Dorian had been looking forward to seeing a show since he and Judy had arrived for their brief stay in New York.  That night we were seeing Ming Dynasty, the seven-piece original Charles Mingus “legacy” band; the bassist even plays Mingus’s lion’s head bass, the scroll of which is carved to look like, well, a lion’s head.  Like I said earlier, I don’t know uch about jazz, but the band was thoroughly enjoyable, maintaining an incredibly level of intensity.  My favorite member of the Dynasty was its most adorable pianist, who fairly launched himself off of his stool with his energetic dancing.  I also liked the trombonist — why do players of brass instruments always look so surprised with each breath?

I was feeling a bit peckish and knew I’d need a snack before dinner; along with a cocktail called the Illinois Swing (Tanqueray, prosecco and lemon juice, $11.00) I ordered a side dish: roasted cauliflower gratin ($6.95).  Each bite was buttery, garlicky and salty, with a hint of lemon and something that I swear was nutmeg.  I found myself almost sucking on each crisp-tender piece to get all the juice out.

Unfortunately, Jazz Standard doesn’t allow photography during the show — which is when I was eating — so let my words describe the aesthetic of the place.  For me, the standout feature was the red upholstered wall behind the band.  It added an oomph to the matte gray walls ans black ceiling and matched the curved red banquettes.  If anything, it was like being in a comfy, secret den — that everyone should know about.

Jazz Standard
116 East 27th Street
New York, New York 10016

Jazz Standard on Urbanspoon

If Danny Meyer Can Do It…

As you may have already surmised, I obsess about food. It is constantly on my mind, whether in terms of what’s for dinner, what’s in season, what I’m craving, or where I want to eat.

Until recently, I used the website Calorie Count to keep track of what I had eaten over the course of the day and what I could healthily indulge in — though I confess that everything kind of went off the rails recently. Well, it’s high time I get back on that horse, I think, and I hope you don’t mind if I use this site as a means of semi-publicly humiliating myself.

My friend Beth once told me that it takes three weeks to form a habit; whether or not this is true is an entirely different story altogether. All I know is that New York Magazine has been a very unlikely source of weight-watching inspiration for me. Last spring, the publication printed what they called “The Fashion Week Food Diaries,” in which a pair of models, a show producer and an Elle editor chronologically listed their consumption for a day; this week, the magazine featured a piece with Danny Meyer which follows a week in his dietary life.

So, here’s to you, New York. I’ll record everything I eat over the course of a week and write it up for all of you to see. Starting tomorrow. Because today was just plain shameful.