mussels, lovage, chili, wine, tomatoes, shallot; seedy bread


Even if for some reason the mussels themselves were claimed by another, the diner who got the the soup would be the winner. There’s nothing like mussel broth. Nothing.

Before the dinner itself we enjoyed a refreshing, fascinating natural wine with some breadsticks from Buon Italia.

The main, and only, course consisted of local mussels and the things that were enjoyed with them. The image below is of the inside of the pot before the bivalves were added, and just before the butter had completely melted.

In a dish like this the vegetables are clearly as important as the mussels, and here all were excellent, and from local farms.

  • a little more than two and a half pounds of mussels, purchased from Pura Vida Seafood in the Union Square Greenmarket early that afternoon, scrubbed, and de-bearded where necessary, combined in a large heavy enameled pot (a ‘dutch oven’ in fact) with over two cups of halved cherry tomatoes from Stokes Farm that are appropriately named, ‘The Best Cherry Tomatoes’, a little more than half a cup of a good white wine, a Rhône/Costières de Nîmes) white, Château Saint-Cyrgues Costieres de Nîmes Blanc 2017, a few tablespoons of chopped ‘camelot’ Dutch red shallot from Quarton Farm, 4 tablespoons of Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’, about a quarter of a teaspoon of crushed Calabresi peperoncino secchia from Buon Italia in the Chelsea Market, a generous amount of freshly-ground black pepper, and a few tablespoons of some coarsely-chopped lovage from from Keith’s Farm, the pot then covered and its contents simply steamed over high heat for a few minutes, arranged in shallow bowls, along with the wonderful pot liquor, and sprinkled with a little more lovage
  • the wine was a French (Rhône/Costières de Nîmes) white, Château Saint-Cyrgues Costieres de Nîmes Blanc 2017, from Copake Wine Works