Monday, August 29, 2016

Wiltons Revisited


In the previous post, a menu from Wiltons in 2001 was shown with reflections by journalist R. W. Apple, Jr. who ranked this upper-class restaurant in London as one of his all-time favorites. Apple believed that some of its finest seafood dishes were those “least messed around with…perfectly simple, simply perfect and entirely sufficient.” He also felt that this venerable establishment served the best English food in England. Certainly, the traditional cuisine, the elegantly-subdued décor, and the female staff uniforms (evocative of a Victorian nanny) all blend together into a harmonious whole, reflecting the epitome of what many of us regard as Englishness. However, back in 2005, if you passed through the swinging doors into the kitchen, you may have heard French being spoken. The dinner menu below from September of that year is signed by then executive chef Jérôme Ponchelle.

Thursday, August 25, 2016



While cleaning out the attic this weekend, I came across a box of forgotten newspaper  clippings. One of the articles appeared in the New York Times in October 2006. It was written by R. W. Apple, Jr., an associate editor who died earlier that month. Known to friends and colleagues as “Johnny,” the celebrated gourmet recounted his ten favorite restaurants during many years of travel. Reading the piece as if for the first time, I was delighted to see a place that would also be on my short list—Wiltons in London. Excerpts from the article and a menu from the period are shown below. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Heroic Age of Aviation


“The American seaplanes are in Calcutta,” the papers in India reported on June 27, 1924. Four U.S. Army planes had arrived at intervals the previous day, each flying low over the Hooghly River crowded with shipping, before making a graceful turn and alighting on an empty stretch of water opposite Prinsep Ghat where people lined the banks to witness their arrival. The aviators were making the first aerial circumnavigation of the world with the help of the U.S. Navy which was providing logistical support. Twelve weeks after taking off from Seattle, they had not yet reached the half way point of their mission.