by Nicki Wood
Then there's Chef Laura's fantastic array hot meats, home-style vegetables, meatless offerings and pasta — a little European-influenced something here, a little something for the macrobiotic eater there. Honestly, it's a patchwork quilt of every kind of food you could want plus a salad bar if all else fails.
I contemplate my choices carefully, because in general, I want to buy things that I don't, won't or can't make at home. So I look at a lot of wonderful-looking food with a running checklist in my mind: We had meatloaf two nights ago; I'm weary of collard greens; we're having baked pasta on Thursday; I can make baked chicken anytime.
That process is how I happened to end up with this ripsnortin' plate. That's right: seaweed salad and Italian-style panna cotta custard with balsamic glaze.