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  • How to Nail Valentine's Day

    GettyGettyBy Tom Chiarella

    Long ago, on a Valentine's Day which I forgot until ninety minutes before I was due to meet my date, I called my friend Dorothy - the most mechanically adept, least romantically spontaneous woman in the world - and begged for her help. There were three reasons to call her: 1) She had once told me that she wished "every day was Valentine's Day," so I would have her enthusiasm; 2) she liked to brag that she could fix anything in half an hour or less; and 3) she worked in a movie theater where she was known to sometimes offer her friends private, late-night screenings, which were essentially excuses for sexual congress of one sort or another, while Dorothy looked the other way. I had a vague hope that it might not be too late for option number three.

    2012 VALENTINE'S DAY GUIDE: Gift Ideas, Dates, Advice, Stories & More

    Now let me say, this woman worked. She was not some college kid drowsily shoveling out upsize popcorn in miniature barrels, nor did she

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  • 10 New Do's and Don'ts for Super Bowl Party Guests


    By Elizabeth Gunnison

    While some of you will take on the responsibility of hosting a Super Bowl party this year, many others will have the good fortune of simply attending one. Congratulations! You get all the enjoyment with very little effort. You should still, however, put a little thought into how you approach the game. For the guests, here are some brief pointers to making a good appearance on Sunday.

    ULTIMATE SUPER BOWL PARTY: The Easiest Game-Day Food Recipes of 2012


    Plan ahead in combating your Monday morning hangover, as previously reported.

    Pace your game-day drinking. Pre-game coverage starts at 1 p.m. EST; kickoff is at 6:30. The game usually lasts four-plus hours. You do the math.

    Go ahead and wear a team jersey, if you have one on hand. This is really the only time it's acceptable for a man to wear one outside the confines of his own home, so you might as well take advantage.

    Be a good Samaritan and restock your host's fridge as

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  • The Best Buffalo Hot Wings in America

    Finn O'Hara/istock

    By Scott Raab

    What do we talk about when we talk about chicken wings? The now-classic buffalo wing, a paragon of bar-food excellence and the subject of passionate devotion for purists who, hailing from upstate New York themselves, have little else to inspire pride of heritage and place? One of the countless kinds of chicken wings and chicken-wing-like things purveyed by the fast-food outfits that get much of the credit for producing a nation of folks too fat to see their own toes and who have rarely tasted well-prepared food? The traditional chop-suey-joint chicken wing, a take-out staple dating to an era when Chinese food meant a bland, candified version of Cantonese and nothing else? Or how about them trendy Korean places quietly popping up all over the country, with their newfangled twice-fried wings and drumsticks?

    Me, I'm talking about all of the above, because all of the above is what I eat, in the span of an hour and a half and in no particular order. One valiant

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  • Perfect Spicy Wings for the Super Bowl

    Crudite optional.
    Recipe by Chef Brian Poe

    The Ingredients, Part 1

    24 chicken wings
    12 oz. can of beer (Poe prefers Narragansett, but feel free to improvise)
    6 oz. can of chipotle peppers with sauce, pureed
    1/4 cup garlic chili paste

    SUPER BOWL DIET: Healthier Ways to Cook on Game Day >>

    The Ingredients, Part 2: The Spices

    2 Tbl. chili powder
    2 Tbl. red pepper flakes
    2 Tbl. ground coriander*
    2 Tbl. ground cumin
    2 Tbl. garlic powder
    2 Tbl. celery salt
    2 Tbl. cayenne pepper
    2 Tbl. paprika
    2 Tbl. onion powder

    *Finding ground coriander can be a pain. You can omit this and they'll still taste pretty good.

    GAMEDAY SNACK: The Perfect Chips and Dip >>

    Make the Marinade

    Whisk together the garlic chili paste, the pureed chipotle, spices and about half of the beer, adding more if the mixture is too thick.

    Marinate the Wings
    Fully coat the wings in the marinade and put in the fridge for 24 hours.

    Roast the Wings

    Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Evenly space the

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  • How to Buy Her a Wedding Ring

    Hulton ArchiveHulton ArchiveBy Eric Gillin

    Step 1: Spy on Her

    Before you buy anything, gather information. Identify one of her close friends who can keep a secret and might already know what your fiancée wants. Examine a ring she already owns. Take pictures, if you don't know what kind it is. (You don't.) When she isn't looking (she isn't), steal the one she wears on a ring finger. But briefly, for sizing.

    Step 2: Determine Your Budget

    Take your monthly income, subtract your monthly cable and utility bills, multiply that by the inflation rate in your local area, then realize the economy isn't getting any better and neither are any of us. Look, just get her a large-enough piece of metal and diamond that doesn't make you go broke or look like a cheap bastard.

    FOR THE BEDROOM: 10 Ways to Have Better Sex, According to Science

    Step 3: Time Your Spending Well

    Once said piece of metal and diamond gets in your possession, you're going to want to get rid of it like week-old sushi. How you propose is personal, Read More »from How to Buy Her a Wedding Ring
  • The Ultimate Guide to Courtship

    Chaloner WoodsChaloner WoodsBy Tom Chiarella

    Step 1: The First Look

    Don't stare. Think of it like a video game, where every second you stare at the woman you want - the junior geology major, the senior lawyer, the one with the hair - ticks off tiny slices of your power meter. Your eyes are your reserve.

    Staring is always obvious. To someone. She knows, or she will be told. Then she'll be left considering you, before you've even said a word. This is good. Most men should be written off. But you? This is bad. So, take a look. But limit yourself.

    If you haven't talked to her after ten stares, reconsider whether you have the stones for this. If you don't, then stare all you want, from the choir-box of the quaking and unresolute. There's always a seat for gapers and mouthbreathers.

    If she catches you staring, hold the stare for a three count, and go back to your work. If she stares at you, consider writing her off. If she stares at your car as you drive by, consider writing her off. But you

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  • Mario Batali's New No-Fail Dinner for Fall

    By Elizabeth Gunnison

    To Mario Batali's ever-expanding culinary empire - Iron Chef America, Eataly, The Chew - add one more project: cookbook numero dieci. Yes, the Orange One's tenth book hits shelves on Tuesday. Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours is divided into twelve chapters, each dealing with a different month of the year and incorporating seasonal ingredients and techniques. We went ahead and selected what is undoubtedly the most manly recipe of the whole book: October's Beef Short Ribs Braised in Chestnut Beer, reprinted below.

    THE BEST NEW RESTAURANTS EVER: Did Your Favorite Make the List?

    Braising, for the uninitiated, is the best cooking technique that you never really use. It combines liquid, low heat, and long cooking times to create fall-off-the-bone tender meat. When beer is involved, well, all the better.

    "Braises are easy to do right and also have a great ability to sit and rest if guests' eating time needs to be flexible," says

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  • Esquire's Best New Restaurants of 2011

  • The Columbus Day Soup Columbus Ate

    By Elizabeth Gunnison

    As holidays go, Columbus Day leaves me at something of a loss for what to do. There are no fireworks, no parades, no costumes, candy, or obvious incitements to revelry. It's too cool to barbecue and too warm for ski trips. But while it lacks much in the way of usual celebratory tradition, it does in fact have what qualifies as a signature dish: a little-known Italian chicken soup called Mirao.

    FALL COOKING IDEAS: The Easiest Recipes for Right Now

    Mirao is thought to have been one of Christopher Columbus's favorite foods, according to Chef Cesare Casella, the Dean of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center. Casella is currently recreating the dish at his New York restaurant and meat shop Salumeria Rosi Parmacotta, and he gave us his recipe. If you make it, we're pretty sure you'll be known as the most diehard Columbus Day devotee in your neighborhood, or ever.

    It's also pretty unusual as chicken soups go, what with the cloves,

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  • The Meatball Recipe to Conquer All Others

    By Chef Shane Solomon, Pizzeria Stella, Philadelphia

    Philadelphia is a red-sauce town - what we call "gravy" - but I'm not a big fan of spaghetti and meatballs. I prefer to make a meatball that stands alone, maybe resting on a small base of polenta or some good grilled bread. Nothing that detracts from the meatball itself. This habit of mine is likely rooted in the various Italian regional ways of serving meatballs without pasta, sometimes as a second course, or even the Sicilian polpettine alla griglia (grilled meatballs with a touch of lemon) that make me think meatballs are related to the ground-meat kebabs of the Arabs and Greeks who dominated that island for centuries.

    FALL COOKING IDEAS: The Easiest Recipes for Right Now

    In any case, making a tender meatball relies on a few basic principles: First there's ratio, and about 20 percent of the meat mix should be fat. In my restaurant - and this is a huge benefit of being a pizzeria - I can grind the end nubs of

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