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Bits & Bites

Trends in Food

* Fresh lobster from Sun Fat Seafood Market (Mission @ 23rd), our local secret. An inexpensive, clean, friendly seafood market, where they will kill, halve and clean your lobster for you. Roast in shell w/salt and pepper and serve with a warm sauce of garlic, sherry, lemon, olive oil and parsley. And lots of napkins.

* Speaking of secrets: Otis, the much-hyped "super exclusive private club" on Maiden Lane, was nearly empty on a recent Wednesday night around midnight, leading us to wonder where the rumored crush of socialites was to be found. It could have been the holiday doldrums...or the $9 well drinks. We were a little disappointed that no one asked to see our membership cards.

* Pineapple upside-down layer cake with vanilla frosting. All you need is a box each of Dr. Oetker's Organic Vanilla Cake Mix and Vanilla Icing Mix (from any health food store), a ripe pineapple, brown sugar, and the requisite butter, eggs, and milk. Grease two 8" round or square cake pans, sprinkle them with brown sugar, and place 1cm pineapple slices all over the bottom of each pan. Pour batter over the pineapples and follow the rest of the boxed cake and icing mix directions from there. Garnish with satsuma slices and a fresh flower. Unbeatable return on investment!

* Updated super easy pizza party: order a stack of plain cheese pizzas from your favorite spot and display multiple bowls of interesting toppings for your guests to add to their slices. Cherry tomato halves, bacon pieces, fresh basil, gorgonzola crumbles, anchovies sauteed with walnuts and garlic, capers, smoked salmon -- whatever floats it for you. Keep the oven hot so people can throw in slices as they wish. Some of our favorite pizza delivery places: Escape From NY, Amici's, Pizza Orgasmica. If only Arinell delivered!