I've a had couple great meals this weekend and some of the dishes have really stuck with me. Oh and look at what I just did, because- ha. ha- both of these recipes are centered around Maple Syrup! At Birch & Barley in Washington, D.C. I had a ridiculously good side dish of Maple Brussel Sprouts. Kris was literally drooling over them. Each sprout was cut into quarters and seared to the point of burning on a side or two. But each piece was just bursting with maple flavor. Is it possible to brine veggies in a maple marinade?! So tasty without being sweet. Kris is hoping that the bar on the upper floor serves this as bar food. I haven't found any recipes directly from the source, but here is one that looks similar. Gonna have to try that out.
The other maple dish we had this weekend was a Maple Custard from Diner in Williamsburg in New York City. The meal on the whole was excellent (fantastic burger- maybe Free-Range does have something to do with it?) although I still don't like that the menu isn't written down anywhere. The waiter usually sits down with you and tells you about the menu while writing down the main component on the paper tablecloth. They won't even give you the prices unless you ask! But back to the desert- which I think was $8- It was tremendous. Pure maple flavor with a creme brulee consistency. I will definitely be trying to replicate this one asap and here is a good place to start: Maple Custard Cups on Epicurious.