The New York Diet

Actor Kyle MacLachlan Parties at Bouchon L.A., Likes His Bagels From Murray’s

Photo: Melissa Hom

We first covered actor Kyle MacLachlan’s turn as a Columbia Valley vintner last year, when he released the 2005 vintage of his label Pursued by Bear in collaboration with Eric Dunham at Dunham Cellars. You can now quaff the wine at local restaurants like the Red Cat and the Little Owl, and he’s promoting 2006 stock this month. The difference? “A little more fruit and a little longer finish, and there’s just a whiff of oak,” from new French barrels, he says. Blending wine marks a departure from MacLachlan’s stiff, complex roles past and present: He plays a dentist with a history of depression on Desperate Housewives and a lawyer in the soon-to-be-released film Mao’s Last Dancer. He still trades bottles with David Lynch, the director who launched MacLachlan’s career in the eighties. Nowadays, MacLachlan finds himself torn between coasts, so this week’s diet spans Grub Street L.A. and Grub Street N.Y.

Saturday, November 14
I was in L.A. Mornings are more about my son Callum than me. He’s fifteen months, so I end up having at least two cappuccinos at my house. I have a really nice La Marzocco espresso maker so I can make a cappuccino in about 15 seconds. I get my beans from the Walla Walla Roastery, which is about 200 feet from the Dunham Winery. It’s the best coffee I’ve ever had outside of Italy. They hand roast everything in really small quantities, and it’s exceptional. So in the morning, I make breakfast for my son. And I end up eating with him. So we made scrambled eggs with shallots, toast, and fruit. His favorite at the moment is cantaloupe.

I do most of the shopping at Whole Foods, but I do get the eggs from a local farmer’s market on Sunday mornings.

Lunch is also a fairly casual affair around the house, often reheating something up from the night before, or a little quick pasta, or a sandwich. Most of my lunches take place standing over the sink. That afternoon happened to be a sandwich that I made with pita, smoked turkey, Emmenthal cheese, and this Thai sweet-hot sauce I’ve been using a lot of that a friend of mine, M.J. Mynarski, got in Chinatown. I went mad for it. I put it in soups, too.

For dinner, my wife [Desiree Gruber] and I went out to an event for MoCA museum, and had a set dinner, salad and chicken confit. This was a pretty large event, but actually, the food was pretty good. We’re more involved with LACMA, but we were invited to this by a friend, Sarah Fitzmorris, who’s very much involved with the art world. Rarely do I drink a cocktail. I had wine. They were pouring a Jordan, and I don’t remember what the white was. The Jordan was good. A lot of oak, very fruity.

Sunday, November 15
Sunday morning I made French toast: A sourdough bread with egg, milk, and I put a little cinnamon on the toast as it was cooking, not in the batter. We had that together with real maple syrup. Once in a while I’ll have orange juice. I’ve got a fantastic orange juicer from this store in Paris called Dehillerin: Paris’s oldest kitchen-equipment shop. But, I had my two cappuccinos. At a minimum.

We went to an event for P.S. Arts so we had lunch there that afternoon. It was from In ‘N Out Burger — which was exceptional, I must say.—along with lots of different food samples and other things. Shake Shack, that’s my wife’s favorite. She’s utterly convinced that’s the best. I’m In ‘N Out a guilty pleasure, and I’m also for Apple Pan. It’s like a diner, but they do great burgers, and apple pie.

Dinner, we went to Bouchon, which was a treat. We were guests of Ann Colgin and Joe Wender. It was what they call a “Friends and Family” night. We know Thomas [Keller], and we know Ann and Joe very well, obviously. So they were just having people in for comments and things. It’s an unbelievable restaurant, as you can imagine. We had a foie gras there that was just spectacular, a big platter of seafood with all different oysters and lobster. I had kind of a cod brandade to start, and the salmon, for the main; they had three things to choose from. They had a lemon tart for dessert I like anything with citrus. He’s off to a flying start. Everything is in house; the bread was unbelievable. And we were also drinking wine that Joe brought, so we had some Colgin ’05 IX Estate and a 1990 Haut-Brion. So all in all a very good evening, a very good meal. I think this week, it opens.

Monday, November 16
Callum had baby Muesli, so I only had walnut-cranberry toast from La Brea Bakery.

Lunch, I had some leftover chicken from Thomas Keller. I’m big on leftovers and bringing stuff home from restaurants. I don’t care. I hate to waste food. And I find inspirational ingredients for a meal the next day. The chicken was left over from Desiree, and there was some leftover salmon. I also had some chicken broth that I cook up when I roast a chicken. Roast the carcass in the oven, and then render it down with celery, carrots, the traditional vegetables, and a little bit of bay leaf. Once it’s all cooked, I put it in a big giant pitcher. And then I pour it into a bowl, dice up some scallions, and maybe add a little bit of cheese, the Thai hot sauce I mentioned before, cilantro if I’ve got it, and sometimes, I just crumble up some corn chips in it, and add a few chunks of avocado. Sort of like tortilla soup, which I love. And then you take the pieces of chicken you have left over, and throw those in there as well.

For dinner, I made some turkey burgers. I get a pound of white-meat turkey and a pound of dark-meat turkey and some breadcrumbs. I’ll mix it up with some seasoning, then freeze like eight patties. So, I just heat that up when I want something quick. I sometimes stick it in the pan with a little bit of water, frozen, and just let it cook. And then have like a little bit of mustard with it. I made some beets as well. I sautéed them with a little bit of balsamic. I had a Moraga 95 that I opened. I’ve got a bunch of ‘94s, ’95s, ‘96s, really nice wines that I’ve got to get drinking. Cause they’re all ready to go. It was just me. The nice thing about Monday night is Monday Night Football. She allows me
Monday night football. Monday was the Cleveland Browns, and they were playing the Baltimore Ravens. It wasn’t that great of a game. I had Tivo-ed the Patriots and the Colts, so I went back and watched that game.

Tuesday, November 17
Tuesday Morning is back to scrambled eggs, I put a little bit of mozzarella cheese in there just to mix it up, and then I had some homemade applesauce that I made. I take like three different varietals of apples, like Goldens, Fujis, Pink Ladies, Braeburns, Romes, anything like that. As long as you’ve got three different types. And I render those down with a tiny bit of lemon and cinnamon.

I had lunch with my agents at an Italian place called Piccolo Paradiso. I had the veal cutlets. Very bad, but it was excellent. Breaded, fried, classic. It was arugula and chopped tomatoes, which is my favorite. My agents were all much better than I was. They had salads and stuff. I was tempted to have wine, but I decided actually to have iced tea. We were just going over different things, talking about Mao’s Last Dancer, and the response to that, which as been very, very good. And we were just catching up. I hadn’t seen them in a little while. Well, it’s funny, because it can take six months for distribution; it can take a year; a year and a half. This particular film had no distribution yet in America, so they screened it at the Toronto Film Festival, where it went very well, but it was also a very tough year in Toronto. I think only two or three films were purchased, so that was a little tricky.

Tuesday was the night before I left on the plane, and I had dinner at a restaurant called Café Med. That was a big night out with my son and myself and my good friend Mark Chayet and his two boys, Zachary and Miles. We had fun. I had just pasta with tomato sauce, which Callum and I shared, and I had a couple of slices of pizza, which Mark ordered. The house red wine, Cabernet. And we had a little sample plate of the mozzarella and burrata. It’s a really nice little Italian place up on the Sunset Plaza drive, so we went there early, at 6 o’clock, because with Callum and his two young sons, we didn’t want to torture anybody in the restaurant. So we figured we’d be out by 7:30 p.m. when people started to arrive. And it worked out pretty good. [Desiree] was working that night. She’s been very, very busy lately.

Wednesday, November 18
Wednesday morning was my same sort of breakfast. We left at 9 a.m. It was just me and him, and when you’re traveling with a 15-month-old, as you can imagine, you’ve pretty much got your hands full. So I didn’t eat much on the plane at all. But he went through a small container of this stuff called Pirate Booty, so he fed me some of those. He felt bad for me, I guess.

We landed about 7:30 p.m., and I got home and ordered from a restaurant across the street called Bella Napoli. It’s just a little pizza place. And it was perfect. I had the arrabiata pasta with some garlic knots there that are incredible and a salad. And I opened a Lokoya and had a glass, and that made it all worthwhile.

Thursday, November 19
I was up really early because I was on the CBS Early Show talking about my wine. I have a cappuccino machine here in New York as well, and I had half of an onion bagel. There’s also this place around the corner called Murray’s Bagels. They’re pretty good. Or H&H;. But Murray’s is in the neighborhood.

For lunch, I have some chicken cutlets. I dredge them in a little egg, and add some breadcrumbs. So, I’ll have a couple of those.

And tonight, I may end up down at a restaurant called Lure. It’s owned by a friend of ours, and they have fantastic fish there, and the steak is incredible. Their Sunday brunch is my favorite of all. We may find ourselves down there, but also I’ve been spending some time over at a place called the Grill over at the Standard Hotel. That’s my wife’s favorite at the moment, so we go over there quite a bit. It’s busy and bustling, and just a really nice scene. I’m going to be here until Wednesday and then we head for Miami for Thanksgiving. I’ve never cooked Thanksgiving. In the past couple of years, we’ve had Thanksgiving with a family that Desiree knows very well down in Miami. And they do everything. They deep-fry the turkey, which is pretty good. And I also love to go home and see my dad. He’s an amazing cook. He’s why I am so comfortable in the kitchen. It’s because of him.

Actor Kyle MacLachlan Parties at Bouchon L.A., Likes His Bagels From