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Saturday was a vacation for me. I ate at home. Carrie and I made dinner for friends. She made a tomato tartare, based on the recipe from Michel Richard‘s cookbook, Happy in the Kitchen, and I made osso buco with risotto alla Milanese, based on recipes by Mario Batali and Mark Bittman.

The tomato tartare, with its shallot dressing, performs a classic Richard trick: It fools the eye into believing the dish is something that it’s not, beef tartare in this case. (The photo above doesn’t do justice to Carrie’s dish; her initial presentation was gorgeous, but we were so eager to dip into it that we forgot to snap pics until four or five bites in. Did I mention wine was involved at this point?) The appetizer does share one thing in common with its meaty cousin, though: It goes down so damn easy.

I bought the osso buco from Wagshal’s Market, and they were beautiful, two-inch center-cut chops that even I couldn’t screw up that much. Photo after the jump.

Photos by Angela Potter