The wedge.

It’s a great luxury to have a grocery store here on the island, one that doesn’t gouge you, and that has pretty much everything you need. Of course, this being an island, the store does run out of things every so often, usually in the produce and bread departments. The absence of any type of lettuce but iceberg this past weekend is what inspired our recent round of salad-making: the wedge.

The iceberg wedge — staple of the midcentury table — has made a comeback lately, offering a striking contrast in this age of mixed baby greens tossed in a light vinaigrette. I had my first encounter with the wedge at the Tornado Room in Madison, my favorite steakhouse-cum-supper-club of all time. (Great cocktails, great food, great service, great atmosphere.) Their classic wedge is exactly that: a hefty slice of iceberg, topped with tomato, onion, bacon, blue cheese, and french dressing. It’s perfect for the joint, and I’ve measured all subsequent wedges against it.

I recently encountered another take on the wedge at Maxie’s Supper Club and Oyster Bar in Ithaca. Theirs is pretty classic, but with a cajun-inspired dressing instead of the French, which gives it a welcome kick while maintaining the essential flavor profile of the original.

Our wedges turned out pretty darn well:

I think the green glass plates (one of my favorite kitchen items up here at the cottage) lent the salads further midcentury appeal.

Iceberg, onion, tomato, bacon, blue, French… Mmm. You don’t want a wedge every day, but sometimes it just hits the spot.


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