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November 2008

Posts from October 2008

A Sound Philosophy

This article about Joe Bastianich's marathon training sounds a lot like my triathlon training regimen.  A man after my own heart (and stomach).  Super-busy week, by the way, but managed to sneak in a meal here.  Aside from being delicious, it was food-personality central, with the likes of Ruth Reichl, Alfred Portale, and Paul Grieco.  A work colleage asked for my take on the dinner, and here's what I wrote "Overall a lovely experience. Atmosphere and service were very good. I thought everything was beautifully prepared and took great advantage of the flavors of the season. The lobster and foie gras dish, although quite tasty, was outshined (at least in my mind) by a duck dish w/chanterelles, tunips, and an apple-mustard chutney, and the sweetbreads, which had a rye crumb crust, a delectable sauce, and served alongside grapes and cippolini onions. Also, as simple as it was, a course of slightly warmed iberico ham wrapped around Idiazabal cheese with a tomatillo relish was delicious, especially with the paired wine."  I'll add that the pre-dinner cocktail I had (the bella rosa) was damn tasty -- a brachetto d'Acqui with vermouth and orange bitters, the soundtrack (from Tom's iPod) lent a bluesy bent, and the company was delightful.  You can find the full menu here.

A Tasty Weekend

To sum up:  truffle parmesan popcorn on the couch Friday night, Arthur Avenue Saturday morning for clams, oysters, pizza, tastes of cheese and salami, Sea-Topia on Saturday afternoon for Pat LaFrieda burgers, lobsters, fall cocktails and brownies, breakfast today of fried egg atop provolone bread with proscuitto, mozzarella and basil from Arthur Ave bounty, dinner of calamari, sardines, lomo with shitake mushrooms, pan con tomate, Txakolina, and churros from Bar Jamon, plus a teeny taste of amazing strawberry jam hand-carried from Italy.  To counterbalance:  one run, not even close to being long enough for all that.  Extra special thanks to Tony and family for letting me tag along, to team Sea-Topia for pulling it all together, and to my jam courier for staying awake despite some majorly serious sleep deprivation.  Pictures from Arthur Avenue are here.

More Pictures, Fewer Words

You'd think I'd have a little time on my hands these days, now that I'm done with Gothamist, but alas, not so much.  I ran off to Chicago for about 24 hours last week then drove up to VT and am finally catching up.  Some photo highlights:

Deus -- the champagne of beers.  Literally -- it's made in the methode champagnoise.  Rachel and I had this delicious little number at The Publican.  The rest of the pics came out kind of crappy so I won't make you suffer through them.

Holy cow!

The mysterious and mystifying corn maze. 

The rest of the OJ pics are here.  Since I returned, I've been laying relatively low, catching up on laundry, throwing out junk, and finally getting rid of my old TV and desk.  I can't wait to have the space!!  I might even hang a thing or two on the walls this weekend, at least around furniture I know won't be moving.  The one exception to laying low was Monday night, when I took a field trip to Brooklyn for a visit to Jakewalk and the Clover Club for some stellar cocktails (p.s. -- was chastised for my post where I said that I had a gin cocktail that I liked.  In reality, as pointed out, I tasted a gin cocktail that I liked.) and snacks, then finished up at Blue Ribbon on the way home.  Out too late on a school night, but well worth it.

I Want My Sweaters!

You spend one weekend in VT and suddenly, poof -- it's fall!  My clothes haven't caught up yet, as all my wintry wear is still tucked away.  Clearly I have a project for the weekend (in addition to getting rid of my old TV and desk on Craig's list).

Into the Woods

I'm off to the 12th annual OJ this weekend (missed last year) for some friends and leaf-peeping.  I'm a little pooped from my brief jaunt to Chicago (had a great meal with Rachel at the Publican, a newly opened pork-o-riffic spot from the team behind Avec and Blackbird) and some tasty cocktails and snacks at Pegu Club last night (for the record, I had a GIN drink I liked! Next stop, goat cheese!).  That said, I'm looking forward to a little nature.  Have a great weekend, all!

PS -- just realized I took pics of the food at the Publican -- will have to wait till after the weekend for those.

The End of an Era

Gotfood Today is my official last day working for Gothamist Food (remember that cute little logo we used to have back in the day?).  When I started writing for them almost 4 1/2 years ago, I had no formal qualifications and no journalism experience whatsoever, but for some reason they trusted me.  It has been an amazing experience overall.  I've never had any intention of doing it full time, but I definitely plan on keeping food writing in the mix.  When I started out this year, I knew that my time with Gothamist would be winding down, so I gave myself two goals -- to make it to the James Beard Awards (check) and to make it to our 4th anniversary of food coverage (check).  Since then, I've been exploring some other food writing options. I have two projects in the works, both of which I will announce when I can. 

I have written over 750 posts (two more are pending and will be published within the next week or so); some of my favorites are here.  I've enjoyed some amazing meals, parties, and events. I've pickled with two of the city's best artisanal picklers, been a Vendy Awards judge, competed in the Duckathlon three times, made matzo brei with Marc Meyer, interviewed Mario Batali, hung out backstage at the James Beard Awards.  But most of all, I've met people who are passionate about what they do and excited to share knowledge of their craft, whatever it is. 

This weekend was the NYC Wine & Food Festival, which was a perfect sendoff.  Thanks to all who have contributed over the years -- Joe, Youngna, Alizinha, GirlyNYC, Beth, Chris, Frost Street, Habeas Brulee, Hugh, and the full-time Gothamist team (I feel like I'm forgetting someone . . .).  Now that I'm done, I'll have a bit more time to write here -- you might even see more food writing -- and will let you know about the new projects soon! And for those I've met along the way -- our paths will still cross. 

As for me today, I'm off to Chicago for the APBCo Academy.  Sadly, I won't be able to go to Hot Doug's, but am happy to head to Avec, plus I've gotten recommendations for two great cocktail places -- The Violet Hour and The Matchbox -- so my one night there will certainly be put to good use. 

A Congregation of Mavericks

That's how the rabbi described the 4000 people gathered for Kol Nidre services at the Javitz Center last night.  She welcomed us all -- gay, transgender, straight, Jewish, and not Jewish.  I hadn't been to CBST services in years, but their open door policy, and truly welcoming attitude, brought me back this year.  I was lucky enough to touch base with Joe & Elliot, friends from my days doing the AIDS rides, and joined them for services.  The rabbi went on to welcome even those who don't believe in God -- she said that her God was okay with that.  Works for me.  The only people she wasn't sure she'd welcome, she joked, were those who believed in creationism rather than evolution.  She offered to hook them up with her marine biologist neice for a dialogue.

Yom Kippur is a holiday that involves atoning for your sins of the past year.  We all have them.  Reading the traditional list of sins, one that struck me had to do with sinning by being resistant to change (forgive me, I'm fasting, so my brain is at half-mast today).  It takes me a long time to change and often this is detrimental to me.  Another thing about the service that struck me was that the congregation had submitted their own list of sins for which we collectively atoned -- they included taking one's body for granted, having unprotected sex, drinking too much alcohol, and my personal favorite, being too lazy to recycle.  Together with 4000 voices, we atoned for each other.

As you may know, I'm not particularly religious, but I'm glad I went to Kol Nidre last night.  Today, in addition to thinking about how hungry I am, I'm thinking about the loved ones I've lost, and the changes I want to make in my life for the new year.  I'll be breaking the fast at the New York Wine and Food Festival tonight, although I might sneak in a bagel and lox before that.

Time for the Cure

It's time!  And what perfect timing it is.  I am in dire need of this and ready to make some major changes.  So please forgive me in advance because I hope to be a little anti-social this time around so I actually make some progress.  There have already been some big changes since last time, with plenty more to come.