A Night of Haute Cuisine, Great Cocktails, and Greasy Bar Food
I know I haven’t written something significant for a while. I’m sorry. It’s just the finals were driving me mad and I had to put blogging on hold. I kind of regret it now since I’m backed up for a good week’s worth of food and so much photo editing (Argh…). I want to shoot myself in the foot for doing so. But I’m fine and school’s over.
Please note, I’m skipping a bunch of food stuff that happened since Wednesday night was the most unusual experience I ever had in my life. In a good way.
To keep this story not too complicated, back about a week ago someone from SIRIUS Radio e-mailed me an invitation to Martha Stewart’s premiere broadcast of her satellite radio show, At Martha’s Table.
My first reaction was, “Huh? How did they (technically, she, of public relations) get my e-mail?” I never would have thunk that a major corporation would even think of inviting me to such an event. But I did RSVP for the event. When I actually got to speak to her on the phone the afternoon before, she told me that there are other “good grade blogs” that are involved with this event as well. So, I thought I would see some familiar faces of people I read…as in the blogs I read along the sidebar on the right of your screen. I tagged Ariel (the guy I ate dinner with Kyotofu recently) along for the evening. Even though he had other plans, I persuaded him with some haute cuisine (Jean George’s Vong hors d’oeuvres) and booze at a bar opening, after this event.
On the evening of the event, I checked-in and got my name badge and a security pass to get up the elevators.
When I actually glanced at the name badges on that table, I realized I’m stuck with a bunch of execs there, not many food bloggers, as far as I could see. I only saw a guy writing for the Gothamist.
Anyways, I went through the whole security check and up the elevators to the 36th floor and got myself some water from the bar. They were serving two wines (a Pinot Blanc from Vin d’Alsace and a 2005 Castle Rock Pinot Noir) water (S.Pellegrino sparkling water and Evian).
Eventually I tried the Pinot Noir and I find it to be fine. It’s not the most superb wine I ever tasted but it was good. It’s fruity, floral. Acidic initially with bit of an abrasive note at the end. I wasn’t really expecting much from a catered party since the focus was the food more than the wine.
Anyways, Ariel found me and we just talked for a while until they started to send out the hors d’oeuvres. Here’s the first round.
Ain’t that a sight to see? The appetizers are crêpe-like pasta wrapping filled with cream cheese(?), mushrooms, and caviar, topped with edible gold (I don’t know the actual name), and the Lobster and Daikon Rolls served with rosemary ginger dip (not in photo but it was served). I didn’t get the chance to eat nor did I really want to eat the lobster rolls because I’m afraid of getting an allergic reaction. But I did eat that show stopping one. Here’s the photo…
It’s really too expensive to eat in ways since you have probably $10 worth of edible gold (which is basically pure 23 or 24 carat gold that can be consumed) sitting on that thing. It’s filled with cream cheese (give a creamy, slight tangy, pungent flavor), finely chopped mushrooms (mostly for texture since the cheese dominated the flavor), and caviar (that added salt and minute fish-like flavor). It’s mind blowingly good. It’s an explosion of bold flavors on the palate that makes you want to succumb to the creamy, salty, pungent-ness of this hors d’oeuvre.
The next tray served a few minutes later served the Raw Tuna rolls. They tasted (and the waiter indicated) rosemary and ginger was in there, the tuna was of sushi quality, and the vegetables gave it a nice crunchy, refreshing texture. It’s good but not as the previous one.
Next up was the Prawn Satay.
The shrimp was HUGE. I loved the crisp coating on that shrimp and it was cooked perfectly. This was the other favorite of the evening.
The next tray that was sent down were the Crab Spring Rolls.
I found that out after I ate it…but I was ok. No allergic reactions. Does that mean I could eat crustaceans now? Hmm… Anyways, these rolls were ok. It was crisp, fried, good ratio of crab meat in the filling but the flavors didn’t tantalize my palate.
So that’s about it for the food portion of the evening. I wasn’t really expecting a three course meal even though I wish it was going to happen. Then Martha Stewart and Jean Georges arrived around 7:55 for photo-ops and made their speeches.
Around 8 or so, they prepped for the show and started to broadcast. I felt kind of bad for Martha because of the fact that not many were sitting and watch them do the interview/show. They’re just chatting and networking amongst themselves.
I have to admit, I wasn’t as polite as well since Ariel and I left early to Don‘s invite to a soft opening of the bar in the East Village named, Please Don’t Tell, or known as PDT.
Sam (the guy talking and sitting next to me) and John (the bartender)
We took the chairs on the bar and were given the menu. After talking between us, Ariel decided to go for the Pimms Rangoon and I got the Trident.
From Pour to Product: Ariel’s Pimms Ragoon. For a larger photo of the drink, click here.
Ariel’s drink was fruity and subtly sweet from the muddled fruit and it was a smooth drink; I didn’t really taste the alcohol, nor did he.
My drink on the other hand, looks dangerous; from the dark orange glow radiating from the drink, as well as the viscous look when you really look at the close-up photo well. I’m asking for trouble. After taking a sip, the first thing you taste was the punch of alcohol, then the licorice, anise flavor of the aquavit, and the finishing taste was a subtle hint of citrus fruit. It’s a dry, strong, and bold drink. It’s not exactly my type of drink but it’s good. It’s meant for the drinkers who love to have a really strong cocktail.
When Will, our bartender for the evening, asked us if we wanted anything to eat (which comes from the kitchen of Crif Dogs) we each ordered a burger. But somehow the orders got mixed up a bit since no one claimed a plate of two cheeseburgers that has everything including onions. How can I not pass a burger that has onions when it’s not on the menu? I said, “I’ll take it if no one wants it.” We’ve now been bestowed upon a plate of glorious, greasy mess. Seriously, this burger looks like it could kill a hangover and give you a heart attack after having a couple of them. Also, there was an unclaimed Chihuahua dog that Ariel and I agreed to split, so we really don’t die that night but inching our way there.
The burger’s mighty tasty but it’s fully cooked. It’s a burger topped with American cheese, onions, tomato marmalade (I didn’t taste ketchup) and lots of bacon-y goodness. All of that unctuous goodness is in a regular sesame seeded hamburger bun that is also soaking in all of that grease. It’s yummy and I think, as I consumed this burger, my heart is pumping extra harder for the sake of more saturated fat and cholesterol is clogged in my arteries.
The Chihuahua dog is basically a deep fried hot dog, wrapped in bacon, topped with avocado and sour cream. Oh, it’s a doozy alright. It tastes awesome but jeez, I think I need to see a cardiologist.
When we’re about half-way finished with our food, Ariel asked me if I was drunk. I said not really, so he said order another drink. I thought he was drunk. But I did anyways since I don’t go to a bar that often and I really didn’t touch my Trident after that first sip. I ended up asking for the Pisco Sour just because of the egg white in the drink sounded interesting.
The Pisco was smooth with a touch of an alcoholic bite. There was a finishing end of the sour-tart toward middle to aftertaste. The egg white gave it a creamy, thickness to the drink and I think it was executed well. It’s quite good. After that drink, Ariel and I called it a night.
My feedback in regards to the bar, it feels a bit exclusive and secretive (in terms of getting into the place). It’s has a speakeasy feel and taxidermist decor, yet it’s lively, very laid back and comfortable.
Here’s another photo of the bar.
So this was my unconventional Wednesday night. It was fun, a ton of food, and booze. Heck, I think I haven’t drink that much before in a long time, that isn’t a holiday. Good thing my finals were over…And no, I didn’t have a hangover. All of that greasy food actually neutralize the alcohol, as well as drinking a lot of water.