Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn
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I’ve been MIA over the past few days. Turns out copious amounts of alcohol do not help me sleep, nor does it help with the morning writing time. So I start this week anew, again. I never sleep soundly this time of year. Work is just too much – the end of the day sends me spiraling home. Issues pull and nag at me leaving me with a quickened heartbeat, reaching for the bottle of wine. I’ve try to reach for the yoga mat instead, but this leaving me pulling and nagging on my body, always going one step too far, a quick stab of pain in the hamstring a reminder that things are not that serious. But it never matters. It’s always like this. Six year into my position, you would think I would have some coping mechanisms by now. But alas, I do not.
I did get some fun time in Thursday evening with L at the New York Vintners. L had a Groupon for a class for two. I was a bit skeptical because it was in Tribeca and it was Saint Patrick’s Day. (No, the Irish Car Bombs that the office had before everyone took off did not help any.) I suppose skeptical isn’t the word for “I was being lazy and wanted to get on my couch.” Anyways. It was a good time and I’m super glad that I went!
First let me tell you that this place is very accessible right off of the City Hall R stop. It was just a short walk down the block. Not only is it accessible but also it was very friendly and happy on the inside. The staff is young, good looking and very open about their drinking habits, which is always fun to hear about, especially when it includes lots of wine.
The class topic was Biodynamic / Organic Food & Wine. God, that sounds like such a snooze right? I mean, I’m a big nerd so this is really interesting to me but I don’t fail to recognize that this could be completely lame to someone else.
Upon arriving a glass of Raventos 2008 Brut L’Hereu was placed in my hand and it was delicious. Tart, bright and welcoming it cleanses my palate of the Guinness and whiskey, readying me for what was to come. While I waited for L to come, I scoped out the scene but there wasn’t much to see except four excellently set tables and a cougar fawning over her prey in the far corner. So instead I immersed myself in twitter.
It took awhile for everything to get started. I’m not sure if L told me 7 just so I wouldn’t be late or if they actually said it started at 7. Either way, things didn’t get going until 7:30 7:45ish. No biggie. We did have our “welcoming wine” after all.
The first course (yes there were courses!) was a Tuna Crudo with Big Eye Tuna, Fontodi olive oil, crispy potato, micros wasabi, cilantro and pickled watermelon radish. (This is also the only course I remembered to take a picture of.) Before we chowed down on the Big Eye we were treated to a handy little diagram of sustainable tuna. Ours was the most sustainable, caught in the Atlantic without nets or something. This was paired with a 2001 Gravonia Blanco and the 2008 Ribolla Gialla. The Ribolla Gialla was a bit warmer, nuttier and you got hints of spice, which was delightful. This course was my favorite by far. It was really unexpected.
The second course included Berkshire Pork Belly, Smoky Kobacha squash, fava beans and purple cauliflower. We were treated to a background on the Berkshire hog, which was fun because I already knew some of things from my Salumi! Afternoon. We were also given the low down on some heritage vegetables. For this dish we were given a tasting of COS 2009 Pithos and the Cousin-Leduc 2009 Gamay. The Gamay was delicious and the store sells was already sold out by the time I tried to get mine.
(As a side note, I’m really looking for an online resource for heritage vegetables. Not like, where I can buy them but where I can find out all about them. For example – if I want to look up purple carrots, I go to this website and it tells me everything little thing that I could ever want to know about purple carrots. Any idea?)
The last course was a Brandt Farms NY strip (only found through the farm website and Dean and Deluca). This was served with a roasted heirloom tomato, carrots and English peas & shoots. The steak was very good. While the tomato was also very good, I was confused because it is not tomato season. Anyways, it was flown in from Florida. Since it’s heirloom, does that make it ok? The strip was paired with Inedito 2009 Rioja and the Mortiers 2008 St. Nicolas De Bourgueil. (That last one is a mouthful!)
The next big event at New York Vintners is Apocalypse Sow comprised of a completely pork menu. Check out that menu and you’ll understand why it’s sold out. After that they have Jason and Ryan’s excellent vegan adventure on May 6th. To promote the event Chef Ryan is eating vegan 2 weeks prior to the event. The menu for this also looks very delicious. Check it out. It is a bit pricey but worth the dough if you have it to spend. (I do not hence the groupon – 2 tickets for $40!)
If you want to skip the thing all together and just check out the recipes – Chef Ryan posts them on the New York Vintners Facebook page. (I’m still waiting on last Thursdays’ to be put up.)