The Pour; Where to Look Up Dry-Hopping and Decoction
This week I was excited to find Asimov writing about beer and how the old t-shit and jean stereotype is changing. He got dressed up in his nicest attire to go out on the town. Like wine in America, beer has also progressed within our culture and it’s thrilling to watch it happen. His beer session took place over dinner at Eleven Madison Park. The restaurant offers more than 130 beers every night. Back in the 1970’s, there was not much to choose from in the beer selection in America. Now, the United States in the most vibrant beer culture in the world! Shocking!…well not THAT shocking, but still! Now American craft brewers inspire bastions like England, Germany, and Belgium to re-examine their own traditions and to re-invent new ones. Asimov writes, “much of what we think we know about beer qualifies as conventional wisdom, some of which is called into question. For example, it may not be true that two different strains of yeast account for the differences between ales and lagers.” Asimov had the pleasure of drinking some beautiful beers that really complimented the food. Some people fear that as beer progresses the same sort of pretentiousness associated with “wine-snobs” will take flight. But, Asimov writes, “Beer consumers are a far more confident lot than wine consumers.” Beer consumers have a solid grounding and don’t feel that they need to be so incredibly educated on the subject before drinking it. With wine, there is a sense of needing to “appreciate” it before enjoying it. After all, it is just beer…
With the Jewish Holiday’s approaching, it seems only appropriate to start the new year fresh and ripe (like an apple ). As usual, I chose my favorites this week:
A ‘Boatload’ of Wines
Rieslings as summer wines were promoted in many restaurants this season. A finale dinner will be held on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Hearth Restaurant, 403 East 12th Street (First Avenue), with four courses and a “boatload” of wines, as the organizers have put it. Peter Sichel, the venerable riesling expert — think Blue Nun — will be on hand; $95, including tax and tip: (646) 602-1300.
Jewish holiday cooking demonstrations will be held, free, on Sunday at 2 and 3:30 p.m. on the mezzanine at Zabar’s, 2245 Broadway (80th Street). Yes, I’m a dork, and yes, I’ll probably be attending this!
C-CAP, the organization that helps provide culinary education for high school students, will benefit from a party, with celebrities like Tom Colicchio and Joe Bastianich providing the music, on Monday at 7 p.m. at Hill Country Barbecue Market, 30 West 26th Street. Entry is a suggested donation of $20. Appetizers will be free, and drinks and a full menu will be available for purchase, with 20 percent of sales also donated to the cause. This sounds like such a nice event. If I could go I would! For table reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUNG SIK The Korean flavors are unmistakable here but there are also touches of France and Spain in the cutting-edge cooking of Jung Sik Yim, who first took molecular, sous-vide and deconstructed Korean dishes to Seoul. New York will taste his bibim-style caprese salad, tiny octopus with kimchi and chicken in mushroom stock: 2 Harrison Street (Hudson Street), (212) 219-0900.
LA MAR CEBICHERIA PERUANA Gastón Acurio, pictured, a Peruvian chef who has become an international restaurateur, has landed in New York with a restaurant that will focus on ceviche and seafood dishes featuring traditional Peruvian ingredients like quinoa, aji amarillo chiles, yucca and chicha, a corn beer. The two-story space that was a colorful setting for Tabla has been given a more serene look by Stephanie Goto, in blue tones, with a “rainwater” chandelier of tiny glass bubbles, and a wall of corn kernels: 11 Madison Avenue (25th Street), (212) 612-3388.
LA PROMENADE DES ANGLAIS Alain Allegretti pays homage to his native Nice with a garlicky, tomatoey, herbal and tangy menu. But he also travels to the Italian Riviera for vitello tonnato, to Spain for chorizo and to Manchego to season ratatouille ravioli, and to North Africa, for red mullet in brick pastry. This food sounds so amazing. Someone should definitely check this out and hard core prospect!: 461 West 23rd Street, (212) 255-7400.
MOMOFUKU MILK BAR The third Milk Bar from David Chang and Christina Tosi, in a landmarked storefront on the Upper West Side, is the largest, with benches and stools for about 15 people to taste soft-serve ice cream, milk shakes, cookies, the addictive crack pie, croissants and savory pork and vegetable buns. (Opens Saturday). Get ready people, this was a weekend hang out spot for me and my friends back in my NYU days…sigh: 561 Columbus Avenue (87th Street), no phone.
ROMERA The setting for a $245, 11-course tasting menu by Miguel Sanchez Romera, a neurologist and chef from Barcelona whose “neuro-gastronomy” will be a first for New York, is pristine white, with some herbs in planters. Though there is wine, the chef specializes in devising infused waters to complement each dish: Dream Downtown Hotel, 355 West 16th Street, (212) 929-5800.
SAXON & PAROLE Double Crown, the Asian-style AvroKO and Brad Farmerie partnership, has become a thoroughly American restaurant, taking the names of two racehorses. One dining room has … white tablecloths! Dishes like razor clam and egg salad, chile-spiked carrot soup, and a pork chop with potato salad contrast with the somewhat gamier food Mr. Farmerie does at Public. Sounds fancy and they could use some of our wine (if they’re not too pretentious): 316 Bowery (Bleecker Street), (212) 254-0350.
BROOKLYN TACO Jesse Kramer and his partner, Erica Molina, have a kitchen with counters for a limited menu of tacos filled with smoky chipotle chicken, guacamole textured with fresh corn, and brisket in rich chilorio, a sauce from Northern Mexico. Mexican ingredients are sold, as is Blue Bottle Coffee: Essex Street Market, 120 Essex Street (Delancey Street), (646) 820-8226.
MAHARLIKA FILIPINO MODERNO Nicole Ponseca had no interest in a melting pot for her restaurant. She wants it to be extremely focused on Filipino food. Miguel Trinidad, the chef, emphasizes the rustic dishes, like oxtails in peanut sauce, pork belly with fermented black beans, and sausage with eggs and tangy vegetables. Sounds like an adventure: 111 First Avenue (Seventh Street), (646) 392-7880.
WALDEN At a time when frenetic, scenester restaurants seem to be the norm, the notion of channeling Thoreau is a refreshing departure, especially for Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Jamie Gray, a designer turned restaurateur, has created a pleasantly stylish setting, with some Shaker references, for a simple, seasonal menu by Ben Winans, who was at Diner and Pure Food & Wine: 502 Lorimer Street (Powers Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (347) 227-7133.