- A "tuna melt supreme" at Copper Kitchen with Michele.
- A failed tomato plant and mutant strawberries, but scads of Anaheim chiles.
- Le Petit Cafe (duck, tuna, escargot, pork, lots of wine, B&B, etc. etc. extraordinary as usual (forgive the redundancy)) for Andy's birthday, with an extra dessert of Mexican chocolate mousse cake at home (of which we still have plenty, so come on over).
- North Carolina pulled pork and Pakistani vegetables at Christian's place in Vermont. An enormous Vermont Cheddar omelette the next day at the Blue Benn
- Tasty hippie food that, sadly, gave me a bad stomachache at Lady Killigrew's Cafe
at the Montague Book Mill
- Too many lunches at Gourmet Heaven (let me tell you: anything but) due to bad hours at the reference desk.
Those "thick bean thread noodles" I was swooning over during the Chinese feast? That was JELLYFISH. I need to bring Mr. Ip with me every time I go out for Chinese food.
In other news, Happy Birthday, Andy! We are celebrating tonight with Le Petit Cafe and a lopsided Mexican chocolate mousse cake that may not look amazing, but it was made with love!
And Lest We Forget Our Roots of Trash
We went out with Ian and Arta on Sunday night looking for trash food. We explained our fascination with and addiction to the Sloppy Fingers at Christopher Martin's. Ian has been away from the United States for a long time, but I'm not sure that's even excuse enough for the SIX ORDERS OF SLOPPY FINGERS that the four of us ate in about 10 minutes flat. We asked for four orders, all on one plate, with extra blue cheese dressing, and when those were gone, and we were all sitting back in our chairs, mouths burning with satisfaction, Ian asked if we could eat any more. I said I could maybe have one. Andy said he could maybe have one. Meaning one finger EACH. So Ian ordered two more platters for the table.
And we understand that while we were at the Chinese banquet, the two of them went to another establishment on State Street and ordered yet more of the chicken fingers. Enjoy that Kiss of the Buffalo Sauce, guys.
I woke up this morning after about 3 hours of sleep and realized I needed some Rolaids now.
Small wonder, since dinner the night before was a 10-course Chinese banquet, followed by some Experimental Desserts, one great glass of wine, one abysmal glass of wine, and one long and loud Metro-North trip home from New York. All this on a school night! Let me explain.
You remember Chef Ip.
One day last month, before his trip to Hong Kong, he emailed Andy and invited him and Mrs. Delicious to dinner in Chinatown with him, his wife Winnie and son Kevin, and several of their friends at Mr. Tang of Mott Street. How could we say no? Even though we had the Macedoregonians staying at our house (more on them shortly), we knew we had to go. We stocked up on food, told Ian and Arta to fend for themselves, and off we went.
I met Andy at Katagiri
at 4:00 after being inspired to try to find a Japanese pickle press by the knowledgable, kind folks at Kitchen Arts & Letters
. My day had been a blur of new stores in the Meatpacking district, the truly beautiful Eva Hesse show at the Jewish Museum
, and a capicolla slice at Pintaile's Pizza on Carnegie Hill. (Oh, right, and work -- a donor meeting first thing in the morning.) It was warm and summery, Andy and I were intoxicated by Japanese cheese cod sausage and housewares at Conran's and body-fluid art at P.S. 1, so it was in a general spirit of well-being and high humor that we barged sweatily into Mr. Tang's. Where we found THREE tables set up for all of us Friends of Roy. We sat down next to John and John, waiters at Zinc and Le Petit Cafe, and Kevin with his computer on all night, and Alvin and Mark and Melinda and Rachel. Tsingtao appeared by the dozen on the lazy Susan, along with countless condiments that I was too overwhelmed to try. The night went something like this, all ordered for us and served family-style by experts:
Course 1. Thick bean thread noodles with sliced beef (beef heart?), Chinese pork sausage, and squid
Course 2. Scallops and squid with snow peas and fried shrimp tofu toasts
Course 3. Fried shrimp with brocolli in a kind of lemony mayonnaise
Course 4. Squab (or duckling?) with crispy skin and shrimp cracker
Course 5. Scallop egg drop soup
Course 6. Crispy chicken with a sort of orange glaze
Course 7. Sea cucumber and Chinese mushrooms in brown sauce
Course 8. Lobster fried in ginger glaze with some kind of bitter green vegetable
Course 9. Whole fried fish skin with the flesh piled up in the middle in a salty white sauce
Course 10. Pork fried rice
Course 11. Some kind of fresh, handmade egg noodles in sesame sauce
Course 12. Fortune cookies, oranges, and honeydew
I have never seen anything like it, and I am sure I am leaving stuff out. It was the stuff of dreams and miracles. I tried to pace myself and eat small amounts, but those bean thread noodles were just TOO GOOD to stop at one helping. We all agreed that the sea cucumber texture was kind of like chewing on earlobe, but that's just our dumb American palates talking.
It was about 9:30 and time to go home. If we *had* gone home, we could have been in bed at a reasonable hour -- maybe even before midnight! But -- in the immortal words of Cindy
-- if you think we didn't go right out and ingest more, you obviously don't know us. Uptown a few blocks to Room 4 Dessert
, a terribly-named terrible concept -- "dessert bar" -- that is one of the most interesting places to eat in New York right now. Will Goldfarb is the chef and much has been written about him, so I won't go into it except to say that Andy's dessert in a glass -- called "Little Jack Horner" -- was sheer delight after the endless piles of food. Liquid and layered, it involved plum air, lychee water, soaked plum, vin santo and Red Bull gelee. Mine was less successful: the "Each Peach" was too much sugar and too little surprise, consisting of an almond financier (nicely wet and dense), a peach and Campari meringue served in a dehydrator bag, some cold roasted peaches that were too bitter, a peach tea aspic that was delightful except for the basil blossom on top, which tasted like soap, and the white chocolate chantilly, which was the sweetness and consistency of Duncan Hines frosting in a can. I'll go back for the liquids, including the wines -- Andy and I have been searching high and low for nice Mourvedre by the glass, and it's nice to see a chef who appreciates it, too.
Today I ate grapes, thin beef broth, diet coke, and leftover rice from the Macedonian feast that Ian and Arta prepared for us on Friday. We are living right!
It Is the Dawn of a New Era in Connecticut, the Land of Steady Habits
It was a bizarre feeling last night at 11:00 to realize that my guy had won. He won! The guy I voted for! It's been YEARS since that happened.
So come on, Joe. Don't second-guess the will of the people -- trying to overturn the popular vote is something you learned from George Bush, and it's not attractive. Don't be pathetic and desperate in trying to hang on to your seat. Go buy a house in Litchfield county and write your memoirs. It is time to go.