Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Here is yr green drink.

You know, for St. Patrick’s Day. I got my green drinking out of the way early so I can spend the day itself indoors with other green things of my choice, away from festive novelty hats and the fluids so vivaciously discharged by people wearing them.


Anyhow, this drink was one of the nicest I’ve had in a long while. It’s called a Wadsworth and it’s made with gin (Beefeater), Luxardo Triplum, lemon, green chili, and coriander. It’s greener in taste than appearance and very well-balanced, and you ought to go have one. It’s at a restaurant called Gwynnett St. in Brooklyn and I had such a nice dinner there yesterday. The place isn’t new but I hadn’t heard of it before; I was just walking around after a Thing nearby and there it was. I think it’s an excellent choice if you should find yourself hungry and in or near Brooklyn.

I had whiskey bread and chicken. The bread was terrific. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to decide it had whiskey in it had I not known in advance, but it would be interesting to try it again with a whiskey-based drink for accompaniment. I’m not normally an orderer of chicken but I was drawn to this one because ash was listed as one of the ingredients. Our waiter explained that the meat is brined and then coated with a mixture of smoked hay ash, garlic, and (I think) grapeseed oil. I would order pretty much anything with hay in it. It’s lo-fi, and I am famously into that. Hay, leaves, sap, or grasses, yes please. This was very, very good. Smoky, yes, though less so than my friend’s equally-delicious striped bass with smoked oyster cream. The deep garlic savoriness reminded me of Hide-Chan’s black garlic ramen, but it wasn’t pungent such that I felt like I needed to go into hiding afterwards. (Doubtlessly the beet and brown butter vinaigrette helped there). The hay gave it bonfire qualities without the barnyard-y note dishes like this sometimes have. This was more urbane-pagan than chef-daydreaming-of-farming.

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As long as we’re on the subject, I feel compelled to admit — is this why I brought this subject up? — I’ve been thinking about reviving my food blog. There are a number of reasons why it’s sort of a perverse time for me to do so, and yet I think it may be inevitable. I have so many other things I ought to be doing right now (very much including this blog) but I tend to get more things done when I have more things to do. If I add one more to my list, I might be able to finally make some real progress with those other things, along with the new (old) thing. I’ve got a new iPad that was just delivered today, which should be a tremendous help in terms of blog-infrastructure. Things I can do from bed or beside a turtle pond are far more likely to get done than things that require me sat at a desk. I also have a healthy backlog of material to get re-started with, having continued mentally food blogging during the entire dormant period (and having snapped plenty of photos and made plenty of notes too, just in case the secret mental blogging became unsatisfactory). I hadn’t looked at the list of e-mail subscribers to that blog in many, many months until yesterday, and there are now more people on it than there were when I was writing the thing. The newest was from this Tuesday! Knowing that people are waiting around for words I’m not producing makes me feel devious.

UPDATE: If you’d like to see a well-lit, technically perfect photo of that deliciously lo-fi smoked hay chicken, there’s one in the New York Times review of Gwynnett St. that just came out today (April 4, 2012). Wells liked the food a lot but thinks that “[m]ore attention to lighting in the dining room would flatter both the food and the faces.” As ugly as my BlackBerry photos above are, I disagree. I’d much rather have a sexily dim dinner than an easily-bloggable bright one.

the ramen, the ramen, the ramen is on fire

Here’s a rare bit of Lunar Camel Co. news-gathering for you, last night I was having dinner at Chuko in Prospect Heights and it caught fire.

Chuko ramen fire

Not flaming fire, but it got very smoky and everyone had to go outside. I think everyone else had finished their dinner but not us! We’d inhaled an order of grilled shishito peppers (so good with lime and flaky salt) and an eggplant bun (crazy thing, tasted like a McDonald’s burger; I have not eaten one of those in at least twenty years but the taste is unmistakable) and our ramen had just arrived.

Chuko ramen fire

Chuko ramen fire

Our waiter half-jokingly suggested that we take our ramen outside but the bowls were hot so we left them behind. A difficult thing to do. It was kind of late (we’d arrived just in time to order before the kitchen closed at 10) and it was cold outside, and we got there late because we’d just smoked a bowl, and here was steaming hot, seemingly-lovely ramen. Fuck!

Chuko ramen fire

What an interesting picture we would’ve made, resolutely slurping our noodles on the sidewalk while the second, third, and fourth firetrucks arrived. Alas, we tipped our waiter and took off for Chavela’s, where we had a second round of appetizers, a couple of margaritas, and, at last, dinner (chilaquiles x 2).

Chuko ramen fire

I took a sleep-break because I’m an old woman now but I awoke still in serious eating mode. Breakfast did not require planning because Party Lights played Montreal and brought back bagels from St-Viateur (délicieux!), but what am I going to eat for lunch and for tonight’s first and second dinner?

a Montreal bagel in Harlem

a few suggestions for people with monolith problems

dun dun DUN DUN

There’s an interesting story in today’s New York Times (via Gothamist) about some people in Brooklyn who have a monolith problem. Specifically, Verizon plopped a big grey fiberglass pole down in Flatbush without consulting anyone. It’s twenty feet high! Obviously Verizon is an asshole. An Episcopalian priest (and Kubrick fan?) who lives in the neighborhood told the Times “[t]he neighbors started gathering around it like it was the monolith in 2001.”

Flatbush monolith

Photo by Josh Haner / New York Times.

So many of our new technologies are small or otherwise unobtrusive or exist only in the cloud — I’m pretty fascinated with the fact that these people have a new object on their block to encircle, inspect, possibly (probably) kick, and figure out how to deal with. It brings to mind a college class I took at Sarah Lawrence called The Philosophy of Technology, in which we read a lot of Herbert Marcuse and talked about the phallocentric nature of rocket ships, that sort of thing. I can’t remember my professor’s name but I can tell you that for sure he’d say it’s not a monolith, it’s a big, late-stage capitalism boner.

I’m not trying to poke fun at it. It isn’t funny, this ugly object. Actually it is quite funny, but I feel bad that these people have a big, shitty technological thing hulking on their block through no fault of their own. I also feel it is contemptible Verizon didn’t have the wit to go full monolith with it — it really is just a big pole, and that is an act of aesthetic cowardice. The company says it is now working with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to identify “alternatives” to plopping down more of them, but in the meantime, a friend and I have come up with some ideas about alternative ways of living with this particular pole:

1. Make it into a candy cane. We feel that the green and white kind are less Christmassy than the red and white kind and more suitable for year-round looking-at. The fruity kind are less Christmassy still, but those don’t seem right for Flatbush.

2. Make it into a Maypole like the one in The Wicker Man.

There has to be a Brooklyn band that could come up with a fantastic new Maypole song for the people of Flatbush.

3. One person greases the pole and everyone else tries to shimmy up it. (Annually, with prizes). I have seen this happen at a country fair in Connecticut. It still happens in other places too. This particular pole is pretty thick so it’s probably a good one for urbane, middle class people with limited pole-climbing skills to start out on.

4. Get Claes Oldenburg to make a sculpture of a giant pair of trainers and hang it off the top of the pole, the way drug dealers supposedly do. Maybe a bit too edgy for a historic district in Flatbush, but it will draw art tourists, and they’ll want to buy some lemonade or kombucha or tote bags or whatever from the locals, so it will bring money in. Voila!