by April Paffrath
Go to New York.
Stay at a favorite hotel or couch.
1. Chocolate-covered peanuts - City Club Hotel minibar
2. The Breslin - Ace Hotel (212 679 1939)
3. Mas (farmhouse) - pastry chef Catrine Oscarson (212 255 1790)
4. Blue Hill - Dan Barber (212 539 1776)
5. Keugelhopf French toast, rhubarb compote, fromage blanc
- DB Bistro room service @ City Club Hotel (212 921 5500)
6. Emptiness and letdown - Midtown conference food
7. The Ten Bells (212 228 4450)
8. Death & Co. - team of lovely bartenders (212 388 0882)
9. Spice Market - Jean-Georges Vongerichten (212 675 2322)
10. Keugelhopf French toast - reprise
11. Emptiness and letdown mash-up w/
Unknown Thai restaurant - reprise
12. Late-night chocolate mousse - DB Bistro room service
@City Club Hotel on the patio in New York in the misting rain
(2) That is, unless you’re my friends. This track gets play on the list at the recommendation of my food cohorts who went to the Breslin and ate crisp french fries, scotch eggs with the middle still runny, and boiled peanuts fried in pork fat. The table next door had an entire suckling pig, which you can reserve for the chef’s table. It’s the only kind of reservation they take and you book two working days ahead of time for 8–12 people, prix fixe ($65/per person). According to the Breslin, there’s a lot of meat and it’s a hearty meal with sides, salads and more.
(3) This track is a bit of a sweet surprise. When you’re meeting up for a great dinner, you need to track down all parties, so meet up at a great place in the Village, like Mas (farmhouse).
Meet in the bar. If you’re lucky, one of you should be friends with the pastry chef. We ordered one dessert, and she sent out four and a dessert amuse bouche…20 minutes before our reservation at Blue HIll. Many lesser folks might feel daunted, but I was thrilled because I’m researching a book about dessert. This track listing remains an unfinished piece because even four food-loving friends cannot polish it all off before a big meal. But the abundance sure added to the excitement and fun.
We ordered the ricotta chiboust on a whole wheat sable made from locally grown and milled flour, topped with elderflower-macerated strawberries that the chef brought back with him that week from mid-strawberry-season New Orleans (that’s some good carry-on luggage, if you ask me) with a side of honey ice cream and topped with candied peppercorns. Oh my. Yum.