Food has always been a passion of mine. Please join me as I hit spots around the world in search of great meals.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


In a previous blog I stated how John “The General” Lee and I were going to a FOODIENYC event here in the city. I was rather excited given the fact that the event was being put on by a young chef here in the city. Marissa from Gourmet Magazine joined us and she’s always nice to have along. I have mentioned in previous posts how she reminds me of the redheaded girl in that show Desperate Housewives. In any case, I was excited about the food but also the people. I figure that only foodies would be in the house so that’s always good to find because they always direct one to little nuggets in the city that have yet to be discovered.

The event was held at Divine Studio on East Fouth Street. I thought the location was perfect, although a little cold in terms of ambiance. But there was plenty of space which was nice. I didn’t get to sit with The General and Marissa given the fact that they were with the high-rollers and were located at the other table that served the more expensive wine. I was seated at another table and the characters were as follows.

Seat One: myself.
Seat Two: Lady to my left who seemed to be rather thrown off by being there and looked a bit pissed.
Seat Three: Young man who might be an aspiring cook or just came with friends for a night on town.
Seat Four: Older lady who seemed to be with the young man and woman sitting in seat five.
Seat Five: Indian woman who had a pleasant smile.
Seat Six: Nice Spanish woman who had a great haircut…yes, I love the bob haircut.
Seat Seven: Older Southern woman but very pretty and well presented.
Seat Eight: Woman in her late 30’s early 40’s with a pimp shirt (orange with poke-a-dots).
Seat Nine: Young woman who was very elegant in her presentation…yes, another redhead from Desperate Housewives (probably even a bit more than Marissa).
Seat Ten: Guy who was with elegant woman in seat nine. No pretense about him.

I love writing in this blog as opposed to sitting and writing for an event to be published. Here you can just write what comes to mind. When one is writing for publication, you have to sit and think it all out in a concise story. Some people would argue that this is a venue in which to refine and define my voice and writing, but I am just more of a fly by your pants type of person when in this domain.

Here are some of the places that people suggested that I had to eat so I added them to my list. Funny, for foodies the list of restaurants is never ending and always expanding. It’s similar to a writer’s list of books he/she has to read. The only difference is that a foodies night out on the town don’t run them 10.00 bucks for paperback copies…haha! Yes, we have picked a rather expensive hobby to love.

1. Otto (this coming Sunday)
2. Poetessa (this coming Thursday)
3. Alta (next week with El General)
So those places are on the list for a little visit this coming week. I think that Poetessa seems exciting, although I hear Otto has a great staff that works at the bar and that should be fun.

So as the night started I could tell the girl in seat 2 was having an awful time. I tried to chat her up as much as possible but it just wasn’t happening. She said that she thought the wines would be talked about more and that the ambiance wasn’t her style. I was a bit upset at the fact that she tried to play highbrow at such an event. I was thinking that she was bitter and came to the place looking for a man. I was being as nice as possible but sometime during the dinner she got up to use the restroom and never came back. Nuff said…and no, I wasn’t being a mean bastard.

The couple next to me was really cool. Their names were Jennifer and Jim if memory serves me correctly. As most of you know, I suck with names. They seemed like a cool couple who one would like to hit the town with. Although Jennifer was rather polished and made some rude remarks about Brother Jimmy’s (Read Previous Posts) I was willing to forgive her because she still went there in support of her man desire for ribs and jambalaya. People, if you go to Brother Jimmy’s in support of your significant other…yes, you are held in high esteem in my book.

I could tell that the ladies in front of me were foodies. They just rattled off place after place and I have all these notes of places they told me to hit. One could tell that they were partial to the Lower East Side…which I think is kind of the way things work with downtown people. As a side note and nothing to do or any correlation with the ladies I’m talking about…I hate these people that call themselves hipsters that live in the LES. Serious, you all work on Wall St. during the day and went to Ivy League Schools…so quit acting like you are barley making it. So I got some new places that I have to hit via those ladies.

I sucked because people would ask me where I liked to eat and I said my favorite hero place (UWS) and Daniels…serious, I have so many other places…read my previous blogs about places and esp. my 10 favorite places to eat.

The food at this event was o.k. Some plates really outdid others but what I had a problem with was the inconsistency. Maybe I shouldn’t say that so I’m invited back. But I found the food to be rather cold. I enjoy my food to be nice and hot, if not hot, above room temperature which is what a lot of the food was served at.

Braised Lentil: Spring Roll: The taste was well balanced and the nice and crispy. I felt the sauce could have carried a bit more flavor and given the plate a bit more character. Also, as aforementioned, I felt the food could have been a bit warmer.

Pistou Bizarro: I really enjoyed this soup. The layers were really well merged together and one could tell that some TLC was put behind this soup. I know that the taste may have not been appealing to some individual palates, but I really enjoyed it.

Skate and Mushroom Papillote: I felt this was the best plate of the night. The greens still held their crispness which is hard when baking in paper. The paper tends to hold all the moisture and kills the crisp flavor of the greens…but not in this plate. I really didn’t like the sauce with this fish. I felt the fish could stand on its pure flavor. The mushroom sauce could have been put on something else.

Coq au Coconut: I felt I was robbed on this dish!! It was cold!! The girl next to me who left tasted this and got her bags at this time. Not a dinner ending meal, but this had to be served hot in my humble point of view and it would have been right on.

Cassoulet: Good merging of many difficult ingredients to mix. If I were to learn how to cook any meal from this night it would have been this plate. Just superb flavor!!

Homemade Tarragon Ice Cream: I thought the effort was nice…but it just didn’t do anything for my palate.

My favorite wine of the night was 1985 Mouton-Rothschild. It was a complex taste but it went down smooth. I’m always impressed when I can’t get the grasp of a wine flavor wise and it still goes down smooth. It has this earthy with many fruit flavors…need to pick up a couple bottles of this on my own.

I know that this event sounds very thumbs down…but the truth is I would attend again. I found the people at the event to be just awesome. Besides the couple beside me I met Ruth who is a LES food junkie. She is the type of person who knows every owner of a place she goes to eat. I need to get better at this skill. Not only do you get the inside scoop of what’s going on in the restaurant, sometimes they give you small samples of things to taste. Not to mention Ruth loves boxing and spars…no wonder she was wearing the pimp shirt.

There were the other ladies in seat 6 and 7. The lady from Spain was a photographer and had a great sense of the world. I think she’s the person who told me about Alta. The southern lady in seat 7 was a sweet woman and just nice to be around a southern bell every now and then. Not to mention, she had a funny story about a friend who brought a cheap wine to her party and that wine won best tasting in a blind tasting…haha! As I talked about at the beginning of this post…the couple to my right were just really nice people and a couple whom you could have a beer with on the roof while cooking steaks…although to be honest, I think his lady commands a lot of respect so I couldn’t be my crazy self after 10 beers…haha!

In closing, good times with the people more than the food. Yet, this is why I went to this place…to meet other people who love food. So I will go back and hopes of meeting more foodies and who can give me more places to eat at and good stories.

Post Script – Listening to Brad Paisley while writing this entry…yes, one has to love country music to read this blog!!


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