Happy New Year!
I have been trying to set it straight in my head that it is 2006. It’s always a challenge in the beginning of a new year to stop oneself from writing the previous year’s date on checkbooks, letters, etc. But it isn’t just that. There is something different about this year, I can taste it. I would like to relate it simply to the culinary world, since that is what this blog is all about; however, all of life’s desires should be included in this one. A friend called me on New Year’s Eve at midnight Pacific time and said his New Year’s resolution was “no more missed opportunities.” I like that one, and so I am going to borrow it. We tend to get complacent, wishing we could do this or that, but never find time, the energy, or the kick in the rear necessary to do it. I know many incredibly talented people that because of fear, laziness, or just plain not making the time, don’t create the surroundings in which they want to exist. They are consistently missing out on interesting opportunities. I include myself in “they” as I also find it easier to complain about not being in the situations I’d like to be in, rather than doing something about it to get there. So I declare 2006 to be the year of “no more missed opportunities.” Live; enjoy life’s treats (in moderation of course); and, take that cooking class, begin to write that novel, take a walk in the park, and don’t miss out on any more fabulous and impatiently awaiting opportunities.
On that note, since my last entry, I have had the delicious opportunity to visit a few more of New York’s finest.
I used to write culinary articles for an Anglophone website in Paris. I pretty much had free will on ideas. Fun, interesting, and very educational. But I always imagined what it must be like writing for a magazine, website, etc. in New York. How overwhelming/exciting that must be. Trying a new restaurant in New York is never-ending. The second one closes, another 20 open. I just wonder what it was like for Michelin – This guide that never imagined venturing outside the European realm, facing, at last, the many expressions of the New York culinary scene. While I don’t necessarily agree on their star choices, I can imagine their anguish and thrill in trying to make decisions the entire world may be waiting to read.
Little by little, in the short three and a half months I’ve been in New York, I have attempted to delve into the NY dining world. I am not in the least expecting to make it to each and every eatery, nor am I promising to be the first ever to write about what you may be reading. Instead, I’m just intent on enjoying those I just so happen to wander upon. One weekend in 2005 brought me to Artisanal, Saint Ambroeus and Café Sabarsky.
If you’ve ever been to Balthazar, the quintessential brasserie-style dining spot, then you’ll notice a slightly similar atmosphere in Terrence Brennan’s Artisanal. Open, rather chattery, European vibe, and great food. I shared a cheese fondue with a friend (along with several glasses of fine wine), and had an absolutely splendid time. If you make it in, don’t forget to take a gander at the cheese “shop.” While the range isn’t as broad as your corner French fromagerie, it is definitely worth a sample or two.
For a decent, though pricey, stop for a coffee and pastry, try the Italian bar/restaurant/pastry shop Sant Ambroeus. It’s cute, stylish, and makes you feel somewhat pampered, even though after realizing we were only taking a coffee break, our waiter turned up his nose and swiftly walked away. Having a bad day perhaps?
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the perfect treat for my roommate and I consisted of a liverwurst sandwich and mulled wine stopover at Kurt Grutenbrunner’s Café Sabarsky located in the Neue Gallery, before heading over to The Met. Get ready for a true Austrian experience. Did I even get to try one of their fabulous desserts? No, but there’s always next time (oh, and there will be).
The end of the year brought a wonderful dinner by Chef Gabriel Kreuther at MOMA’s The Modern. The design is sleek and sophisticated while retaining a warm and convivial atmosphere. I enjoyed a rose petal cocktail at the bar. Flowery drinks always make me happy. Also had rather pleasant conversation with a regular while waiting for my friend to arrive. The conversation was sublime, the champagne and wine sophisticated, yet playful, and the food was scrumptious, especially a tasting of Alsatian sausage. A couple of the service staff, though new, were fun and incredibly informative when quizzed on ingredients.
So what looks promising in 2006? More drinks at The Modern, Galette des Rois, Restaurant Week at the end of January/beginning of February, and only about a bazillion other restaurant menus to conquer during the next 12 months. Let’s just say it’s going to be quite an entertaining venture. BONNE ANNEE 2006!!! Best culinary wishes to all!!!!
Happy New Year!