Review: Edible Good Spirits Thurs. Mar 3, 2016

Erratum! My apologies to my readers for the wrong address, It was because of the icon I used from last year’s Escape in Brooklyn. Although I changed it in time, it was up there for quite a while.

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The bottom line:  Fantastic time at a great location. With tasty food and drinks to accompany there wasn’t much that wouldn’t please any food monger. For me though, I think there could have been a wider variety of dishes and booze.

Review: There goes the neighborhood as the old saying goes. In reality, however, that couldn’t be closer to the truth. Hudson Yards just a stone throw away from the Javits center is the prime target of a massive makeover. From it’s pristine and so-far-non-urine-smelling station (although give it time) to the impending glass skyscrapers resembling Mount Doom, the place is bearly recognizible.

Cocktails from the Wren NYC

Cocktails from the Wren NYC

Fortunately south of 31st, a little of the old Hell’s Kitchen still thrives in spite of the neighboring industrial menace. The streets are narrow, dirty and filled with warehouses, but the gentrifying storm has already begun with trendy little restaurants showcasing artisanal food.

Edible Mag picked a great place. In spite of the crowds, there was plenty of room to move about.

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As I got my pass, I headed to get something to eat first. There was a large amount of food for the guests, but there wasn’t much variety.

the not-too-sweet Gus Soda

the not-too-sweet Gus Soda

Don’t get me wrong. It was good, in fact delicious; however, I came expecting to see many kinds of dishes with local and exotic ingredients.

Tequila cocktails from Neuman's Kitchen

Tequila cocktails from Neuman’s Kitchen

Since there was so much beer, I’d have thought Indian and Mexican bites should have been front center. Instead, there were three tables serving up slow-roasted pork.

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Try my rye whiskey! King’s County Distillery

Yes I love it too, but just one dish would have sufficed. How about more seafood? Chicken, duck or goose? Veal sweetbreads? Root veggies? Spicy vegetarian? More deserts? Cheese?  Get my drift?

Slow cooked pork!

Slow cooked pork!

The beverage selection was abundant but also limited on choice. Although, they had both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, there was so much rye whiskey, which I’m not really a fan.

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Hillrock Distillery showcased three kinds of whiskey including a not-from-Kentucky bourbon – wouldn’t that be ‘sour mash’?

I get that it is drink of choice for the flannel-sporting, bearded  American connaisseur-nouveau, but one or two tables would have sufficed.

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Fancy more slow roasted pork? Far too good-looking, little bastard!

I was in the mood for wine, but perhaps because of coinciding local wine Grand Tasting expo, Edible thought it best to showcase other drinks.

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Samuel Adams’ Angry Orchard Rebel IPA, a citrus, slightly bitter delight

Tea-based whiskey cocktails from Owl's Brew

Tea-based whiskey cocktails from Owl’s Brew

As for the best food, there was a beautifully done slow cooked beef cheek from Louie and Chan.

Kevin Chan of Louie and Chan

Chef Kevin Chun of Louie and Chan

As a big fan of offal and cheap cuts, this dish sang to me with its beautiful unctuous sauce and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Louie & Chan serving the dish of the evening. I would be proud too.

Louie & Chan serving the dish of the evening. I would be proud too.

It was by far the best beef dish I had had in a while.

Slow cooked ox cheek. Yum yum!

Slow cooked ox cheek. Yum yum!

Waving the seafood banner, guests flocked to sample Neuman’s Kitchen’s beautifully done citrisy salmon dish, which worked brilliantly with a tequila based cocktail.

Delicious cocktails from Neuman's Kitchen

Delicious cocktails from Neuman’s Kitchen

Very light,refreshing, yet bold with flavor.

My favorite seafood dish of the evening from Neuman's Kitchen

My favorite seafood dish of the evening from Neuman’s Kitchen

The other salmon dish from Penrose with classical oriental flavors was deliciously done, but the salted crumb added to much crunch to an otherwise beautifully balanced dish.

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You lookin’ at my mustache? Penrose serving up salmon.

My favorite slow roasted pork dish (out of three!) was from Bar Almond Restaurant, The chef carved the roasted pork and served it with delicious spicy pickles swiming a tangy like a jus de nage and grilled onions. It was so good that I swooped by for seconds.

Slicing roasted pork off the bone just screams "Eat me!"

Slicing roasted pork off the bone just screams “Eat me!”

Other pork dishes included the bourbon braised pork tartines from Monument Lane decorated with pickled cucumber.

Bourbon braised pork. It wasn't only the dish that was popular with the ladies.

Bourbon braised pork. It wasn’t only the dish that was popular with the ladies.

It really worked well. Unfortunately, the actual toasted bread was a bit dry. I think they could have moistened it a bit with some olive oil, pork fat or garlic.

There were some delicious surprises, for example, the most amazing hot toddy from Shawn Chen from Decoy and Red Farm.

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Shawn Chen serving up toddy and dumplings.

Awakening my inner Anglo-Indian, this was a truly a welcomed drink. It was so good, I had to enjoy another. With its arromatic bouquet and hint of spicy clove, I really fell in love all over again. Yummy.

Spirikal samples a second Toddy!

Spirikal samples a second Toddy!

Their beef ravoli or dumpling looked a sexy dish, but I’m not sure if it need the truffle. A bit of overkill.

A sexy dish, but quite salty and didn't need the truffle.

A sexy dish, but quite salty and didn’t need the truffle.

 

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Toddy Queen

Sweden-based Rekordelig Cider, served up cider samples and an amazing cider-based cocktail.On its own, the cider was too sweet for me, but the cocktail was really refreshing and tangy.

Rekordelig Cider

Rekordelig Cider

Then, there were some disappointments. The oyster tacos from L&W Oyster Co. didn’t live up to my expectation.

Oysters in a dry, hard shell taco? Not my thing.

Oysters in a dry, hard shell taco? Not my thing.

I’m a massive fan of coquillages: freshly shucked oysters and clams. Just drizzle some vinegar, soy sauce or tabasco or even a dollop of caviar  and I’m anybody’s boytoy. But don’t put it in a dry, hard shell taco.

Putting that out of my mind, I particularly loved the bread from Orwashers Bakery.

Glorious bread! Where's the butter?

Glorious bread! Where’s the butter?

It was truly marvelous, but they should have served it hot with some good quality butter, a jam or even cheese.

Now that's a loaf of bread!

Now that’s a loaf of bread!

All we got was just cold bread. Come on guys; think it through!

Some of the sweeter cocktails didn’t work for me. I like spicy margaritas but replacing the rim of salt with sugar just made the drink sickly sweet. Plus the combo of Chambord Liqueur and tequila didn’t work. I put that one in the bin.

Beautiful bartender but the drink was far too sweet for my liking

Beautiful bartender but the drink was far too sweet for my liking

Anfora & Brooklyn gin’s cocktail was just made of gin. I didn’t any tonic or spices that it had boasted, although I could see them floating around my glass.

Beautiful gals, but the gin cocktail was far too strong

Beautiful gals, but the gin cocktail was far too strong

In the end, I had to toss that one as well.  I saw some familar drinks from Maven Cocktails – who serve their wine & vodka cocktails in an attractive little bottle. Not my cup of tea. Only one with a deranged palette would mix white wine with vodka.

Regretably, many tables ran out of food and drink almost an hour before the show was supposed to end.

"Sorry sir, no more cocktails, we're too good" Or maybe you should have stocked up properly.

“Sorry sir, no more cocktails, we’re too good” Or maybe you should have stocked up properly.

I never got to taste the delicous gin-based cocktails, which my date said were great, and the cupcakes from Prohibition Bakery one of the few desserts offered disappeared quickly.

I made out pretty well in the end. I got loaf of bread, a bottle of cider from Rekordeling Cider and a beautiful Negra Modelo glass, which I brought home to enjoy another time.

 

 

 

Spirikal