Sunday, January 27, 2013

all aboard for ALOBAR at the James Beard House (1-27-13)

As you know I am a member of the James Beard Foundation which allows

me to sign up for many of their fabulous in house events. Today, I

attended my first Sunday brunch ever there and, as always, it was a

treat and lots of fun.


Restaurant in Long Island City were in charge and they did an

admirable and in many cases brilliant job.

The arrival drink was a SPICED BELLINI with Prosecco, White Peach,

Jalapeno & mint simple syrup and a splash of St. Germain. The spice

was mild and I was sad when I went to the bar for a refill to find out

that we were about to be seated for brunch.

The passed hor's d'oevres were a mixed bag and the kitchen seemed

unable to churn them out as fast as we could gobble them up. When I

attend dinners, the cocktail hour is almost an hour, but at brunch

it's 30 minutes, so for some reason I never did see the DUCK CONFIT

SLOPPY JOES. The winner, in its absence, was the CRAB BLT with a

spiced Fried Green Tomato. The Mini Poached Quail Egg and Porchetta de

Testa (head cheese) Eggs Benedict was okay and the Cinnamon Sugared

Donuts were a bloody mess to handle as they were "glued" to the plate

on a dab of messy chocolate sauce and the donuts were sandwiched with

a Coffee Gelee that slid out. OMG!

We sat down and a WARM LOBSTER SALAD with Frisee (I do wish it was

field greens), Fingerling Potatoes, Bacon Lardons and Smoked Shallot

Vinaigrette appeared. With the NYC temps hovering at 20 degrees, I was

thankful for the "warm" salad and it was indeed tasty. Laurent Miquel

2010 VIOGNIER from Languedoc was anice pairing.

I was excited to see the next wine on the menu as we had visited and

loved Red Newt this summer; one of their wines was also served at the

Inauguration last week. RIESLING 2010 Red Newt from the Finger Lakes

was a perfect wine with the Roasted WILD MUSHROOMS, Smoked Ricotta,

Red Wine Gastric and Grilled Red Wine Bread, Purple Pickled Cabbage

with Sunny Side Up Duck Egg. There was a bit too much bread, but the

wine made it great and the overall dish was gobbled up by all oh so


The next course was again too bread-centric with FOIE GRAS(a tad),

DUCK CONFIT CROQUE MADAME, Fried Egg and Maple Syrup Gastric. The

gastric had figs for a bit more sweetness and was nice, but I was over

all the bread and eggs (I guess that's brunch!). The Micro Greens were

fab with pepper and licorice (must have been fennel green) hints, and

since it was a croque madame, there was an added slab of ham.

The CALINA Carmenere 2010 from Maule Chile was a yummy pairing.

The final drink was the winner:

LEMON MERINGUE COCKTAIL with Limoncello, Domain de Canton, lemon juice

and frothed egg whites. These disappeared before dessert arrived in

the form of one of the best ever CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDINGs with Salted

Caramel and Ginger Ice Cream.

I left happy knowing that the diet must re-start again tomorrow!


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