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.
Chef IAN KAPITAN and Beverage Director CHESS LANKFORD of ALOBAR
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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