Recently opened, Prime Meats is a cozy, woodsy little spot with really sweet and informative waiters, and a casually limited yet flavorful menu. I thought I'd read somewhere about them serving rillettes, though that's for retail purchase in a future shop. Bummer. Their list wasn't as meaty as I'd imagined, but it also didn't take me 20 minutes to go through it hemming and hawing about what to get. I chose a few small things like the Landjäger (smokey and exquisite dried hunter's sausage from Germany served with juicy pickles and pickled cabbage), the Winnemere cheese (a gooey wedge of raw cow's milk heaven from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, VT – served with dark raisin-nut bread, honeyed walnuts, and lingonberry preserves), the crispy skinny fries with mayo, and a Sweet Action blonde ale from Sixpoint. I believe that could have been one of the more perfect afternoon noshes I've had in a long time. Ahw man, that cheese! And oooh, the sausage. And those yummy fries. Oh, and the Sweet Action was cool and crisp, and went down smooooothe. Yeah, good one.
I was recently in the same neighborhood the Sunday before Memorial Day for a delightful barbeque hosted by my good friend Christina. Was nice to get out & about and talk to some old friends, meet some new ones, and find some inspiration out there. Seems that so many are in the same rickety hole-ridden boat these days. But I did talk with one friend who says all of her creative friends' careers are booming right now. Hmmmmm… I think maybe it's a time to force us to do what we're really supposed to be doing in our lives. Maybe? Whatever time it is, the most important thing is just to stay positive and do what we can with whatever is happening in the universe and be as productive and creative as possible. This is all we have, after all. And everyone needs to work together to make it happen.
That inspiring Sunday led me to see more light out there, and realize nothing was going to come to me just sittin' on me arse. Sometimes a good kick is just necessary. Tuesday, I took a journey to the Upper West Side, first stopping at Magazine Café to peruse their ginormous selection and to buy a couple of writing mags along with a good & cheesy Paris Match. I then paid a visit to Strawberry Fields in Central Park at W. 72nd before meeting up with my friend Jan at Barney Greengrass near 86th for a much dreamed about Chopped Liver Sandwich and Cel-Ray Soda. After a late lunch, I drooled my way through the mazes of Zabar's and Fairway thinking of all the things I'd stock my kitchen with, if I had one. And then finally, 5pm rolled around, and Gita met me at Café Luxembourg for wine before we decided to make our way down to Aldea on W. 17th, George Mendes' new place. KUDOS, GEORGIE! Just thinking we'd check it out, say hi to George and have a glass of wine, we really wanted to partake of something. So we shared the Sea Urchin Toast with Cauliflower cream, Seaweed, and Mustard Greens; the Sardines with Madeira Raisins, Bitter Almond Milk, and Citrus; and the Baby Cuttlefish in a Coconut-Curry, Squid Ink, and Herb Purée. If you haven't been there, you should really check it out. The interior is simple and elegant, and the staff (Heather, Ted & Ana – in particular) are informative, great conversationalists and just all-around lovely. Amazing.
Yesterday's voyage brought me to the Upper East Side, a place that always reminds me of being in the posh sections of Paris, and just makes me feel like life is deliciously beautiful, and that I'm fortunate to be a part of it. My first stop was The Met, where I've been wanting to return since before I came back to New York. I could have spent all day studying everything from Egyptian tombs to schmancy European furnishings to crazy Francis Bacon paintings to fashion models (The Model as Muse). But then after a couple of hours winding in and around from hall to hall, hunger pangs set in, and reminded me that Café Sabarsky was only a few blocks up. Another one of my fave spots in the city, there's usually a slight wait, but worth it. A beautiful Venetian-style interior, fitting for the European vibe of the area, it is set in the Neue Galerie (of German and Austrian art), and is one of Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner's digs. For lunch, I chose the tasty open-faced Leberwurst mit Zweibelmarmelade (Liverwurst sandwich with onion confit) accompanied by a chilled glass of Holunderblütensaft (fresh elderflower syrup with sparkling water). For dessert, I dug into the dark chocolate Sachertorte with apricot confiture alongside a cup of Kaiser Mélange (fresh-ground coffee with whipped cream). An afternoon fit for a princess, or just one regular ole human.
So that's what's been happening in my neck 'o the woods. There's some good stuff out there. Don't forget about it, whether it means pulling a chair out on the sidewalk and watching the traffic go by, digging in the dirt and planting some flowers, or wandering around a museum and remembering all of those who were here before us and the trials and tribulations they must have gone through. Bon appétit!