June 4 through June 11, 2012 This was a crazy week of eating, press events, and socializing. How did we ever do it when we were young travelers -- eating two meals out, day after day. I really crashed at the end of the weekend when all I could do was eat animal crackers. Ha! What made me think of animal crackers?! I think it was a trip to my second carousel this month. This time it was at Prospect Park. (Several weeks ago it was the new carousel in Dumbo.) We were there to celebrate the 100th birthday of the beautiful carousel, complete with a beautiful "carousel cake" made by Hudson Cakery (located in Weehawken, NJ.) The cake was delicious and all around it were small horses made out of a kind of hard sugary fondant. The excursion through Prospect Park and a visit to the Vale of Cashmere was courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance, which continues to restore the park to its former Revolutionary glory. It is still glorious, however, and frequented by families, dogs, frisbee throwers, bikers, capoeira dancers, marathon runners, barbecue-ers, sightseers, drummers, and carousel goers.
Taste highlights: Wonderful, homemade string cheese!, compliments of Laurie Sandow, who, with her friend Midge, twisted many braids of the delicious cheese and was thoughtful enough to share some of it with me.
Freaking good fresh figs, compliments of the California fig advisory board. A "fig feast" at abckitchen. Standout: honey-glazed turnips and fresh figs with rosemary and lemon.
A trip to Sunset Park, Brooklyn to Ricos Tacos at 505 51st St. (near 5th avenue) for tacos al pastor (marinated pork), tacos especiales with crispy tripe, and huarache grande (a sole-shaped flour tortilla) topped with ground meat and cheese. We'll be going back for the carnitas burrito which looked big enough to feed four.
A Lebanese banquet of mezze at ilili on 5th avenue. Chef Philippe Massoud has brought Lebanese food to "four-star" status. We especially loved the "sliders" (ask for them -- they melt in your mouth), mouhamara w. walnuts, sundried peppers and pomegranate molasses, the shankleesh (a salad of feta, tomato, onions and za'atar), washed down with an excellent (and rather inexpensive) white wine from Lebanon, Masaya blanc, 2010.
A fabulous lunch at Gramercy Tavern with star chef Michael Anthony. Loved the fourchu lobster "salad" and monkfish with nettles -- one of the most sublime fish dishes I've ever had.
A lovely "media" dinner sponsored by Olive Oil from Chile at chef Todd English's restaurant Olives, located at the W Hotel near Union Square. Standouts: the extra-virgin olive oil mini martini, Hudson Valley foie gras potage. olive oil tres leche cake with caramelized honey ice cream (and figs! 'Tis the season.)
Enjoy your own special tastes of the week!