Under the High Line, one of the seven wonders of New York City, where peace and tranquility mix with rare greenery on a former raised platform railway converted to a unique public park, lies a restaurant of some repute. A place that, although set amongst meatpacking factories, has thoughtfully empathised with, and even beaten a path for other trendy venues to raise the Standard of this eponymously named district of New York City. And yet a “Grill” that has remarkably few items on the menu that might ever see a char broiler. For example, I had oysters followed by shrimp fettuccini. Although I use the word ‘followed’ in a loose literal sense, or perhaps as its own antonym since the main courses arrived before the starters. This was one of a number of service fiascos we experienced when lunching there on the last day of a New York trip.
Archive for May, 2011
If you want to meet a modern, unstuffy, social media friendly wine maker with flair and charm you should search out Ryan O’Connell.
I met him at EWBC, Vienna in 2010 and, whilst it would be an overstatement to say that we fell in love, it is true to say that I looked out for his wines when I got back to the UK.
When I visit London at weekends I like to scoff a proper Sunday lunch. Whether I take Champagne as an aperitif depends on whether my team has won or lost. On the occasion of 15 May 2011, I lunched at Foxtrot Oscar and the fizz, Raspberry Bellini, (OK I know it is Prosecco, not Champagne) was to celebrate rather than commiserate for a change. After a 35 year “hiatus”, Man City won a trophy, the FA Cup. And yet, I then went on to drink RED wine. And on the day after a certain team from East Lancashire won the Premier League!
When you are a wine magpie like me, you tend to lose some bottles to middle age. Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs from a couple of seasons ago, found looking (and tasting) forlorn in the corner of the garage. Cheap and cheerful cherry flavoured Malbecs that prove that half lives apply outside the nuclear industry.
I dug out a few old bottles from the bottom of the rack recently and this appeared, purchased from Majestic a couple of years ago. I feared the worst. But still opened it, obviously!
I should have trusted Catena (the reliable makers) and Bibendum (the reliable importers) and, in no small part Majestic (the now evergreen but reliable retailer), who despite their various mark-ups only billed me £7.99 for this excellent wine.
Full of smooth zingy fruit, it is still quite ‘in your face’ like a New Zealand Pinot Noir, but somehow with a surprising amount of refinement. I treated myself to a bottle at about 15 degrees with beans, bacon, mustard and watercress on toast (I know what you are thinking…..phwaaaarp). YUM!
I woke up with the sweetest hangover. The type that brings hazy memories of the day before. Not caused by alcohol. Oh no, something far more important. Football.
But, one has to eat, and drink, and get on with life so, in anticipation of victory, I had booked us into Barbecoa, Jamie Oliver’s new venture in Cheapside in the City. And as a hangover cures go, you could do worse than select from the “Bites” menu. The mountain of bread with home made butter was as filling as it was delicious. A “portion” of pork crackling (£4) was large enough to serve 16 Northern beer drinkers based on the size of pub bags when I was a nipper. And needless to say the flavour and crunch was in a new class, (but I am known as a bit of a porker).