The Top Ten appears on the first Tuesday of every month and encompasses ten of my favorite foods, beverages and events from the previous month. I love sharing good food & drink with friends and want to share some of my favorite experiences with you. In chronological order, here is my Top 10 for the month of April:
- Sea Witch in South South Slope, Brooklyn – the new backyard and the Schlenkerla Eiche with the kielbasa sandwich I had on April 6. This is a killer backyard – wood walls, wood benches and tables, a pebbled floor, a waterfall and stream running through with koi in the top and bottom ponds. I will definitely be spending some time out there this summer.
- Blind Tiger chef Tommy Harder’s meatballs at the Get Real Beer n Balls Festival on April 7. Wild boar, elk, and grass-fed beef prepared Moroccan kefta-style – delicious! Honestly, all of the meatballs were tasty but Tommy’s was my favorite.
- The Oaxacan Cocktail at Blueprint in Park Slope, Brooklyn – mezcal, buckwheat honey, fresh lime & cinnamon. Incredibly drinkable – a touch of sweetness balances beautifully with the smoke and spice.
- Lovullopalooza at The Blind Tiger. Fantastic company and an outstanding draft list. I really enjoyed the Cantillon Mamouche, the 2009 Allagash Interlude and the Saint Somewhere Pays du Soleil.
- The Carton Brewing Boat beer. I’ve been drinking this session ale whenever I see it on draft. This 4.2% beer is highly quaffable yet flavorful – juicy notes of citrus in both the nose and mouth deliver summer in a glass.
- Hanging with the Empire Brewing Crew. Owner Dave Katleski, Head Brewer Tim Butler, and Assistant Brewer Olivia Cerio joined local reps Kati Stadum and Mike Feeney for a weekend of events this month. I joined them at the Pony Bar on Friday, April 20 for a pre-release of the beguiling White Aphro and then again on Sunday, April 22 at Birreria for an Earth Day tasting. I enjoyed the Empire State Pale Ale aka ESPA, made with New York State-grown Cascade hops, and the Wheat Wine, made with NY State-grown ingredients and malt from my favorite local maltster, Valley Malt. I love that they’re using local ingredients in these beers. This is one of the most passionate, fun and generous brewery crews that I know.
- Barcade Jersey City’s First Anniversary Party. Great company, amazing beers & free chile dogs – who could ask for more? I enjoyed the Fisherman’s Raspberry Sour Wheat, the Allagash Saison Mihm and the Harpoon Crimson Warlock. You can view the full list here and here.
- The Donut Crawl/Experience given by Hot Grease Radio host Nicole Taylor through Sidetour. This was a fantastic food crawl – Nicole was a great host, I had some insanely delicious donuts and met some really cool people. Looking forward to my next Sidetour experience…
1. Kolaches from Brooklyn Kolache Co, 2. Clementine Bakery donuts, 3. Lemon-thyme donut from Dough, 4. Lemon-ginger donuts from Dough, 5. Salt and pink peppercorn donuts from Dough, 6. Blood orange donuts from Dough
- Judging Brooklyn Wort. Brooklyn Wort is a fantastic local homebrewing competition organized by Brooklyn Homebrew and Sycamore. It’s not a BJCP competition but we used a similar scoring system. It was a pleasure to judge with a fine panel of pro brewers and local beery business people – Danielle from Brooklyn Homebrew, Justin from beer table, previous Wort winner Chris, Ben from Bierkraft, Sam from Kelso, Dan from Brooklyn, Jesse from Carton, Jay from American and Ian from Sixpoint. We had some terrific beers on the afternoon of the 28th – here are the winners:
- 1st place – Douglas Flamm – Oyster Stout
- 2nd place – Lucienda Chang and Bernie Gilbert – Milk Stout
- 3rd place – Brian Craine – Heady Nuggz IPA
- 1st place – Tom Allan and Kevin Lowry – Imperial Stout
- 2nd place – Joe Enoch – Belgian Strong
- 3rd place – Bryan Blatt – Chili Wheat
1. The judge’s table at Brooklyn Wort April 2012, 2. Post judging: Jay Steinhauer, Dan Moss, Jesse Ferguson, Sam Richardson, Ben Granger, 3. Zack Kinney and Natalia Flores with the Habanero Hopper, 4. Danielle announcing the winners of Brooklyn Wort April 2012, 5. Brooklyn Wort April 2012 People’s Choice winners, 6. Brooklyn Wort April 2012 Judges’ Choice Winners
- The All Duck Dinner at Jimmy’s No 43. A beautiful dinner prepared by Chef Brendon Corr. Six beers alongside – my favorites were the Fritz Briem Grodziskie and the Gueuze Tilquin. The Banoffee pie topped it all off – this is a recipe I need to try soon. A perfect end to the month.
1. Torchons on Rye with sautéed Ramps, 2. Mixed Green Salad with Duck Proscuitto, Duck Cracklings & Citrus Vinaigrette, 3. Sautéed Asparagus & Mushrooms with Goat Cheese, 4. Pulled Duck with Root Vegetable Maple Slaw, 5. Sliced Duck Breast with sautéed Mustard Greens & Rhubarb Compote, 6. American Banoffee Pie
I would love to know what eats & drinks you’ve enjoyed lately – please post your favorites in the comments.