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 May:
- Pre-Craft Brewers Conference Lunch in San Diego on May 2. We hit the linkery first then Carnitas’ Snack Shack. Everything was so so good – I highly recommend both next time you’re in SD.
1. the linkery Draft List, 2. Flight at the linkery, 3. Beer Battered Cheese Curds at the linkery, 4. Smoked Rabbit at the linkery, 5. Sausage Board at the linkery, 6. El Salchichero at the linkery
1. Pork Cheek Hash at Carnitas’ Snack Shack, 2. Bacon Chocolate Whiskey Truffles at Carnitas’ Snack Shack, 3. Bacon Brittle Ice Cream Sandwich at Carnitas’ Snack Shack
- The Banryu Ichi from Cambridge Brewing Company, served during the Sake and Beer Hybrids: Techniques and Approaches Seminar at the Craft Brewers Conference with Kjetil Jiukiun from Nøgne Ø, Todd Bellomy from Boston Beer Company and Will Meyers from Cambridge Brewing Company. An incredibly inspirational seminar for this homebrewer. I loved all of the samples but especially the Banryu Ichi, an incredibly smooth beverage that combines elements from both sake and beer. Very drinkable. Tasted on May 4 in San Diego and again on June 1st at Cambridge Brewing Company.
1. Trio of Russian Rivers: IPA, Pliney the Elder & Blind Pig, 2. 4 Russian Rivers: Redemption, Damnation, Consecration, Supplication, 3. New Belgium Tart Lychee, La Folie & Kick, 4. Table of beer, 5. Firestone Walker Sucuba, Parabola & Reginald Brett, 6. Cascade Kriek, The Vine & Summer Gose
- The Virtue Cider tasting at the Ace Hotel on May 6. Virtue is the new project from former Goose Island Brewmaster Greg Hall. This is some tasty cider – tart, a bit funky, lightly sweet – depth of flavor yet highly drinkable. I’m looking forward to Virtue Cider in NYC which should be late Summer or early Fall.
- The Centerfold release at Brooklyn Brewery. The second in their Worshipful Company of Brewers series, this delightful West Coast-style Pale Ale was brewed by Cellerman Rob Lemery. Incredible quaffable – available only in the Brooklyn Brewery tasting room while it lasts.
- Judging at the Brewer’s East End Revival Competition on Long Island. This is one of the best competitions I judge every year. They pick us up at the train station, feed us breakfast, lunch & dinner and drop us back off at the train station. I judged sours (Category 17) in the morning, spice/herb/vegetable (Category 21) in the afternoon and Best of Show after and tasted some mighty fine beers. Thank you, BEER!
- The 5 Boro PicNYC on Governor’s Island. I was comped but this would have been worth the price of a VIP ticket. We filled up on tasty vittles, drank our share of Sixpoint beer, listened to live music and relaxed in the shade on my picnic blanket. Colonel’s Row is a beautiful spot and I highly recommend these fests, put on my Food Karma productions. The next one is called Cookout NYC and will be held July 7 & 8. It’ll be the same kind of deal with different food – 5 Boro PicNYC sold out so I would recommend getting your tickets early for Cookout NYC if you want to go. Get there when they open, spread your blanket in a shady spot and enjoy.
1. Bison & chipotle sausage from Alobar, 2. House-made smoked green garlic & poblano chili kielbasa, 3. Rooster Tinga from Left Bank, 4. Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurra Sauce from Jimmy’s No 43, 5. Boudin Blanc Sausage from Vandaag, 6. Vegetarian Bahn-Mi from Jimmy’s No 43
- The New England Clam Boil in my backyard over Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to my friend Carolyn, we did a good old-fashioned clam boil based on this recipe. Seaweed, lobsters, clams & mussels from Brooklyn Chinatown, chorizo from my local Mexican bodega, Italian sausage, artichoke hearts, corn & potatoes. So good & quite easy. I see more of these happening this summer – easily done indoors if you don’t have a backyard.
- The Treats Truck goodies-beer pairing that Chris Cuzme & I did at home. I picked up some desserts at the new Treats Truck brick & mortar store on Court St on May 29. All spectacularly tasty and excellent paired with a variety of beers. We had a chocolate mint sandwich cookie, a caramel crème sandwich cookie and a Mexican chocolate brownie. I did not plan ahead so used beer from my cooler and local bodega. We liked Brooklyn Brown Ale with the chocolate mint cookie as it integrated with the chocolate and the mint and brought a bit of caramel in the mix. The Shiner Blonde was nice as well – the cookie was the star in this pairing but the beer cleansed the palate between sips. We liked Troegs Troegenator with the Mexican brownie as the residual sweetness in the beer complimented the cinnamon-chocolate combination and the brownie brought out the complex maltiness in the beer. The caramel cookie worked with all three – the Shiner Blonde highlighted the butter in the cookie, the Troegenator was pure decadence, adding a rich fruitiness to the caramel & butter with every bite and the caramel in the Brooklyn Brown harmonized with the caramel in the cookie yet cleansed the palate between bites. A fun little pairing practice and something we haven’t done in a while. I’m looking forward to bringing these back into my life on a more regular basis.