YELP Elite Event:              Japanese Tea Tasting at RESOBOX

A very calm evening in Long Island City, a sort of ease after our first bite of winter, now with Autumn pressing out a few days.

Upon the walls hung beautiful painted works, the likes of which I can not speak too and even now I reflect upon wishing I had learned more of them. This is a place of beauty, creativity and harmony — full bore body and soul.

Sitting, with attentions full forward, each of the select and exclusive Japanese teas we were too sample were to be explained then sipped & savored.
These tea have no American representation as to distribution, this tea seminar in a sheek cultural center, with overwhelming positive receptions, may have tilted the scales in our favor.

All of the time and effort was strictly on a volunteer basis, you’d never know as the entire experience was as professional and classy as having lunch with the Prince of Monaco, waited on hand and foot.

With the explanations of each teas origin, processing, (when necessary) fermenting, roasting Yame Dentou and Hon Gyokuro left many of us flabbergasted in the most wonderful way. So informative, so brilliantly tabled in an easy to understand manner, I found myself thursting to learn more upon my departure, it was that impactful.

The tea line up:

-Prime Roast Brown Rice Tea.
-Matcha 1 and 2. Hot and Cold.
-Star & Cherry Blossom Tea.
-Marubi 1 and 2. One was low grade for explanation purposes, two was the actual.
-Standard Roasted Tea
-Prime Roast Tea

1) The Genmaicha was very refreshingly light and more delicate than than the genmaichas that I usually buy at the Japanese grocery stores. I really enjoyed this tea.

2) The Matcha roasted brown rice tea had a varying level of matcha intensity and flavor. 

3) The Star and Cherry Blossom roasted brown rice tea was a delicate green tea that had crispy tiny balls of rice cracker that was filled with green tea. It was so surprising to drink this tea! Many people enjoyed this tea but I thought it was a little too bitter for me. I did enjoy the surprise of tea in the crispy rice cracker.

4) The Marubi was a favorite by all outward appearances, served two ways: cold and hot. The cold was beautiful and clear and tasted of roasted rice, and soba but in a distilled way. The hot was more aromatic and intensified the same flavors of rice, soba and umami. 

5) The Standard roasted tea tasted like pu’er tea or a simple black tea, not very intrusive — it got me thinking about crumpets.

6) The Prime roasted tea was a step above the standard roasted tea. It tasted oddly unique, as if we had tasted a decadent rose, indeed — a rose truffle at the last of the tea tasting.

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What is an Elite Event?

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Autumns Up at Queens Museum

One foot inside and a face I recognize locks in with mine, I know this person but can not place her. She certainly remembered me tho.

With neck strapping the Don Julio Tequila bag around my neck, worked it properly in place, such as a like a feed bag for horses. It felt right and we drank up, we were merry and engage in continual chit chat having not seen many of the YELP Elites in a few weeks.

And as I walked the food line with my guest, the horrors of self temporary food deprecation really began to set in and I wanted nothing more than too do away with my Mule Bag as fantasies of sugar sweet treats, pumpkin canoils and spicy tuna danced in my head.

The sheer number of vendors was staggering, below is a listing of some of the many vendors that took part in the event, that seemed as well attended and as robust as the Inaugural Ball.

1) Thirsty Koala Lamb Chops -chocolate salted carmel lamb chops. An active Yelp restaurant participant that yearly hosts events and it should be understood.
2) ICONYC – Brewery in Astoria. Hoptrolllop: bitter & hoppy for a ‘NE-styled IPA’ & Cream Ale w/ coffee was
3) Snowdays – Pocky stick was cute
4) Juju Bowl – Slightly sweet BBQ bowl.
5) Butcher Bar: Classic brisket. *Burnt ends were the Best!*
6) Allora Italian Kitchen: Meatballs
7) Pata Paplean: Extra Spicy tuna salad. *tuna was sautéed with onions and sliced peppers*
8) Bourbon Street Cafe: Fresh and warm crunchy corn bread, was delish.
9) Rare Treats: Gourmet coconut, chocolate, green tea and black sesame soft cookies.

More Don Julio Mules – 

I was barely on the lower level choosing to stay in the second floor, where you could really get a full, birdseye view of the evenings event.
And while the DJ spinning tunes kept the karaoke going, more and more attendees whom all braved the rain kept filling in. Fortunately, The Queens Museum was more than enough space to mix and mingle and housed the amount of people on hand.

Memorable mentions;
Allora Italian kitchen,
Blend On The Water,
One Station Plazat,,
Pa-Nash Eurosoul,
Rizzo’s Fine Pizza,
Rudy’s,
Deep Eddy,
Mansi Beverages,
Bai Beverages,
Clovesz.

As to my above mentioned side note:

About four months ago, Queens Museum hosted a well attended Ramones exposition, showcasing instruments, letters, instruments and such. I lightly touched a jacket and in a flash some boob preempted to give me the heave ho to which I called him a twit and dismissed him, the curator of the event. He called security as I continued the tour and ignored his tantrum. The kind woman with whom locked in on me was the museums curator and allowed me too stay and gave me a mini tour of the innards of this magnificent building.


Le Gavroche – Menu Sneak Peek


• Soufflé Suissesse

• Cheese Souffle Cooked on Double Cream

• Saumon Mariné au Citron Aigre-Doux Gelée à la Vodka

• Marinated Var Salmon with Lemon and Vodka Jelly

• Filet de Maigre Parfumé au Ras-el-Hanout Fenouil et Riz Rouge de Camargue

• Stone Bass & Pastilla, Scented with Arabian Spices Fennel, Red Rice and Meat Jus

• Coquilles St. Jacques Grillées et Minestrone de Palourdes

• Grilled Scallops with a Clam Minestrone

• Boudin Noir, Oeuf Frit, Salade d’Asperges Crues et Chutney de Tomate Epicée

• Black Pudding, Crumbed Egg, Crackling Asparagus Salad and Spicy Tomato Chutney

• Filet de Boeuf Grillé et Purée d’Epinards Poêlée de Champignons

• Grilled Fillet of Scottish Beef, Wild Mushrooms Red Wine Shallot Sauce

• Le Plateau de Fromages Affinés

• Selection of French and British Farmhouse Cheese

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• Millefeuille aux Framboises et Gianduja

•Crispy Layers of Pastry, Raspberries and Praline Flavoured Chocolate

• Café et Petits Fours

                             
                            Wines
• Dry Amontillado “Los Arcos”
• Sherry – Emilio Lustau
• Vouvray Sec “La Dilettante” 2010
• Domaine Catherine & Pierre Breton
• Chateau Roubine “Terre de Croix” Semillon 2009
• Côtes de Provence
• Pouilly Fume 2010
• Domaine Alexandre Bain
• Côte-de-Nuits Villages 2006
• Domaine Claude Chevalier


Scorpions before Walters.

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Walters Bar:

 Exiting Madison Square Garden and proceeding to pound the pavement of 8th Avenue, looking for a final brew to end the fun filled day of adventure and debauchery telling tales of drunkenness and foolery, and by chance, we stumbled upon Walters.

A fitting outpost for our post concert reflections and, if your finding yourself gabby, meeting new and luckiky, interesting people. As I chatted it up with a few fine young ladies about this and that, broski kept ordering bourbon and Fireballs, my buddy has an iron constitution and can drink like a man condemned.

Two bartenders held down the service as the late croud stumbled in, slightly aggressive in their choice of seats (IE: taken ones) but all in good spirits.
Walters has such a homely feel, bartenders add so much too cultivate that feel by giving so much of their time and every single interaction is chock full of smiles and kindness. Not trying to beat a dead horse, but both were top shelf, top of the heap — tenders of the bar.

No food was consumed, but a few red and white paper lined skewered goodies in shallow baskets were set down upon the bar, mid-chest level of a few regulars, or so they seemed too me, as they wrapped arms around their food and two for five dollar Pabst Blue Ribbons like a mother bear sheltering her cubs from any intrusions.

Very diverse croud of city folk just talkin, laughing and blowing off some weekly built up work or school steam.


Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques: Featuring More Than 1,000 Cooking Methods and Recipes, in Thousands of Step-by-Step Photographs

Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques: Featuring More Than 1,000 Cooking Methods and Recipes, in Thousands of Step-by-Step Photographs.

<for a preview, please click the link below>

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1077516.Jacques_P_pin_s_Complete_Techniques


Oysters — To go

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After jumping a heightened levee upon which a big black and red sign demanded “NO TRESPASSING” I swung between the pillions, landed upon the waiting Chris Craft and ate my Sweet Jesus Oysters from Virginia. They taste just a little better on a boat than in a bar. 

In the moment, I admit, I was feeling a bit of 007 adrenaline I prefer not the newer guys, although short lived, Pierce Bronson was a natural fit.

‘In a New York Minute’ was my allotted time for a drink or two — well maybe three, and some raw appetizers. Needing to jump into my buddies boat shortly, I ordered drinks in haste and oysters later than I should.

As I’d not the time for a proper sit down dinner, this review will focus on the bar service, and what bar service it was.

Having a poor recollection of names and places and such, my bartender washed away all the poor bartending experiences I feel had tarnished this Charleston visit, all of whom I’d have fired long ago.

With a full bar of forty, my presence was immediately recognized and acted upon, the mark of a true professional.
Granted my ordering methodologies were a bit hodge podge as my drink decisions were altering from brews to speciality drinks and back, my man was on it.

Finding me a seat at the bar thustly, I knew I was in no trouble of running late for the boats departure. My bartender, I noticed, didn’t spill a single drop of liquid upon the bar, every drink of the hundred he made, I was closely observing, all went in the glasses.

We chatted St. Johns Redman (Redstorm. Grr)
basketball, he schooled me on a bit of Johnnies hoops history, it was Awesome.!

Just then my cue to depart was upon me in the form of incessant phone calls. Springing into pro action, my raw oysters were individually sponned into a wonderfully makeshift creative bed of ice. Observing from the far opposite end of the bar, he never touched a single oyster by hand, not one, he spooned each one out delicately and placed them down with incredible care.

Probably the best bartender in all of Charleston, & I’ve lived here a decade.

Photo of Fleet Landing Restaurant – Charleston, SC, United States. Sweet Jesus oysters from VA, to go.
Sweet Jesus oysters from VA, to go.


Valentino Food Market, Ridgewood N.Y.!

To: All my former food suppliers.
Re: Termination of our relationship, effective immediately.

Memo: Our time together has had many fine moments, but its over, I met another supplier.

Wherever shall I begin to explain what goes down at Valentinos? Lets start with the produce that wraps around the corner, stacked three to four rows high and being resupplied from multiple angles by — gosh, there must have been seven workers, working at full capacity.

Prices were as if Valentinos has no sourcing, as if the fruits and vegetables came from their own farm. A single word was heard above the din that suggested this was not hyperbole.

At one third the price of my former suppliers, with each and every piece of fruit and vegetable being one better than the next, quality was put ahead of price in the internal pecking order of things.

Deli section. Roast beef made there, medium rare, and at eight bucks a pound, a total steal — Mortedella, Genoa Salami — my three usual suspects all came with.
Breads, olives, cured sausages, cheeses, salads and more, all looking so beautiful behind the counter, I jokingly asked if they made sandwiches – – and they did and they did.

Five dollars bought me a beautifully prepared tuna salad and tomato on a whole wheat roll, tuna salad had to account for just a hair below one half of a pound.

Man, this place is the bees knees — the cats meow, whatever your wordy preferance is, Valentinos is The Most!


Leo’s Latticini Mama’s

 

 

“Why are we driving all the way to Astoria for roast beef?
“Fat encased Tuesday’s Roast Beast” (aka Roast Beef). “It’s by far the best roast beef anywhere, you’ll see.”

Spoken with an aire of confidence I just couldn’t muster up enough hootspha to challenge, so I mumbled and grumbled under my breathe while peering out the window at the passing hope of my Shake Shack desires.

Cured meat hanging by rope from rafters coupled with white buckets of olives will thrill me till the day I take my dirt nap.
The ante upped – a whole display case of additional cured meats, specifically salami, whatever happened to salami anyway? I can’t recall anyone calling its name too top an egg or populate some bread with provolone, never happens, its eighty five percent of my sandwich meat & home noshing. Ham? Turkey? Gosh — they bore me too death.

Two little women advanced the slicing arm purposefully- – too and fro with reckless abandons, a seven or eight pound piece of that spoken gelatinously encased meat was getting wacked up thin, in the Hobart slicer along with thick cuts of mozzarella.

Every single customer order was the same as the modulation of chants “I’ll have what he’s having” grew like crickets playing telephone, chirping to the moon at night, anxiously growing and bellies groaning at the passed deli papered sandwiches reached their homes.

Opting for the gravy and mushrooms atop, the taste from bite one to bite last was something out of an edible musical, deliciously dramatic and delectably theatreacle.  Overture to cadenza the magical taste had really grabbed me in a food transe that kept me under its uniquely wonderful spell for the remainder of the day and night.


Ready for Easter brunch.


Foodporn 201.