swining and dining

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Day 2.... maybe more

Day 2

You have no idea how glad I was to wake up....I mean if I had painlessly passed in my sleep the autopsy would have said...cause of death..."mozzarella overdose". Dude the "pizza triple crown" on day 1....to use the word of my dear college buddies....EPIC!

Still on west coast time, woke up at 11am...ahh a lazy sunday...NOT!!!! on the ticket for the day's events....dare I tell you....pizza from Spumoni Gardens, this time hot from the oven, heroes to go for the ball game, yeah, going to a Mets game. Beautiful day in NY, one of those days that makes me say....I could live here, my liver can't but I could live here. We arrived a little hungover from the previous day's events, but as one does in NY.....RALLY! The game was a gem, no dogs, no pizza, no beer, at least for me, it was Sunday, a day to rest right? To me day means "day" as in sunlight, which would mean that night would be another story.

After the game we got back to Joe's place, remember him, anyway, Frank was cooking for his mother for mom's day and he invited me to join in the "porchetta", uhhh, that pig in Italian....Frank's is also a lover of the swine and a damn good chef, so for me to crash the "fest" part duex...I had too.

Met Franks family...hilarious and lovers of great food, Italian family of course. From Brooklyn of course. Apparently we arrived at "halftime" they had just eaten the risotto course, before that the salad, mama's focaccia (insane), roasted peppers, cheese, some italian potato and prociutto cake (name escapes me) it was time to play catch up, Joe and I were like a "sure pick thoroughbred 3 lengths behind after turn 4 coming down the stretch on the outside to come from behind and take the cup." we collected on our exacta.

Now it was my halftime...not so fast...pochetta is being carved up...its all about the skin...crackling baby...elapse time 10 minutes..

WOW! 2 days....2 pigs..."heaven da dat dat da dah...I'm in heaven" Halftime resumed....at this point I had planned on checking out a Thai restaurant later that night, Oh I was going...we was going. But a nap was needed. So as I was aying my goodbyes and thanks...Mama stepped in and said "you ainta gowin nowheres...itsa time for espresso and coffee" I looked at Frank, "you know the rules, what Mama says goes"...."I know".

Shorlty after sitting down again at the table a box made its way to the dining room...marked "checked in baggage" Air Italia...I'm talking a box 2 feet tall and wide. What's inside....the biggest panetone I've ever seen, no BS or embellishing here and it was as good as it was big. Then the shots of sambuca, then the homemade chocolate liquer and limoncello. These people are rock stars...NAP Time!

That lasted about 1 hour then off to Sea in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A cool hip place....packed....its 11:30 pm on a Sunday...gotta love NY. We ordered a few things...Joe was the smart one, didn't eat at all, food was a dissapointment, but thats OK, we were only tasting, checking out the scene. Stomach in tow it was bed time. Day 2 in the books

Day 3

Starts at 7am, had to catch a ride with Joe to Downtown Brookly, then a cab to Manhattan. Got to the hotel,checked in and you won't believe this...went to the Gym... oh the guilt had set in, after a good workout, it was nap time, not too long, I was meeting an old college roomate for lunch at one of my fav lunch spots, Giambelli on 50th. Why you ask? no there was not a pork dish but an incredible Veal Chop with Porcini Mushrooms raosted then served in a foil "Papillote" a pouch type presentation. My buddy Ken and I have been meeting here for lunch for 5 years, everytime I visit NY, this is our lunch spot. Its not on the menu...gotta ask for it. We did...."2 veal chops please" for lunch, why the "f" not. Haven't you been reading my blog?

Side of pasta, breadsticks, veal.....lunch is done, a success, I tell you they get this dish right every single time. Amazing!!!! I can't wait for my next trip. Ken had to get back to work, I was meeting an old coworker for drinks that afternoon and had dinners plans with one of my dearest friends and co conspirator in dining through the greatest restaurants in San Francisco. Then shortly after midnight, SA comes in from LA on her round about way to LA (Louisiana), her first time "really" to NY.

I'll get back to D3....soon

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"The Magnificent Seven"...Days of Eating in NY


I'm bloggin again after a long hiatus, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was not on a diet, just busy working, excuse me eating....in the past year there have been many food stories worthy of "swining and dining", but I just completely an amazing 7 day run in NYC. And simply it must be shared. As for my year plus absence.....one word why I haven't blogged.....LAZY!

No that the couch has been medically removed from my ASS!, I'm ready to rock again.

One favor though....please make sure you eat before you read the following blogs.

DAY 1 Friday May 12 through Midnight Saturday May 13

Me on my cell phone "Hey Joe, I'm gonna be hungry when I get off the plane, we're gonna eat!" Good ole Joe, Joe is one of the "3 Amigos" on my Asia trip last Spring...
so he knows....the Swine is on. I have to go back a couple of weeks to tell you how this trip came about. Anyway, the Swine is now living in Seattle...opening a new restaurant...details in future blogs....food is the business now, originally NY was to be a business trip with my biz partner, schedules changed, but I decided still to go. WHY? Dude.....the Brooklyn Pigfest 2007 was happening on Sat. May 13...any other questions, it may have been over a year since I'ved graced these web pages, but like wine, this Swine, has gotten better with time.

JFK at 1am Sat May 13th, Joe is there like the champ he is to pick me up....and he doesn't disappoint....Pizza Squares from L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn....legendary....a half sheet pan my friends (thats 12 squares).

2am.... 4 squares firmly in my stomach.

11am....rise and shine off to the Brooklyn Pigfest

1pm... Sat. May 13 we arrive at the "Fest" (at this point it can be called the "Fest").....we meet up with my chef buddy Frank (also the Asia trip 2006 Alum)...I am armed with a dining death squad....Bring on the Pig!!!!!

Did I mention that it was all you can eat and beer. With beer in hand we proceed to the Boooo-Faaaaaayyyyyy! As I walk up to the pig attendant (the guy at the table service the pig) I look him in the eye and say.... "Where is the head part, start there....I want the shiniest, stickiest, and non-fibrous pieces of meat you can find!" He looked back, no smile on his face, he knew I meant business. Then we pile on the pork ribs, smoked chicken, pork sausage, beans with pork, coleslaw and then lather our plates with the sauce.

"Heaven....I'm in heaven....I'm in heaven when you....." come on everyone sing with me...."Heaven, I'm in Heaven...da da"

2pm Plate No. 1....history...on plate No. 2, at this point we are joined by a new chef friend of mine, Aaron. He gladly participates in the "Fest" and piles on the pig. The event is scheduled till 6pm so we figured at half-time we would take a break...the beer games now begin. Not going into detail, the beer games lasted 30 min. for yours truly....I'm one who can drink em down, but when you have to do some "semi-athletic bouncing quarters type flip the cup thing" after you just ate enough food to feed a small country...not too good.

3pm Ahhhh, half-time???? yeah right...I'll save you the geography lesson, but in walking distance is Grimaldi's Pizza...oh yes...could this be the second leg of the "Pizza Triple Crown". Me on the cell phone "I'd like to order 2 pies, Margherite, for pick up...ten minutes, no problem". Those ten minutes were passed with a glass of Brooklyn Summer Ale. So me and another warrior, Chris (Joe's brother) takes the whole 1 block walk to Grimaldi's (btw known as Patsy's for new yorkers) Chris walks in and reappears like a knight in shining armour, except with 2 pizzas. We proudly stroll back to the "Fest", to the envy of the door people...we walk in flaunting the pies.

3:45pm I believe the words "youre crazy" were uttered as we placed the pies on the table....D LISH!!!!!

3:50 the second pie was holding on for dear life, but we had to save some for the girls...hey "Where are the girls?"

3:55 I must say I love these girls...Frank's Sister Teresa, her friends Toni and a player to be named later. Am I dreaming....Jacque Torres Chocolatier....across the street. "Heaven.....I'm in Heaven...da da da" We make our way to catch up with the girls at the "Jacque"...women and chocolate...I knew they didn't need help
ordering. Cash register rings up $150.00 "in Chocolate". Rock Stars!!!!

4:15 Again to the envy of the door people we walk back into the "Fest" with CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES AND TRUFFLES. Someoone pass me a tissue...I'm having a moment.

5pm Imagine 11 people around a table who just ate all you can eat pork, 2 hours of beer drinking games, pizza from grimaldi's, and CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES AND TRUFFLES. Nuff said.

6pm "Fest" has come to a tearful and bellyful end....Exlax anyone? Half of us decide to go into the city for drinks....yes this is still Day 1. After 3 hours of drinking (Mom, we took taxis) we recruited 2 more of my friends, Bethany and Mark. Remember these names and the names previously mentioned as they will appear throughout the "Magnificent Seven". At this point, Bethany is hungry...she had a friend in town and her friend Nicole (Cutie) was craving what.....PIZZA....could this be the Third leg of the "Pizza Triple Crown"....what is this place I speak of...Lombardi's, Little Italy. My first trip to Lombardi's was with my buddy Mark, so it was "appropo" that he be there.

9:30 pm We finally get sat upstairs above the 100+ year old coal pizza oven. Hunger is in the air...so thick you could cut it like a piece of cheese. As the chairman of the evening I take the reigns and begin to order....breadsticks, salad (there were women present) and 4 wait 3 pies...What how can I go from 4 to 3.....dude and dudettes...the server cut me off....she says we ordered too much...I excused this lack of confidence she had with my "Pizza Posse". I'm sure she was unaware of the days events...I cut her some slack.

10:15 2 pizzas down....so good...seriously...I not even gonna write anything more about how good this pizza is....can't do it....there are no words. At his point Bethany's friend Nicole (did I mention Cutie) actually I must mention the women that ate with me this trip are as beautiful as you can imagine....but even sexier...they eat...sorry I got side tracked...she is on her way.

10:45 pm Nicole arrives, we saved her a few pieces...she picks one up and starts picking off the meatballs...............NO!!!!! the table sighs....we ordered her a cheese pizza, the server realized we came to play. Nicole was slightly startled but the "Pizza Posse" understood and didn't take offence. The cheese pizza arrived along with a side of what....meatballs......I had to order them its like "food karma"....I had to balance the food universe after the meatballs were removed from the other pizza...it was only right.

12am I need a cigarette.....damn that was HOT!!!!! Recap....pizza, beer, pig, pizza, chocolate, more beer, beer, pizza. Any questions.