Friday, May 19, 2017

Visiting Moe in New York City

Selina and I visited New York City for very specific reasons. She was to visit her family, particularly her parents who are now quite elderly. I was to visit and hang-out with my sister, Monique or Moe. As the saying goes, "Time flies when you're having fun!" The nearly two weeks we were in NYC came and went like a flash.

Of course I was able to visit the parents of Selina and her Ate Ayet over lunch. We also had great burgers at a neighborhood cafe with Ayet's son, Paulo, who studied music and is now pursuing a career in head-hunting. I look forward to singing a classical duet with Paolo, who is a talented baritone.

Not surprisingly, the highlights of my stay in NYC, which were mostly in the company of Moe, were our food trips and musicals. (Moe, sorry for the absence of pictures. My official photographer (Selina) was not around.)

Even though we did not plan on anything whatsoever, we still managed to see three musicals: Cagney, Sunset Boulevard (with Glenn Close in the starring role. . .  and she was really terrific!) and the School of Rock (the Broadway musical adaptation of the movie starring Jack Black). All fun stuff!

Our food trips included all-you-can-eat lobsters (not once but twice at The University Club . . . Wednesday evenings only), steak and more steaks, our usual trip to Amma (Indian restaurant in midtown Manhattan . . . the same one we visited the last time I was in town) and one of the best duck confit I have had (this was during the Sunday lunch treat of Moe with the Garniks).

The following Sunday lunch, hosted by the Garniks, is also worthy of elaboration. It was Mother's Day and Garnik gave a toast to Berna, Tita Carmencita and Mom, among other toasts. My "hazing" as the newest "pet" inductee started with a drink of Black Russian. Together with the wine and the sips of Bourbon, I was in danger of vomiting later in the afternoon. That did not happen.

We then proceeded with the seafood platter of lobster, crab, shrimps and oysters, which segued into the roasted bone marrow. The latter was ordered in advance. A pure infusion of cholesterol! Yuuuuuumy!

Then . . .  The Steaks. The cowboy cut, which did not even appear to be listed on the menu. Excellent . . .  as it should be considering we were having it at one of the best steakhouses in New York City (Porter House Bar and Grill, consistently ranked among the top ten steakhouses in New York City by Zagat)!

At this point, I have to say, given the same quality of meat, my sous vide steaks are comparable! That's a shameless plug, I know.

I was henceforth inducted as the 3rd pet of the Garniks and almost immediately promoted to the 1st pet (thus displacing both Casy and Moe), no doubt due to my impromptu acapela rendition of Frank Sinatra's "At Long Last Love". I think even Garnik was surprised that I would sing to him right at the table. If Berna and Garnik were not such old customers at this place, we would probably have been thrown out of the place . . . or requested to sing some more.

All in all, my hazing went smoothly. I suspect we softened-up the Garniks at the outset of lunch when we presented the official Oxford dictionary definition of "garnik" as follows:

Our visit would not have been complete without our trip to Casy in Connecticut. This was the only part of our visit that was planned ahead of time, which culminated in our driving down to New York City for the Sunday lunch hosted by the Garniks described above.

While we were in Connecticut, Casy slow-cooked a traditional corned beef dish complete with a bottle of cerveza negra or its closest equivalent in Connecticut, Guinness beer. Casy brought us (Selina and me) to Newport, Rhode Island, where we visited The Elms and The Breakers. There were other historical mansions to visit, which gives us an excuse to return.

We also prepared Angus beef ribeye steaks sous vide style to achieve that "edge to edge" medium rare finish with less than a millimeter of seared crust--with our very own ultra-simple simmered dijon mustard and creme fraiche steak sauce. Selina prepared a beautiful salad with just the right touch of lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar while Casy boiled the sweetest fresh corn cobs I have tasted. Just in time for the arrival of Moe, who followed us to Connecticut on Saturday.

Casy was so impressed with the results of the steaks, he immediately ordered his own sous vide appliance to test on his tomahawk cut prime rib of beef. How's that for redemption? (question addressed to the G-Man in North Carolina) Incidentally, Casy has resurrected his vacuum sealer (a very nice one), which goes hand-in-hand with sous vide cooking. As usual, we had loads of fun!

As if the above steaks were not enough, Moe and I also had a steak at Gay's favorite steakhouse in New York City (Quality Meats, also consistently rated by Zagat as one of the top ten steakhouses in New York City). Then, there was the half-cooked prime rib roast that needed to be rescued in the freezer of Moe. When I departed, Moe had one last slice left (a thick one) to sous vide, which Casy can practice on during his next visit to Moe.

Many thanks Moe for your hospitality and a super time in the Big Apple!

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