Ms. S&C likes to shop for a good cause — and drink for a good cause. And, you don’t have to twist her arm to get her to New York City to do so. When a good friend of hers announced she was co-chairing the first annual Food & Fotos event, to benefit Foundation Rwanda, Ms. S&C was thrilled to attend the event and support the cause.
A few facts:
- Between April and June of 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days.
- An estimated 20,000 children were born from rape during this genocide.
- Due to the stigma associated with rape, these children and their mothers have been severely marginalized by their communities, live in extreme poverty and do not have the means to pay their children’s school fees.
Food & Fotos was an event to help sponsor secondary school education for these Rwandan children. And, it was outstanding. It featured tasting tables and signature dishes from 30 of New York City’s top restaurants, and there was an exhibition of portraits from Rwanda. A silent auction of culinary items and contemporary photographs was also held to raise funds. (In a last minute dash, Mr. and Ms. S&C snagged the “Taste of DC” item, so we get to look forward to a return trip to Restaurant Eve and visits to 1789 and Old Ebbitt Grill!)
Mr. S&C enjoyed the fine beers from Brooklyn Brewery, but Ms. S&C made tequila her drink of the night. 901 Silver Tequila was a sponsor of the event and offered several tasty cocktails. Yes, 901 is Justin Timberlake’s brand. (901 is the Memphis area code where he grew up, and is also representative of “the time of night when your evening is ending, but your night is just beginning,” says his spokesperson.)
The drink of the occasion? Tequila. The shoes? Polka dot peep-toes.
(sorry for the blurry pic, but it’s the only one I have of the shoes *and* dress)
The Valley Vista was my favorite cocktail of the night, even though a pesky bartender tried to steer me towards a less spicy, more fruity beverage. He thought I couldn’t handle the jalapeno, but Mr. S&C assured him that, despite my very colorful dress, I have a dark side. The La Senorita was an interesting cocktail. Wondering if the pineapple syrup was prepared with liquid smoke? It was a little like sucking on a wood chip (not necessarily a bad thing, particularly because the strong flavor makes it more of a sipping cocktail).
- 901 Silver Tequila
- Fresh lime juice
- Homemade grenadine
- Jalapeno slice for garnish
- 901 Silver Tequila
- Smoked pineapple syrup
- Fresh lime juice
- 3-4 dashes of Tabasco
- Lime wedge for garnish
Looking forward to making Food & Fotos an annual event!
posted by Ms. S&C
Ms. S&C has been busy, busy, busy getting ready for her biggest work event of the year. It is one of those all-consuming — yet somewhat exhilarating — work periods. I’m reminding myself about work things in the shower. I’m thinking about new ideas walking home from work. I’m working late. And working more means blogging less.
Ms. S&C has made time for a few other activities to help keep her sanity. Yes, there’s a weekly yoga class. But there’s, of course, the no-fail retail therapy. One recent purchase (100% work-related) included a new pair of flats. Plain black flats. Exciting shoes, right? They’ll compliment my black rolling suitcase nicely.
Except. I am excited. I think fashionable flats are so hard to come by (and I’m not the only one). These plain black flats from BCBGeneration, found over at Zappos, may be my favorite flats yet. The pointy style is dressy, the off-center rosette is whimsical, the short heel is comfortable. And they’re perfect shoes for my upcoming (work) occasion.P.S. It is New York City I’m going to. Even for work, even when it’s cold, New York City is New York City, and it’s something to look forward to.
posted by Ms. S&C
The New York City bar hop continues…
Temple Bar was our next stop. This place was less intimate and a bit swankier than PDT, and probably geared to someone with deeper pockets than moi. But, I definitely appreciated the friendly service and being able to get a table, as we had three others join us. A good variety of cocktails on the menu. Here’s what I sampled:
I positively adore anything with pomegranate juice. I love the tartness. Unfortunately this drink tasted a bit chalky?
Served over ice in a highball glass
I, now, officially prefer gin as my spirit of choice.
Strained in served in a martini glass
- Plymouth Gin
- Peach Puree
Next, we swung by 124 Old Rabbit Club in Greenwich Village. This was my second favorite place of the night. It is very unassuming, dark (think basement), hip and cool, and to me, it has New York City written all over it. It is easy to miss, so look for the black door at the bottom of a few steps. I think there were mailbox-style letters at the top, but who knows what I saw at this point of the night. They only serve beer and wine, so I had an Orval. Correction: they only serve good beer and wine.
Photo of Old Rabbit Club by Carmen E. Lopez and AJ Wilheim, New York Magazine
I probably should have called it a night after the Old Rabbit Club. But, we hopped in a cab and soldiered on to The Back Room. I vaguely recall the bouncer out front and the longer-than-you-think-walk to the entrance. I do remember the place being gorgeous, with an old-school glamorous décor. Drinks are served in teacups, as a throw-back to the speakeasy-style environment. Word on the street is to try the place during the week, because it was c-r-o-w-d-e-d on Saturday night. I ordered a lame vodka tonic, which I hardly touched. It was time to head home.
It’s been a long time since I went to four bars in one night. But, when I was in New York City, over the Columbus Day weekend, I felt compelled to try some of New York Magazine’s top-rated bars. I also asked my good friend, Sesolf, for recommendations, and we embarked on the classic bar hop.
(Here’s part one of a two-part post on the night.)
First up, was PDT, or Please Don’t Tell, a speakeasy-style lounge in the East Village. PDT has everything you’d expect – intimate ambience, superb cocktails, and the obligatory secret entrance (you enter through a vintage phone booth located within Crif Dog, a hot dog joint). It was my favorite place of the night. Not only is the place quite civilized (see etiquette rules), the cocktails were inventive and down-right good.
Referred to on the menu as a “Caipirinha Collins,” and it was. Light and refreshing, it was the perfect cocktail to start the night.
Served over ice in a collins glass
This drink has a thicker consistency and interesting herbal flavors.
Strained and served in a martini glass
- Jose Cuervo Tequila
- Lemon Juice
- Strega (bittersweet herbal liqueur)
- Red Jacket Orchard Apple Jack Butter
The glass is filled with perfect crushed ice and garnished with mint. One trick we learned – flick the mint leaves to release the sweet aroma right before serving.
- Tanqueray Gin
- Krogstad Aquavit
- Pineapple Juice
- Lemon Juice
- Muddled Blackberries
(Next up: a basement bar akin to a rabbit hole, a faux speakeasy.)
Life doesn’t get much better when you can sleep in on a Sunday, then rouse to join friends for a leisurely and delicious brunch. But life does get better when you get to have said Sunday brunch on a gorgeous October day in New York City’s West Village.
I was this lucky duck this past Sunday. Having spent Saturday night tasting cocktails in the city (more to come about those), I was thrilled to meet friends the next day at Dell’Anima, a fantastic Italian restaurant. The name translates to “of the soul,” which is a perfect description for their hearty, elegant dishes. Dell’Anima serves brunch family-style, and now I think there is no other way. Together you can ooh and ahh over the Farro, retell funny stories from the night before while passing the French toast, and soak up the remaining precious moments of the weekend over that last cup of coffee. Its bliss, I tell you. Bliss.
Dell’Anima’s Sunday Brunch Menu:
Our Sunday Brunch Drinks:
- Bellini (with blood oranges rather than peaches)
- Bloody Mary (spicy and served with a pearl onion)