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Archive for the ‘drunk’ Category

As nouveau cirque enthusiasts across the city gear up for the upcoming run of Au Revoir Parapluie (Dec 4-16 at BAM), a French food enthusiast is born in Brooklyn.

For two of the last three nights I have warmed myself on Le Gamin’s hearty yet refined sandwiches, delicate yet substantive crepes, and invigorating yet stupefying GROG.

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Le Gamin graces New York and Boston with several locations; ours is located on Vanderbilt between Dean & Bergen, nestled on a very special block next to two of my favorite spots, sweetie pie boutique Red Lipstick and reliable repair shop Bicycle Station.

This is a first date’s wonderland with a cozy, romantic feel and a menu that won’t break your bank, even if he orders the most expensive thing (roast beef tenderloin, $15). A fireplace warms the back of the restaurant, and a generously sized patio equipped with umbrellas and picnic tables promises warm weather fun to come.

Mooseknuckle and I both began with sandwiches, or as they call them: “Les Sandwiches.” Isn’t that just darling? He housed the Merguez a la Moutarde Forte – spicy lamb sausage with roasted red peppers. You know how sometimes roasted red peppers are the ‘luxury’ item in a sandwich or salad that you pay extra for, but still you’re like – is this worth it? Should I have just gotten free tomato slices instead? In this case, the roasted red peppers totally complete the sausage – just the two of them there in that sandwich would keep each other well enough, but the goat cheese that Moosie opted to add contributed a lovely smoothness as well as that cool tartness to cut through the sausage-spice and red-pepper-sweet. Mmm!

I went for Le Saumon Fume – smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, mesclun, homemade mayonnaise, and pesto. Right away I liked their boldness at including as standard two condiments. They’re a funny pair. If you added mayo to pesto, it would totally bring down the quality. If you added pesto to mayo, you’ve got yourself some gourmet spread. But allow the two to exist separately but equally (what doesn’t work in society can sometimes work in sandwiches) and you’ve got a sandwich whose mayonnaise helps things stick together and keeps the eggs from sticking in your throat, and whose pesto seeps into the ciabatta and gives your teeth a succulent layer of olive oil to sink through before reaching the chewy crust. I liked it. The salmon itself was also great – not overly salty, and generously portioned.

Both sandwiches,$9.75, were served with mesclun salad on the side – fresh leaves, appropriately engaging but understated dressing.

The next night, intending to just stop in for desert, Mooseknuckle, Johnbaptisedme, and I were taken in by the savory selections. They were sadly out of mussels, so I opted for a Brie crepe ($9). Whaat??! Oh man. Combined with expertly carmelized onions and sliced baby tomatoes, it was excellent. If you are the kind of person who has to restrain herself from downing the whole baked brie wheel at a party, then this dish is for you. Don’t share it!

Moosepie went for a make-your-own crepe ($10.50) with chicken, goat cheese, and ratatouille. After the disappointment that it was not served by animated rats subsided, he tucked into this tasty concoction. The taste I begged off him was very satisfying. More ingredients provide many many possible combinations for personalized crepes. Like an omelette bar but way classier. Also served with salad.

Always a classist, I mean classicist, JBM got Gratinne a L’Oignon, the classic French onion soup ($6). Mmm! The rich broth you want, the crusty bread made soggy in it, the sharp cheese knocking you down. They get it right.

And then of course there’s desert! Though the actual desert menu sounds great, with a warm upside down apple tart served with creme fraiche ($5) and a classic creme bruelee (also $5), how could we do anything but head straight on to the sweet crepes ($4.50-$7)?

Apricot jam made a delicious filling. As did melted chocolate – of a really high quality and cocoa count – either on its own or combined with fresh bananas. They are famous for their crepe with fresh sectioned orange and homemade caramel, and for good reason. Unlike its made-by-Kraft counterpart (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Le Gamin’s homemade caramel does not stand up on its own, instead lending the subtle flavor of burnt sugar sweetness to the juicy oranges and light crepe dough.

The drink options in a French restaurant can be intimidating, but with a small and accessible wine list, I felt empowered to order a glass of Muscadet to accompany my meal. It was a nice choice and at $7 for a generous class I felt like all was right with the world. Mooseknucks opted for a bottle of Brooklyn, which Le Gamin rings in at $5. About reasonable and standard at a Brooklyn restaurant, no?

The drink enticements continued on to the section of the menu entitled “Les Boisson Chaudes,” or delicious wam things to which we occasionally add liquor. I was taken in by the GROG (as I may have mentioned before). It turns out GROG is a simple and refreshing drink, the Mandy Moore of warm winter drinks. Hot water, lemon juice, honey (that you add yourself to your liking), and spiced rum. Serve it in a big ole bowl and you’ve got yourself my new favorite drink!

The next night I opted for a steamed milk, again with honey and spiced rum, again served in an oversized bowl. What is not to like about drinking from a bowl? In a place like this, you feel like a viking and a refined French person at the SAME time! A valuable, if too rarely found, combination.

So, clearly, I recommend Le Gamin with no reservations (ha!). No, really, you don’t need reservations. This 3 1/2 year old restaurant was no where near crowded either night I went. Perfect for a romantic rendezvous or a night out with the gals, Le Gamin has an extensive, inexpensive menu that will make your friends think you know your GROG.

Le Gamin, 566 Vanderbilt Ave, Prospect Heights

Related merchandise: Joie de Vivre, simple living the French way. A book that tells you how to be happy like the French. I’ll stick to the food, thanks!

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Gridskipper came up with a guide to drunk-making stuff made in Brooklyn and Manhattan! Way to go! Perhaps a reprise of the Brooklyn Skeptic Brooklyn Beer tasting is in order?

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VMAs = Yawn.

The MTV Video Music Awards were last night. I pretty much grew out of this particular awards show about six years ago, but I still watch them. Out of respect. For my youth. But as usual they weren’t anything spectacular. Britney performed her new single, though. Which was pretty exciting. Although her performance was overall a disappointment. Rumors were swirling that Criss “Mindfreak ” Angel and the Brit were going to join forces for this particular performance. But apparently that’s just what they were…rumors. Dirty, dirty, get your hopes up rumors. If you don’t know who Criss Angel is, here’s a video of the time he was able to make some lady’s torso run away from her legs.

The show overall was pretty uneventful. I’m tired today, so I’m not going to write up a full review. As if I do that, ever. But what I will do is leave with you this photo of MTV News correspondent John Norris.

You can’t really tell how insane he looks here, as this photo was clearly taken from someone’s phone, but trust me, he looks weird and creepy. It’s one thing to make that decision to transform your wardrobe and brush off any preconceived thoughts people might have about you and totally revamp your persona. It’s not like I’ve never done that before (hey, I didn’t always wear glasses). But to take your look and morph it from something relatively plain into an image that could be compared to new Jared Leto is not a change I would recommend. At least not without expecting ridicule from normal human beings. Especially when you’re over 40 years old and appear daily on MTV where the public eye can witness your mid-life crisis. I’m just saying, baby steps.

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The Brooklyn wino has many choices when it comes to “scoring juice” in the Carroll Gardens area. But of course, we know not all wine shops are created equal. Frankly, the area spanning Court/Atlantic to Smith/9th street is littered with average wine shops (Scotto’s, Carroll Gardens Wine & Liquor, Vintage Cellars, The-Bullet-Proof-Window-Liquor-Store, etc.) that just provide your standard Yellowtail Shiraz meets “I’m Francis Coppola and I’m Buying This Vineyard” selection. These places are fine if you just need a bottle of Jameson and want to shoot the shit with the owner. But hey, let’s get real. This is Brooklyn and I expect a perhaps smallish but exotic and carefully picked assortment of well priced, worldly wines.

And this is what you get at Smith & Vine, the only store in this whole area that has truly sent me out the door murmuring a Cartman-like “sweeeet” with a happy jaunt in my step. You can tell the quality selection here by the lovingly labeled descriptions placed on each bottle coupled with the fact that there isn’t overwhelming amounts of dusty inventory stacked to the ceilings. Plus, the friendly staff always seems to be drinking and that can only be good, right?

S&V’s single best feature is the “10$ and under” table, which is the store’s centerpiece. One side is dedicated to reds and the other side white, with about ten bottles on each side. It’s tough to go wrong here, and I made it my beeswax for a whole year to try out as many as I could. For me, it sealed S&V’s spot as “most kick-ass wine shop in Carroll Gardens.”

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Another advantage of S&V is their sister cheese shop “Stinky” located across the street. These shops are totally in sync, and everyone knows what’s up. This really makes things easy when you’re shopping for Wine & Cheese night. Stinky’s got some great stuff, and also sells crackers, quince paste, cured meats (Christ, they have “guanciale”) and duck confit. Those close to me know I believe ducks to be a superior species.

Smith and Vine
268 Smith Street
(718) 243-2864

Pros:

  • The 10$ and under table is a Brooklyn landmark.
  • Wine selection is given a lot of care and well labeled
  • Great opening hours
  • Sister cheese store across the street
  • Excellent website

Cons:

  • The staff’s a bit jaded, but it might be ‘cause they’re drunk all the time.

You Can’t Go Wrong With: Domaine De La Batardière (white) – a crisp , dry and flavorful Muscadet from the Loire Valley (France, genius), this is the ultimate summer wine and perfect for that romantic picnic in Prospect Park or just a booze-soaked Sunday.

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All this steak talk has inspired me to bring to the table one of the hottest foodie topics right now: the pairing of food with cocktails. Here’s a great drink our resident mixologist has sacrificed an afternoon of work to bring you…the Basil Mojito. (Yes, we merely replaced mint with basil).

Ingredients:

Bacardi Limon (Regular Bottle or Handle)
Basil Leaves
Limes
Club Soda
Sugar

Method:

In a rocks glass, drop in 1 quartered lime, a small handful of fresh basil leaves, and one large tablespoon of granulated sugar. We prefer to do the whole thing in a big punch bowl, in which case you multiply all the ingredients by 10.

With a muddler, or a wooden spoon, muddle (i.e. “smash”) the hell out of the ingredients. The sugar will help macerate the lime and get all the juice out, and result in a nice layer of thick greenish syrup on the bottom. For the glass, fill with with ice and proceed to pour in Bacardi Limon light rum until there is only a half inch left of room left. Mix using a shaker or a pint glass. Top off with a splash of club soda, stick in a straw and enjoy. The straw will stop the basil from getting stuck in your teeth. If using the big punch bowl, just pour in the whole handle of rum and add a 12oz bottle of club soda. Mix.

If you really want to impress , slice a cucumber into thin wheels and use as a garnish on the side of the glass. Make sure you fill your glass with ice before every refill.

Warning: This drink will make your guests VERY sociable, and you’ll truly be damned at just how much quasi-straight liquor you can actually drink. It’s really quite remarkable.

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Okay, I really love Lindsay Lohan. She has very shiny hair. She was awesome in Mean Girls and Freaky Friday. She drinks like a scruffy Irishman.

But she is dumb and her dumbness is going to be her downfall. This weekend, Miss Lohan was in her third car accident in two years. For the record, that’s a lot. But wait. More stupidity:

1. It was a single car accident, which means that a curb duped her. Not even a moving object.
2. She was drunk (allegedly – she has to answer those charges in August). And yes, she was in rehab earlier this year.
3. She had some cocaine in the car with her. Again, rehab. This year.

Additional things to consider in the realm of the Lohan.

1. She was drunk and she’s 20: illegal.
2. She was drunk and driving: illegal and incredibly dangerous.
3. She had cocaine!

I’m just saying, why is she not in jail? Why wasn’t she arrested? Why wasn’t her license suspended? Why didn’t she get a ticket? What the fuck is going on here?

It’s not that I want her to be in jail, because I love her and her wacky antics. I don’t care if she’s doing more coke than David Bowie in ’71 and I don’t care if she’s drinking until she’s puking up a spaghetti dinner she ate when she was 12. But she’s just being reckless now. There were other people in her car and other people driving in general. Take her license away and get the bitch a driver. She’s rich.

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New York Magazine posted a tantalizing item today in their “Grub Street” food blog – the existence of a bar that serves moonshine in Brooklyn. The author would not reveal the name of the bar, but I think that a budding Nancy Drew/Hardy Boy among our readers could probably figure it out based on the clues in the article. If anyone can identify the bar, their first shot of moonshine is on me. Seriously.

Embedded clues:

1. “There’s a saloon in Brooklyn that will pull [moonshine] from under the bar if you ask nicely.” – The bar is in Brooklyn and it has a bar in it with moonshine under it.

2. “We won’t give away the place’s identity, but we will tell you to look for a bulldog.” – The bar has a bulldog in or near it. Possibly real, possibly a statue. Rule nothing out.

3. “We were recently treated to a few eye-popping, sinus-destroying shots, poured from the obligatory Mason jar.” – Patrons suffering from terrible allergies. Not unlike all New Yorkers this week.

4. “We called later to request it for a friend’s birthday party.” – The bar has a telephone. In it, presumably.

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