Day: August 16th, 2006

ISX @ Slate Plus

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 | All Things, Events

I only recently discovered Tenzan, a casual sushi restaurant on Columbus Avenue, after dinner with CS one night shortly after she moved into the neighborhood. As local joints go, it’s been reliably tasty: the fish is always fresh and they excel in what chowhound Jim Leff affectionately calls “Stupid Pandering Americanized Sushi,” which is to say, “double dragon rolls, spicy tuna, lots of crispy and spicy thingamabobs.” Sometimes I crave the stuff, too – my apologies if that offends the sushi purists among you. Of late, I’ve been enjoying Tenzan’s “Spicy like roll” (don’t ask me what that means): an enticing combination of chopped shrimp, tobiko and crunchy bits. B accompanied me there before our night of liquor tastings; he opted for a couple of the more familiar rolls, and one creamy and curiously sweet peanut/avocado roll.

Tenzan rolls

Off to The Independent Spirits Expo (ISX). This evening’s showcase featured the brand owners of three specialty liquors — Mãe de Ouro cachaça, Khukri Himalayan rum and Orange V Mandarin and Valencia orange-infused vodka.

Slate — which I learned today has been redubbed Slate PLUS (Electric Boogaloo?) — is a bi-level restaurant-lounge-billards hall. This spot has had a long storied history as a pool hall; back in the day, it was known as “Chelsea Billiards,” the famed 24-hour den, known for its clientele of millionaires and hustlers. Bronx Science alum Jeanette Lee, a.k.a. “The Black Widow,” is perhaps the most recognizable face in professional pool. She often recounts the story of how she fell in love with the game after walking into Chelsea Billiards one Spring afternoon in 1989. She entered her first professional event in January 1993 and within a year became one of the top-ten ranked players in the world. In 1994, she was number-one, earning the “Player of the Year” award. She has won countless professional awards since, including a gold medal for the United States at the 2001 Akita World Games, and even co-authored a book, “The Black Widow’s Guide to Killer Pool.”

Our favorite at the IXP was the Cachaça Fazenda Mãe de Ouro. “Cachaça Dave” Catania was there, promoting his authentic, small-batch pot-distilled cachaça by mixing up rounds and rounds of his delicious caipirinhas throughout the night. We were in fact, so enthusiastic in our praise and interest that Dave ended up giving us not one, not two, but FIVE imprinted wooden pestles — or muddlers — for making our own caipirinhas at home. That’s five each, ha!

Here’s his recipe for the perfect caipirinha:

  • 1/2 Fresh Tahiti Lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 1.75 oz Cachaça Fazenda Mãe de Ouro

Cut the ends off the lime and slice the lime into 8 wedges, removing the white core. Add sugar over 4 lime slices in the bottom of a large, heavy-base rocks glass. Muddle the limes and sugar together with a wooden pestle, pressing more on the fruit than on the rind. Fill the glass with ice and add Cachaça Fazenda Mãe de Ouro. Shake or stir well. Enjoy!

Slate Plus

Slate Plus

Nine gallons of pure hand-cut sugarcane juice are used to create each hand-numbered bottle. Dave’s artisinal cachaça is served at restaurants around town… or pick up a bottle at select liquor stores, like Crush Wine & Spirits and Landmark Wine & Sake.

P.S. — it’s pronounced “ka-SHA-sa.”

Mae de Ouro

Good times, good times.

There's 1 comment so far