Category: Drinks

Love is the Message

Friday, January 11th, 2008 | All Things, Drinks, Friends

At the cool LITM in Jersey City tonight for MLF’s birthday celebration. This Newark Avenue hot spot was named for an album by Philadelphia funk rock band MFSB, and has been a fixture of downtown’s “Restaurant Row” since it was opened by the JC-native sibling team of Jerome and Jelynne Jardiniano in October 2003.

For the occasion, LW had reserved the back space of this bar-lounge-gallery, on whose walls she had mounted an exhibition of about 20 of her beautiful photographs, all featuring the woman of honor.

LITM Gallery

Over the course of the evening, we each were given the opportunity to title the piece of our choice. Originators of the best titles, as judged by the artist, may see a new photo in their future. Fingers crossed!

Always good times celebrating with MLF, and reconnecting with old friends.

In addition to the occasional private party, LITM features Sunday night film screenings, live music performances, and rotating art exhibitions. (On display tonight: paintings by local self-taught artist Ken Bastard.) And perhaps most importantly, to accompany all those potent potables: good tunes.

Just wait ‘til tomorrow
I guess that’s what they all say
Just before they fall apart

— New Order, Regret

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Village wanderings

Saturday, December 29th, 2007 | All Things, Drinks, Friends, Music

Over the Queensboro Bridge, and back into the city

Queensboro Bridge view

It took over 45 minutes for me to crawl my way downtown to Zinc Bar on the M5 bus – half that time spent on Fifth Avenue between 47th Street and 57th Streets — for a night of Brazilian Samba.

Zinc Bar

Dark room, cold beer and a sexy saxophone:

Zinc Bar

After the set, we took to the streets of Greenwich Village, where WGY pointed out the giant Picasso sculpture at NYU’s I. M. Pei-designed Silver Towers residential complex. How could I not have noticed the 36-foot high “Bust of Sylvette” before? The mammoth 60-ton version of Picasso’s painted metal bust of Sylvette David was created in 1967 by Norwegian sculptor Carl Nesjär, who sandblasted the cast-concrete surface to reveal the black basalt underneath, in lines to duplicate the Spanish master’s brushstrokes.

Random and brilliant. WGY is right, in a way that only those who leave New York can appreciate: this is the best city in the world.

Our nocturnal wanderings took us past the Murray’s cheese caves, to Red Mango (better than Pinkberry’s frozen no-gurt?) and to Mamoun’s for super cheap, extra-spicy falafels. (How there was appetite to spare after the banquet at Mandarin Court remains a mystery to me.) Along the way, we steered some tourists from the Christopher Street piers, discovered that 85 Bedford is not, in fact, the location of a bar in the West Village, and assessed that we are entirely too curmudgeonly to suffer the crowds waiting for entry to Employee’s Only on a Saturday night.

White Horse Tavern farther up on Hudson, however, proved an acceptable fallback. Any watering hole good enough for Dylan Thomas is good enough for us.

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BonChon birthday

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 | All Things, Drinks, Eats, Friends

In honor of HYB’s birthday (week), we ended up at BonChon Chicken in K-town tonight. The boys’ last run for newly trendy Korean fried chicken on the day before Thanksgiving didn’t work out when they arrived at 314 Fifth Avenue to find the place unexpectedly shuttered. Random closings occur not all that infrequently, apparently; Yelpers recommend that you call ahead for hours, despite what BonChon’s printed materials list as their hours of operation.

Bon Chon chopsticks

At 8pm this Wednesday, though, the bar restaurant was hopping. Although we were well prepared for a wait, the delay ended being rather longer than we expected, in part due to the infuriating flakiness of the hostess, who slipped in one newly arrived group ahead of ours. To be clear, I am aware of the practical necessity of seating by party size, and this was definitely just a case of poor management. We narrowly avoided a scene — those B brothers are feisty! — which got the evening off to a rocky start, but things could only improve from there.

I do like this chicken, but is it worth the hour’s wait for a midweek table? And the $40 cost for large (16-piece?) platters each of both “hot spicy” and “soy garlic” flavors?

Bon Chon chicken

The birthday boy thought not, but judging from the crowds that pack this place most nights, BonChon has no shortage of devotees. And wow, the “hot spicy” sauce is just that, in a way that sneaks up on you after just a couple of flats/drumettes/drumsticks. Alternating in pieces of the non-spicy soy garlic variety helps some to quench the fire, as do the accompanying cubes of sweet pickled daikon radish. (I’m not as much a fan of the Thousand Island dressed shredded cabbage.) Beer, too — in our case, a $25(!) pitcher of Killian’s Irish Red.

On the BonChon website, the chicken is promoted as food for “health conscious consumers“: “tasteful & nutritiously enriched” with “collagen ingredients promoting healthy and delicious texture and taste.” Seems I’ve heard this one before, and much as I’d like to believe it, I’m not entirely convinced.

Dubious health claims aside, I’m still looking to expand my K(orean)FC horizons. In July, The Voice‘s Robert Sietsema took a look at four Flushing franchises along the strip of Northern Boulevard between 150th and 160th Streets: Kyedong (150-54 Northern Blvd.), KyoChon (156-50 Northern Blvd.), BonChon (157-18 Northern Blvd.), and Cheogajip (160-24A Northern Blvd.). He rated BonChon a solid “B” — better than Cheogajip, but not as good as either KyoChon or Kyedong Chicken.

Hmm… Korean Fried Chicken Crawl 2008?

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