I’m working with S and B on a group project for Vermont rural food systems. We met tonight for a kickoff meeting after Food history. No meeting rooms were available at Bobst so we opted to head to Alta for wine and tapas. I believe the chef prefers to call them small plates as they’re not strictly Spanish. This is fine for me. I’m not strictly gringa in the kitchen. But I am strictly cheeky about quite a lot, especially when tapping.
As wine and spirits are not my specialty and S did a fine job of getting me to imbibe in VT, he is welcome to choose wines for me anytime. Tonight it was Rioja, Crianza, ‘Vina Real’, Cune 02004. I enjoyed it but I think a sip of the sherry he picked with rosemary, filbert, and clove notes left more to synaesthete on.
We small dished family style and I recommend everything we ordered. The bacon wrapped dates and olives were on my party menu for a few years. Tonight was the first time eating them out in a while. I tend to be one of those who won’t order what I prepare at home. Crispy Brussels sprouts, another from the home menu, but loved them with crème fraiche. The Fuji apples might have been a bit too tart for me though. Perhaps they could turn the tart down a notch, say with a honeycrisp. But I might incite a certain terroir-ista up north in Middlebury country for the suggestion. The pulled pork empanada was light, delicate, and sweet, but hardly spicy. My spice threshold is on the higher end of the spectrum nowadays. Almost time to blast off for some purple haze shrimp—a la Ric’s—one of these days. When the time comes, I suggest you not sit within arms length of my right hook; the dish nearly incites me to violence. But dog it still ranks as one of my all time favourite plates, from a personal top five all time favourite restaurant. The winning small plate of this evening, and I’m proud to say was my pick, was the peperoncino spaghetti. It was yumness,—savory, fatty oily mouthfeely—but it also managed to be something I haven’t eaten before, for which there is quite a lot. But living largely by prandium alone, I am responsible for new or tweaked dishes.
As for business, we opted to create a reality type program and will group Vermont farmers with New York retailers and entrepreneurs. Though I cannot tap more on the details at this point. We’ll meet again next week to discuss further. Our homework until then is write up one or two page treatments for the agricultural product we each chose. I’m waffling between cheese and stone and tree fruits. But I’ll focus on the episode outline and taste it from there.