The loganberry-inspired cocktail I ordered last night at Prime Meats, one of the jewels in the Frankie Empire, or what I call the Brooklyn Keith McNally's (except that they have a hole-in-the-wall on the LES)...Aim for a genre, hit genre on head, succeed, move on. It's a couple of doors south of the well known Frankie's 457, and part of the kitchen is still on its training wheels.
Bloody noisy, back of house, too noisy for me: obnoxious, glass-cutting voices nearby; but we ate very well.
I was having dinner with good friends Dan and Nancy - not seen in too long, and who, despite my hermit-like, contact-avoidance behaviour of late, were still prepared to come out to Brooklyn from the West Village. Dan was born in Brooklyn, though, so it wasn't as traumatic as it might have been. And everyone knows that Manhattan is boring by comparison.
I was expecting Italian at 457 so was very surprised to be guided to this place which is now...Teutonic. About face: I ate spargel..Spargel! Visions of grey fields in May in Germany. Mein Gott. White asparagus, scrupulously trimmed, with egg sunny side up and the most luscious, soft, melty ham. And a cabbage salad with walnut oil and just enough vinegar. Nancy had braised beef, Dan also ate the asparagus. Oh, and we started with one of those plates that are so delicious: various kinds of pig: sausaged, smoked, cured, pate-ed. With pickled cucumbers and a gherkin. Pretzels arrived. Brown bread with excellent butter.
We talked about Egypt, which they just visited (how funny Egypt Air's First Class is, where seats don't go flat - I wish I knew how funny it is...), and food - Dan made pesto with his first roof tarragon, and they ate it with with chicken; and Vince, and plans, work...and an upcoming trip to India to look at a quartzite quarry, 150 miles long, for stone cladding a new building.
I was introduced to one of the Frankies on the way out.
But the drink. Loganberry liqueur, tequila, agave, but I should have gone with gin and elderflower something. And I hate cocktails served with little straws. I grew up a long time ago. I'm not twelve. Next time I'll ask. Shaken, strained, poured, Arcticly cold. How I like them. Not over chipped ice.
We shared a strudel which did not resemble the strudels we know - Jewish strudel - said Nancy, who earlier had said, I remember you like to drink, you're a real shiksa.
Guilty...But I like the Yiddish. I grew up with a lot of Yiddish words, introduced into the family argot by friends, and it feels like home. Insult or not...
Anyway, The Strudel We Know: the rolled kind, in thin pastry, with lots of fruit, yes? This was more like cake. Shortbread, apples, cream. One of the Frankies' fathers had been out from the Black Forest teaching them Black Forest baking. Also on offer, Linzertorte and a Quark cheesecake.
I'll be back.