As I said, Cathy and I went up to NYC for WhiskyFest a week ago. We caught an afternoon train and got to the Marriott Marquis just in time to check in and run for a cab to get down to Union Square Cafe for dinner with the rest of the staff. Good thing we ran: we clocked up $6 just getting around the block! (The effect of the economy on the theater district seemed to be minimal...though I'm sure someone could argue that (probably won't, though, now that the election's over...) On down to Union Square!
Always a fun time going out with the Malt Advocate staff. The beer list, as mentioned earlier, was not deep, though I was able to alternate between the wholly acceptable Anchor Steam and Allagash White, depending on what I was eating. The wine types had an Italian white that they were apparently quite happy with. Cathy got a gnocchi appetizer that was quite good, a new standard for gnocchi for me (I love gnocchi, and now I love it even more). I got a plate of five cheeses (about an ounce of each), three of which were quite nice. My entree was a tough choice, but I finally got the branzino. It was quite yum.
Dinner broke up and it was a question: go to the hotel, go out for drinks around the hotel, catch the L train to Brooklyn and go to Spuyten Duyvil and Barcade, or go to dba. I'll go to dba, I told John, if Ray Deter's there. So John gets out the cell, calls Ray, and bingo, we were in a cab for dba: me, John, Cathy, and Jim McGinley (you may remember Jim from our Fado exploits). We grabbed a table by the front and got beers.
I got Ridgeway Bitter, which was just grand. Then Ray showed up and started pulling out beers. The first thing he did was throw on a small keg of Taras Boulba (from the De La Senne brewery), a beer the BAs have been frothing about and I'd been interested in trying. I got my wish, and was soon wishing I could have stuck with the Ridgeway. I thought the TB was thin, flatly bitter, and astringent; I'm hoping it's better in the bottle. The next one he brought out, Stouterik (also from De La Senne (did Dan Shelton just come to town?), finally did send me back to the Ridgeway for one last one: the Stouterik was, again, astringent, and uninteresting. We did have a great time talking and getting caught up -- long time since I'd hung out with Ray -- and finally got back to the hotel about 1:30.
Tuesday morning we met Thomas's godfather and namesake Tom Curtin for breakfast and a ton of conversation and catch-up (I'm godfather to Tom's son Michael Augustine), and then we got this shot.
We walked a couple more blocks with TC, then he peeled off for work, and Cathy and I went to M&M World. I love me some M&Ms, and it was a fun few minutes, especially when Cathy got into the M&M Analyzer and it told her that her color was "Silver" and that her outer shell was soft and needed re-structuring. (My color was "Green," by the way, and my energy is contagious. So watch out for my energy, baby.)
Hmmm...running out of battery. Guess it's not contagious for laptops. More later.