Cue bi-annual blog post, it seems.
It’s now Feb. 5, 2014, and time doesn’t seem to be letting up. Already, this year has been filled with more work than I can shake a stick at, along with regular ol’ life living. At Wine Enthusiast, we’ve completed our awesome 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations issue and our March *mumblemumble* (news at a later date). On a personal freelance-level, my non-wine-related musings are being published on the Interwebs at RoamRight and Shermans, so that’s happy-making, but damn, I could use a breather. I’ve been living in NYC now for a hot minute (three years this August) and boy-howdy, this city really knows how to kick you in the ass.
Not to complain or nothin’, but I relish the opportunity to take a break and get out of Dodge once in a while. A New Year trip up to Burlington, Vermont was not only necessary and all kinds of relaxing, but it pushed my gluttonous limits to the brink. Farm-fresh everything, everywhere, all of the time: Vermont, you know how to do it up. My two favorite meals of 2013 came in under the wire: Hen of the Wood at Hotel Vermont and Café Shelburne just a few minutes outside of town really, really wanted me to bust my belt. It was nothing but oysters and goose; housemade tinctures and mixes; impeccable service at a reasonable cost for MILES.
Let’s not forget to mention the other insane meals and drinks I’ve had upon my return. I predict many fun times over disco-infused sips at The Golden Cadillac in the East Village, while All’onda inspires with its Japanese-inflected Venetian fare. And then, of course, are my adventures through the Boroughs. Bartending on Saturdays has introduced me to the pleasures popping up in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill, namely Emily‘s wood-burning oven, while a short jaunt into a spot of no man’s land on Metropolitan Avenue yields Bún-Ker, hands down the best Vietnamese food in town. Of course, Xi’an Famous Foods‘ gummy, chili-rich noodles have been keeping the worst of Winter’s chill away. The return of Downton Abbey, in the meantime, has inspired the SO and myself to cook up some epic Brit-grub, because Motherland. We’re talking fish pies and beef Wellington alongside happily full glasses of Cognac and Bordeaux, enough to make the Dowager proud of Mrs. Patmore.
And yes, I do intend to follow through on my promise of filling this blog up, but only as soon as I can digest/process the food and drink that I just swallowed. Sit back. It may be awhile.