Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Mel Kind of Night

Friday night was a Mel kind of night.

I met Michael in midtown at TG Whitneys - a good after work hang out with 2-for-1 beers and well drinks during happy hour.

We finished our drinks and decided we needed to sample the Spiked Arnold Palmer at Lure Fishbar. I have been trying to re-create the delicious drink at home and something has been missing. Watching them make the drink and tasting it again we knew would help to pin down the recipe.

Unfortunately, we didn't get the same bartender and we kind of struck out. The first round of drinks, the bartender didn't even muddle the mint. The mint was just barely torn and thrown in to the bottom of the glass. The drink was good - but a far cry from our first taste a few weeks ago. I ordered one more and I really should have sent it back. It was too strong to drink. The alcohol was completely overbearing and the subtle flavors of mint, tea, and lemon were lost. It was a shame. If this was the first time I had ordered that drink I would never get it again. Lesson learned, when you find a drink you like have the same bartender make it for you. Drink mixing is an art form and a true master has a touch that cannot be duplicated.

After a light snack of crab cakes (lots of real crab and a light crunchy topping) and lobster croutons (cold chopped lobster on small rectangles of bread toasted and rubbed with garlic) we paid our tab and headed to a new bakery on the lower eastside.

It was a nice night so we walked (and walked) through Little Italy and a bit of Chinatown. The neighboorhoods are so interesting in that part of town. There is no grid system to the streets - it is easy to get turned around. There is a strange mix of commercial and residential. Compared to our neighborhood the streets are very quiet. The stores and restaurants are all closed at the night and there are no corner markets. You know there are things happening behind some of the closed doors - but you aren't a part of it.

Mel found this new bakery and I wanted to sample the baked goods.

Baby Cakes, a vegan bakery. They offered a variety of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes. Everything was either gluten free or made with spelt. And surprisingly for all of the things they don't use to make baked goods (dairy, sugar, eggs) the cupcakes and brownies were delicious. Sorry, no shipping available - I asked.

After Baby Cakes we headed to Bondi Bar.

Although we were presented with the drink menu - our choice was easy. Tooheys New please!

Can you spot the infamous blue drink?

Below is a scan of their menu. You use a pencil to check off your dinner items. We had been snacking all night, we decided to keep it light. We tried the garlic prawns (delicious in a garlic white wine broth) and we had to have the chips (french fries). The fries are dipped in some kind of batter- they are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Best fries in NYC!