“Time is the longest distance between two places.”—words by Tennessee Williams. With this holiday season upon us, I recall the fondest times at my family’s Thanksgiving dinners in Atlanta, Georgia.
And last Saturday, I was connected to that place and time through the enchanting ambiance at Salumeria Rosi on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I instantly felt like I was home at my Mom’s kitchen table—down south.
Catch it if you can at www.salumeriarosinyc.com
A weekly celebration for me is a chocolate treat at Kruether Handcrafted Chocolate. Kreuther is a chocolate bar where I take pleasure in exquisite pieces of chocolate confections and drink a cup of rich coffee while gazing at Bryant Park.
I came upon Kreuther, located at the Grace Building, 43 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036, as I was walking to the New York Public Library in Midtown Manhattan. Since then, whenever I have been writing in the Rose Room, I stroll to Kreuther afterwards.
What fun there is in knowing Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolates are near.
P.S. You can also shop online.
Catch it if you can at www.kreutherchocolate.com
Last Thursday, I met with my friend Michelle for a late lunch at Till & Sprocket, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. We both ordered the same: Beet Caprese (sliced red beets, fresh mozzarella and pistachio pesto) with Salmon. It was superb. The salmon was grilled to perfection, the beets were sweet and hearty. The special part was seeing my dear friend, sharing pictures of her family in North Carolina and my family in Georgia. We were two contented Southern girls enjoying the sun with a marvelous meal at Till & Sprocket.
Catch it if you can at www.tillandsprocket.com
I remember reading The Grapes of Wrath in college. This week I started it again. John Steinbeck’s lyrical novel of the motion of the winds, the rain and the unsettling of the sun brought me close to Harvey…with the devastation of the hurricane in Houston, Texas. While reading The Grapes of Wrath, I was reminded that the dust does fly away and the sunlight breaks through again.
“When June was half gone, the big clouds moved up out of Texas and the Gulf, high heavy clouds, rain-heads. The men in the fields looked up at the clouds and sniffed at them and held wet fingers up to sense the wind. And the horses were nervous while the clouds were up. The rain-heads dropped a little spattering and hurried on to some other country. Behind them the sky was pale again and the sun flared. In the dust there were drop craters where the rain had fallen, and there were clean splashes on the corn, and that was all.
“A gentle wind followed the rain clouds, driving them on northward, a wind that softly clashed the drying corn. A day went by and the wind increased, steady, unbroken by gusts. The dust from the roads fluffed up and spread out and fell on the weeds beside the fields, and fell into the fields a little way. Now the wind grew strong and hard and it worked at the rain crust in the corn fields. Little by little the sky was darkened by mixing dust, and the wind felt over the earth, loosened the dust, and carried it away. The wind grew stronger. The rain crust broke and the dust lifted up out of the fields and drove gray plumes into the air like sluggish smoke. The corn threshed the wind and made a dry, rushing sound. The finest dust did not settle back to earth now, but disappeared into the darkening sky.
“The wind grew stronger, whisked under stones, carried up straws and old leaves, and even little clods, marking its course as it sailed across the fields. The air and the sky darkened and through them the sun shone redly, and there was a raw sting in the air. During a night the wind raced faster over the land, dug cunningly among the rootlets of the corn, and the corn fought the wind with its weakened leaves until the roots were freed by the prying wind and then each stalk settled wearily sideways toward the earth and pointed the direction of the wind.”
Her laughter was unforgettable, her smile was sunshine, and her crab cakes were to live for. That’s how I remember my Aunt Vivie. When I would visit her at her home in the quaint seaside town of Cape May, New Jersey, summer days meant running on the beach, returning to her comfy yellow house and sitting at the kitchen table for scrambled eggs, buttery biscuits and scrumptious crab cakes for breakfast. Although Aunt Vivie passed away years ago, her exuberance for life still remains with me.
These memories were evoked recently on a beautiful spring day. Walking in Park Slope, I came upon Café Dada at 57 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217. I decided I would have an iced coffee and write. And while there, I looked at the menu, and saw Crab Cakes served with purple cabbage slaw. I instantly thought of my sweet Aunt Vivie and the breezy days of Cape May.
I was not disappointed. My Crab Cakes were light, fluffy and exquisite. I enjoyed my meal. I heard children playing outside, and one was a little girl. Her melodious voice brought nostalgia mixed with nature’s present joy.
Catch it if you can at www.cafedadany.com
Posted in American Comfort Food, Brooklyn, Cafes, Cape May, Crab Cakes, French-Hungarian, Park Slope Restaurants, Wine Bar
Tagged American Comfort Food, Authentic French, Cape May, Crab Cakes, Park Slope Restaurants, Wine Bar
I had another adventure in downtown Manhattan last week. I was walking on West 8th Street when I came upon See’s Candies. It is the kind of unexpected delight I adore, a chocolate castle of sweets.
After long hours of working on the book I’m writing, it’s always a dark chocolate treat I give myself.
See’s Candies is new in New York City, located at 60 West 8th Street, NYC, 10011. The American-made high quality chocolates got their beginning in Los Angeles and South San Francisco. Three of my favorites are:
- Almond Royal
- Premium Extra Dark Chocolate Bars
- Dark Peppermint
The space is small and cozy, the staff is extraordinarily nice, and the ambience is like a sunny day in Georgia. Of course, gazing at the many varieties of super delicious chocolates at See’s Candies is sure to make me smile no matter the weather outside.
Catch it if you can at http://www.sees.com
After weathering the Sixth Avenue traffic and a long meeting in Midtown’s Bryant Park neighborhood, I came upon Coffeemania (1065 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10018). I thought I would chill out over a warm cup of coffee, and yet as soon as I walked in—I felt like I’d stepped into an Alfred Hitchcock movie. The outside décor gives the appearance of a coffee shop. The inside is another story. The mystery is the restaurant’s simple elegance, where the experience is grand in small details. It’s not just the friendliness of the hostess, the gracious servers, or the beautiful flowers on the tables. It’s the confluence of all three, cocooned within the smooth chimes of melodies from the soundtrack and the contemporary, warm-oak style of the spacious restaurant.
Even observing the motion of the barista making my coffee was relaxing, and it was worth the wait. Coffeemania’s coffee was rich and supremely delicious. I ordered my dessert and imagined that the poet and playwright Alexander Pushkin could have sat in the leather booth, talking to admirers in the 21st century.
My sweet Pannochka (hazelnut cake with butter coca cream) arrived and jolted me from my reverie. I savored each bite enjoying a taste of Coffeemania’s cuisine, which surely will become a classic in Manhattan.
Catch it if you can at www.coffeemaniaNYC.com