Gatherings of Foodies
There’s nothing wrong with eating alone. Heck, I’ve never understood the concern about drinking alone either. When you are alone, it allows you to be much more mindful and present in the activity.
For those concerned about other people’s sobriety, I’m much more likely to get inadvertently tipsy when I’m in the company of others, and paying little attention to how many times my cup is filled. But when I’m on my own, I might sit in quiet contemplation of a glass of whiskey for an hour, before going to bed.
That said, there is no denying the communal nature of eating. It’s there as far back as our hunting and gathering ancestors. It’s there at the dawn of civilization as we learned to farm. And it is still deeply ingrained in our culture today.
When hunters would kill a large beast, you would need a village to help you consume it. In some ways, that heritage still exists today, but in a slightly different form. For example, if I wanted to make a turducken, I best assemble a posse to help me eat that monster.
Groups of eaters can be good for other purposes too. If you go out to eat with a group, you can try a larger swath of a restaurant’s menu, and that is always fun. But even if a large group eats exactly the same thing, say at a communal dinner, there is something special about the shared experience. Much like how a movie can feel like a bigger deal in the theater than when enjoyed at home. It’s not just about the size of the screen. It’s about the feeling of a room full of people laughing together at the same funny moment.
Food can bring us together. And that’s more important now than ever. So, what am I doing about it?
For starters, there was the outing to Persian Bite this week. That was a lot of fun, and thanks to everyone who showed up. We put together a table of six. Another person had to come a little late, but dropped by the table to say hi and took an order to go. And I have a feeling there was at least another person or two who came based on the story.
It was great to see this delicious Iranian business getting some local love.
Saturday, I’m taking part in another special event. A bunch of food bloggers are getting together to celebrate the Chinese New Year at Ala Shanghai. Really, I wish I could take you all with me. But at a table of 10, there just isn’t enough room.
Perhaps one of these days, I’ll have to revisit putting together a much larger meal for the entire FLB community. It’s been years since we have done an FLB dinner there. We are long overdue.
But there is a much larger public event on the horizon that I wanted to bring to your attention as well. The only reason I’m writing about it today is because I just bought my ticket to The City Beer Hall’s Wild Game Night.
My plan was to buy a ticket as soon as the event was announced, because I didn’t want to miss it. I have such faith in the culinary team of Dimitrios and Ian that I was ready to plunk down $70 for a menu sight unseen.
I don’t expect others to share my blind trust in these two chefs, but fortunately they just released the menu. Just to make sure you see it, I’m going to copy and paste it right here. I have reformatted a bit to fit better into the space below.
Rushing Duck & Finback Breweries Wild Game Night
February 20, 2017
Rushing Duck Brux IPA | Brux yeast fermented IPA with pink peppercorn
Ono Tiradito* | frisee, fresno pepper, tangerine, compressed chayote
Finback The Sun is too Bright | Gose aged in red wine barrels
Elk Carpaccio | cabernet tomato tartare, beau soleil oyster emulsion, watercress, preserved blood orange, blood orange marmalade
Alternative Facts Belgian Ale | City Beer Hall, Rushing Duck, and Finback collaboration Belgian strong ale brewed with juniper, and aged on cedar
Grilled Emu | smoked juniper brown butter, cinnamon cap mushroom, sunchoke, black walnut
Rushing Duck Dead Moroz | Russian imperial stout
Venison Sega Wat** | berbère, thrice cooked yams, injera
Finback Echelon | Double IPA brewed with yuzu and spruce tips
Pavlova*** | mature spruce pavlova, triple cream custard, yuzu coulis
*tiradito is a peruvian ceviche that was influenced by the Japanese immigrants. The fish is not fully cooked from the acidity and is more similar like sashimi.
**sega wat is Ethiopian lamb stew, this is an interpretation using venison. Berbère is a spicy condiment used in Ethiopian cooking. Injera is fermented teff flatbread which is served with most meals.
***pavlova is a meringue based dessert from New Zealand that was named in honor of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova during one of her tours in the 1920’s.
You can see who is already going at the event’s Facebook page. I’m there. And here is the link where you can buy your ticket. The $70 includes tax and tip, which is nice. But if you buy it online, there’s a $5 service fee. Or you could just go to the bar and buy tickets there.
Whatever you do, I suggest you do it quickly before this sells out. The menu looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try their Ethiopian plate. The pavlova is speaking to me too. Something about triple cream custard and yuzu really lights me up.
Hope to see you on February 20 at The City Beer Hall. And if not there, maybe we can eat together soon. I have it under good authority the Yelp Third Thursday Tavern Time will be gathering at 20 North in Schenectady on February 16. The FLB winter tour should be coming up soon too. I suppose I’ll have to think about what that will be. It’s not a democracy, but if you wanted to send over your ideas, I’d certainly consider them.
Have a great Super Bowl weekend. Don’t forget the buffalo doughnuts. And pace yourself. Remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.