(photo via mehallo.com)
We went to one of my favorite restaurants, Buttermilk Channel in Carroll Gardens, a couple of weeks ago. They’re well-known for their chicken and waffles, among other dishes (such as their pecan pie sundae).
(photo via thepuddingmag.com)
Brooklyn has seen a wave of friend chicken joints spring up in the last few years, but I think Buttermilk Channel is still one of the best.
On the drink menu, I was quite thrilled to see that they carried Aaron Burr cider. As I explained in an earlier post, this is small-batch, hard to find, premium stuff. I ordered a bottle of the “Mamakating Hollow” Homestead Cider and the server actually seemed a bit impressed.
This was some of the best-tasting cider I’ve had in a long while. I’m fully on the bandwagon here; this stuff is absolutely delicious and satisfying.
After dinner, we went to Gowanus Ballroom to see an installation by West Coast artist Colin Bowring. I had gotten an email promoting his show. I usually ignore those emails, but my interest was piqued when I read that Bowring specialized in creating light shows. I’m a pretty big light show fan. I think Chris Kuroda, Phish’s lighting director, does some really nice work. Last summer, we saw James Turrell’s Aten Reign at the Guggenheim museum. I even got to see the Joshua Light Show perform “Fulldome” at the Museum of Natural History once.
The show turned out to be pretty cool. We arrived the last night of the exhibition about an hour before closing, so it was pretty empty (we were told the opening had over 100 people). Colin personally walked us through his whole show; he had a friendly, goofy demeanor (he was wearing a wizard hat) and was obviously enthusiastic about his work.
The whole show had a kitchen-sink, low-tech charm to it. It was kind of like a tour through an interactive children’s science museum with Bowring acting as a Willy Wonka-ish guide.
We stuffed ourselves inside a giant weather balloon while he shined a light refracted through a prism at the surface. We also played around with a smoke machine, a custom-built smoke ring launcher, and a laser harmonograph. It felt like we were going to open a portal to a new dimension. The whole night was a feast for all 5 (6?) senses.
More recently, we found ourselves back at TØRST. They always have some interesting ciders and beers stocked, so we ordered a bottle at random. We ended up selecting a bottle of Valveran Sparkling Cider from Spain.
From their website:
Using select apples from their orchard, el Rebollar, Valveran has refined the traditional Asturian cider to produce a sparkling and frost cider.
…Valveran has implemented modern techniques, using only temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks, and fermenting in underground cellars in the complete absence of light and vibration. The sparkling cider is then introduced to a secondary fermentation in the traditional champagne style, after which it matures for a minimum of 9 months on wooden lees, and is then disgorged without freezing the bottle.
The cider was very champagne-like. It was also very tart. I can handle cider on the sour side, but my companion wasn’t really a fan. I ended up having to drink 3/4 of the bottle myself. Even for me, the stuff was sour; a real fist-clenching blast to the palate. But by the end of the bottle I ended up…not necessarily enjoying the cider, but I had come to respect it. It had complexity, and I’d even go so far as to say it had integrity. But I’m probably not going to order it again.
It was kind of a drag because the bartender strongly recommended we try the Lapinette cider, which was available by the glass. But I had to turn down the offer, I was cidered out after drinking 500ml of the Valveran. Next time (UPDATE: We eventually did try the Lapinette and enjoyed it, read all about it here).
That same night, we ate a Five Leaves in Greenpoint. It’d been a while since we’d gone there and the food was outstanding. I couldn’t help but note they had a decent cider selection as well. I was intrigued by the Bad Seed Barrel Aged cider, but I couldn’t take another 750ml to the gut that night. I would’ve even waved away a free Aaron Burr at that point.
Finally, we tried Dear Bushwick for dinner last week. They also had an impressive selection of ciders, including two varieties of Aspall.
I should mention that Five Leaves also has a shandy on their menu, they use Sprite in theirs.