It’s time to put some sauce into Sauced. Last night I took an unplanned ramble with the usual suspects through the bars of New York. This happy foray was prompted by unseasonably warm temperatures (high of 46!) and visitors in town, leading us to explore beyond our normal haunts.
We discovered, to our delight, a treasure trove of food and drink inspiration. Finding food gems in New York is like picking a four-leaf clover, a mix of careful searching and happy chance.
Our first stop, fittingly, was Clover Club. At first glance, it’s just another sleek Manhattan cocktail temple, transplanted to Smith Street. But after a snagging fireside booth in the turn-of-the-century mahogany bar, I was intrigued. By my first sip of the potent cocktails, I was smitten. Our favorite finds:
*Pear-Jalapeno Margarita: This gorgeous elixir of tequila, lemon, pear and jalapeno syrup sipped oh so smooth, and then snuck in a twist of heat. As our eyes widened in surprise, Judy and I mentally added jalapeno syrup to our cocktail repertoire.
*Fried Oyster Po’ Boy: These deep fried briny beauties were piled on a buttery bun with frisee lettuce and Old Bay remoulade. Yes, oh good God, yes!
*Mini Martini Glasses: I was totally taken with my drink presentation, poured half in a delicate little thimble of a glass, with the other half nestled in a carafe of crushed ice. I need to find a set for my dinner parties.
Next, to The Redhead, an East Village restaurant/bar best known for its bacon peanut brittle. I was skeptical of the restaurant’s obligatory edge and seasonal menu, but was pleasantly surprised by several flavor combinations.
*Bacon Peanut Brittle: There’s no way that this flavor mashup – nuts, syrup, cayenne, thyme, and bacon – could be bad. But the end result was more like honey roasted peanuts than the bacon-laden clusters I had imagined. We can do better… and you know we’re going to try.
*Wild Mushroom Flatbread: Now this is a dish with a high potential for mediocrity. But throw marscapone, parmesan, thyme and duck prosciutto on a delicate crust with farmers market mushrooms and you have a winner. This combo will definitely be making an appearance on my summer pizzas.