After the show Pee Wee hangs out and does meet-and-greets with VIP guests (ahem). He stays in wardrobe and makeup and does not break character. Ever. Later we were passing by the stage door on our way to a late dinner as he exited the theater. Still in full Pee Wee mode he came out with a bullhorn yelling and joking with his fans. Brilliant.
Will start in a giant semi-derelict warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I plan to attend noon mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. My evening will be spent watching the new Pee Wee Herman show on Broadway.
We all have those friends who send out the family newsletter as a holiday card each year. I rather enjoy those, as my friends tend to be interesting. I’ll provide you with several out of context quotes from the first year-end family recap I received this year:
At this time, the B***** family would like to wish all of you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving
…because on 11/22 (yesterday) I received another visit from law enforcement and I was served papers entitled: “summons and notice of forfeiture action”.
Yesterday’s contact with law enforcement was the first contact of any type since my arrest on 9/9
The reason I was planning an email for today is twofold: (1) to send my annual holiday greetings, and (2) to solicit your assistance…
Also, as promised, I will always update you when I am indicted (criminal case) and also when court dates are set.
Going to have to speak to the wife about this, but I think our Christmas Card list might have just gone down by one.
My tailor, Mohan, is a good man. He’s made me half a dozen suits over the years, and recently sewed my wedding suit. He did a beautiful job, and he never mentions my steadily increasing dimensions. A discreet gentleman of the old school.
Mohan and his son, KJ, were just featured in a segment on The Millionaire Matchmaker. My wife was amused, I was horrified.
Finally had the burger over at the “new” Minetta yesterday. It was just as delicious as advertised. The key really was the flavor of the meat, which was outstanding. The strong but not overpowering beefiness stems largely from the perfect ratio of short rib meat. The delicious patty was almost exactly the size and shape of a hockey puck. That’s fine, but for twenty six dollars I would have preferred to feel a little fuller after finishing. Not looking for some obnoxious man vs. food monsterburger here, just something that fills your hand a bit more.
The presentation was acceptable. Again, for the price I might have liked more than a piece of watery tomato on iceberg lettuce and a pickle wedge out of a jar. The fries were fine, but far from great. Sort of the lowest acceptable level of frite you would accept in a bistro. Better than you get most places but leaving plenty of room for improvement. The burger came dressed with carmelized onions which complimented the meat nicely. I might have appreciated them more had I not also had better carmelized onions on a pizza at Veloce yesterday and in an omelet at Diner in Williamsburg the day before. It all came served on a brioche roll which managed to stand up to the burger, but just barely. I ate the last few bites with a knife and fork by necessity, not choice.
I like my meat, and I like it rare. One walks a fine line with hamburgers, though, where it is acceptable to order yours medium. After a lengthy discussion with the waiter I determined that was the correct temperature to request. He turned out to be correct, as even cooked medium a stream of red juice leaked out at the first bite. Ordered even medium rare, this burger would be a disaster. The patty was a thing of delicacy, packed just tightly enough to hold together but giving a sense of almost airiness, if that makes sense. This lightness represents everything that is both right and wrong with the entire dining experience at Minetta. As much as I enjoyed the burger, I’ll never set foot in that restaurant again.
Full disclosure: I was a regular at the old Minetta Tavern, before McNally took it over and Disneyfied it. The Minetta was a rare old gem, a neighborhood Italian restaurant and bar in an area that had long since ceased being a neighborhood. Quietly holding out on a block full of frat bars, falafel joints and tattoo parlors one stepped through the doors and encountered the same room that was there in the 1930’s. A tired old kitchen still cranked out traditional plates like homemade tagliatelle with rabbit. A gentleman of Albanian stock named Taka owned the place. He had some shady connections but hey, so do I. We got along famously. I was crushed when he sold out, but for the price he got I understand.
I held off from visiting until I was able to do so without malice. I truly did go there with an open mind, and had all gone well I would have forgiven the transgression and added the new Minetta to my regular rotation. I still enjoy McNally’s other joints, particularly Balthazaar. One must accept change and lost tradition as a fact of life in New York City; I can and do. Minetta, however, aims for and hits right in the middle. It wants to look like an old neighborhood joint and does so. If that’s what you want to be great, but don’t charge twenty-six bucks for a hamburger. If the toll for the food is that lumpy then get it the hell right. Give me a bright green leaf of arugula, a slice of beefsteak tomato and some good damned fries. If you need help I can send you to a dozen places that make them better without thinking very hard. The cocktails are another fine example of the failings here. I have no issue paying fifteen dollars for a bellini. Hell, they get eighteen for that drink at Cipriani and I’ve knocked back half a dozen at a sitting there. The difference is that Cipriani gives you a glass that tastes like an angel came in it and Minetta serves you flat champagne and canned juice.
It’s fine to aim high, but if so you need to get it right. Minetta Tavern fails in the end. I won’t begrudge you for going to try the burger; it really does taste great. If you become a regular there, however, you just aint my type of person.
Frightening how excited I am about making a nice ragu tomorrow. I have three pounds of rough ground Wagyu beef, yellow onions, garlic, carrots, olive oil, sea salt and san marzano tomatoes.
The best part is when the sauce has been simmering for a few hours and is almost done. I test it by tearing off chunks of fresh mozzarella and dunking them til they just start to melt. Pull em out and pop the melty mozarella and hot meat sauce mixture on a bit of ciabatta. Insert in mouth.
In Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain goes on at great length about the foolishness of grinding Kobe Beef. As with most of his writing the piece is entertaining, controversial, and largely incorrect.
Yes the way the fat marbles is the easiest way to judge a good piece of beef and Japanese beef, be it certified Kobe or Wagyu stock raised elsewhere, holds a higher standard than any other variety. Grinding this type of beef eliminates the advantage of properly distributed fat. However the fat distribution is merely one aspect of Japanese beef and most definitely not the most important one. More telling is the flavor of the meat itself. Diet and breeding have conspired to give these varieties a deep, earthy taste. Almost like a fine mushroom at times.
Bourdain sold books and felt smugly superior to the heathens who ate this stuff. Butchers need to do something with their scraps, however, and my Japanese guy trims his ends, grinds them freshly for me and sells it cheap. Tomorrow I’ll use some freshly ground cuts of Kobe as the base for a san marzano ragu sauce and not worry too much about what Bourdain has to say about it.
Wifey: “You know, there is an event over at Greenhouse tonight. Supposed to be an amazing DJ and open bar.”
I have always taken pains to take advantage of everything the city has to offer, but think I’ll take a pass tonight. Yesterday ended with me and my cousin slamming glasses of shoju in a basement karaoke bar in Koreatown. Work was a slog today. Probably better to take a pass tonight.
We have discovered something very unsettling. Our beloved little Momo has the demonstrable ability to sense the precise moment I am about to orgasm. It’s scary. The last half dozen times I have just started tilting forward over the edge of the cliff he starts barking viciously. Moe never barks under any other circumstances. The result knocks me back on my heels, figuratively. He absolutely nails the moment every time. Those fuckers are perceptive.
Great game, and one which pretty much sums up the state of the Browns right now. They are a good team. Of their six losses, they have been competitive in five of them. I like the fact that they are a physical team. The Jets are going to feel this one tomorrow. I love Peyton Hillis and hope to watch him for years to come. I love Colt McCoy, he has what they call “football I.Q.”. The man knows the game and shows great promise. We just might have a quarterback, finally. Brian Daboll, the offensive coordinator, is good and getting better. He was outcoached in the second half but I hope they stick with him as he is learning. I also hope they stick with Mangini. His biggest flaw is also his biggest strength, which is his self-confidence. The difference in this game was the failed onside kick attempt after the Browns first possession. The Jets have started out very slowly on offense all season, why give them great field position on the first drive? That being said, had Joe Haden played it well the Browns recover the ball and perhaps win the game.
What sticks in my throat, however, was the shot of Nick Folk gloating when the Jets won in overtime. They won despite you, asshole, not because of you. You missed three field goals today you fucking jackass. One was difficult, another was very makeable and the third was a gimme. Kickers barely qualify as football players to begin with, and are only allowed to celebrate when they kick a game-winner. When you shank three balls wide right you should shut the fuck up and sneak off the field quietly you kick-missing, ball-shanking, half a fag, fake football playing, half a step above the towel boy, most likely European, non groupie getting, might as well be Jeff Reed, piece of shit motherfucker.