Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year's Eve and Day

Going through the process of finding another place to live turns one's brain to a gooey, drippy mess.

In the 13 years of living in our same place, moving always came up, and the cost-benefit analysis (along with sheer inertia) kept us planted where we were. But no more. It's time to stop staring at crappy hardwood floors and "weathered" walls; hearing EVERYONE come in and out of the apartment building, with the accompanying doors and gates slamming; and it's time to not live below what sounds like a gaggle of apes playing with a football.

Thank all that is holy. It's time to live like adults.

Two meals, one to close out a REALLY shitty year and one to open a new one.

New Year's Eve "Feast Of The One Fish" with 2008 Gaston-Chiquet Special Club Brut

Food: Jacques Pepin brandade. Salt cod, more celery root than potato, almond milk, garlic, cayenne, pecorino, etc. Served with charred bread. Mustard-ized ($10) asparagus for veg, and it's been too long because they were freakin' delicious. Everything was delicious. Silky texture with the brandade. One of the top batches ever made in this (soon-to-not-be-our) house. Perfect balance between the celery root lightness and meatiness of the salt cod, with the almond milk lending a wee touch of nutty goodness. Just a great bite of food on perfectly charred bread. Great way to close out this year's silliness.

Wine: $58 Special Club from Vin in Barrington. This one is also available at Binny's (!). We got three and need three more, because this one has a LONG life ahead. Barely any fruit right now, just fireworks-like minerals everywhere. It's chalky, it's lean, it's a bit floral and it's all sorts of awesome. This one might turn out to be one of our Champagne threads over the next ten years.

Pairing: Wasn't perfect, yet somehow that made it better. Brandade isn't an ideal pairing accompaniment with Champagne, but we found loads of goodness "in this corner, and that corner, and over here and over there." And super with the asparagus. Overall, top-notch, TOP-NOTCH!

New Year's Day Hoppin' John with 2010 Antica Terra Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Food: Sean Brock Hoppin' John - New Year's good luck food, with 12 green grapes as well - from his Heritage: A Cookbook, page 16, over Anson Mills Carolina Gold rice (we're out and gotta git mo - can't live without that now...). Sean Brock shortcut collard greens mixed with mustard greens and pomegranate seeds. Pan gravy to dribble over all the goodness, and this was good. Subtle, but a subtlety that PER-SISTED all the way down and well after swallowing. This isn't our food, but nice to have once a year (or every other).

Wine: I'm not a red Burgundy expert. Too spendy for us. But blind, this is what a damn good red Burgundy tastes like, with teeny-tiny wisps of New World sun. PLENTY of earth in about five forms, with integrated, pretty fruit, and lil pops of roses all the way down. Hell, I thought I tasted a little truffle at one point. A beautiful wine. Really, quite beautiful. We forget sometimes that Good red wine is Really Good.

Pairing: The wine was the star, as it was all class. But this one weaved into the subtlety in the food and didn't bully, didn't demand things. It only took what was offered and gave all it could with each bite and sip.

Now, we need word on our apartment today or my head is going to explode.

Anything yet?  

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