Road Trip – New York

One day every quarter, some of the best and brightest digital marketers from my company and our digital advertising agencies meet in NYC to review what each other have been doing and bring in some outside speakers to enlighten us even further.  That day was yesterday and it was a very good and productive meeting organized by Vaughn, Pam, Adam, Matt, Marcelle & et al.  After the meeting, Everyday Health, a large digital health care advertising network sponsored a reception for attendees. 

Everyday Health - Spread Platter

Everyday Health - Veggie Platter

It was actually very impressive what the caterer pulled off in the small space the reception  was held in.  There were two food stations, one with bruschetta and hummus spreads plus grapes and three different cheeses – blue, brie and cheddar (left photo) and veggies, dip, olives,  more grape and cheeses – goat, Parmesan and Swiss (right photo).

In addition to the fixed stations, the staff from ScooziEventsNYC  passed plated appetizers to the hungry company and agency folks.  I managed to get shots a few of the decorated plates from the very cooperative staff that must of thought very strange things of me as I took photos in the middle of the reception. (What I do for my art. LOL)

Mini Lobster Sandwiches - Appetizers

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On the left are Mini Lobster Sandwiches and on the right are Mini Crab Cakes.  The lobster sandwiches had a nice ratio of lobster to mayo to celery allowing the sweetness of the lobster to come thru.  The mini crab cake also had a nice ratio of crab to bread crumb.  The little dollop of what I thought was horseradish cream was a delicate touch that finished the crab cake nicely. Both of these were very nice seafood appetizers  and very well presented.

Mini Mac'n' Cheese appetizers  Mini Neapolitan Caprice

Two other appetizers  I enjoyed and were able to capture with my camera were the mini Mac ‘n’ Cheese and the mini Neapolitan Caprice.  The Mini Mac ‘n’ Cheese were bit size morsel of the classic kids food. Very cheesy but with a enough texture to make it interesting.  The Mini Neapolitan Caprice appetizers were layered mini sandwiches of sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese with a dot of aged balsamicvery tasty.  I didn’t get photos of the Kobe beef mini burger and the shrimp appetizers but both were worthy of note and inclusion if you decide to use this caterer.

Net – net it was a very enjoyable reception with a focus on mini version of classic foods.  Personally, I like this approach and the caterer executed it very well.  Good food, good drinks and good company – a great combination.

ScooziEventsNYC  Contact Gianluca Ballarini – 212-799-0080

After the reception, I joined Facebook Friend and San Francisco Agency honcho Barbara for dinner at BRASSERIE 44.  This upscale brasserie has some strong culinary heritage with John McDonald (Lever House, Lure Fishbar, Chinatown, and MercBar) and Chef Scott Ekstrom (formerly Daniel and Oceana) creating the space and the menu.

Salumi  - Brasserie 44

Barbara is a big fan of salumi so when Eric, our waiter, described their version as homemade, she suggested we order it.  It was a good choice as this appetizer came with three meats; Genoa salami, prochuttio and capicolla; grain mustard, toast points and cornichons.  The meats were very tasty.  The Genoa salami was cut paper thin with a mild garlic and pork taste.  The photo makes the prochuttio look fatty but the taste was moist and slightly salty.  The  capicolla on the other hand was less fatty but had a more intense pork flavour.Oysters Brasserie 44  The portion size was larger than I anticipated so I was glad the two of us were sharing.

We also decided to share some oysters.  The old adage that you shouldn’t eat oysters in months without “r”‘s is passe since most oysters are now raised in farms and not susceptible to red tide and other seasonable oyster aliments in the open water farms.  The oysters that night were Deer Point oysters from the West Coast.  We tried for a state but the best info we could get was the West Coast.  These small to medium oysters were plump and meaty.  The oysters had a fresh briny taste that often reminds one of spray off the ocean.  The oysters came with classic cocktail and red wine vinegar sauces and a lemon wedge.  I usually like a little sauce with my oysters but these ones were delicate enough that the sauces took away from the core oyster taste so that the sauces were not needed.  A little lemon did bring out the flavour but not much was needed. Very tasty even if it was May (without the r).

Fresh Skate

 Barbara’s main was Skate with crushed potatoes and beurre noisette.  You often don’t see skate on menus because it is such a delicate fish with a short shelf life so Barbara decided to give it a try.  The first try and the piece Barbara shared with me were very salty. We speculated that using sweet butter with the beurre noisette may have been an option but as Barbara got into the thicher pieces of fish the saltiness decreased making the dish an acceptable dish.  Both Barbara and I have Irish heritages in our background and found the “crushed” potatoes reminding us of boiled potatoes our parents served us in our childhoods.  Good memories but at these prices, I would have expected a starch offering of higher quality.

 My main was the Halibut with creamy endive and speck ham with truffle oil. Mine was a winner.  The well Halibut Brasserie 44cooked halibut flaked at fork point and was moist and sweet to the taste. There was also a light crust on the outside of the flesh which I think came from pan frying the generous portion of halibut.  The creamy endive was a first for me but I enjoyed the slightly bitter taste of the endive matching well with the sweetness of the fish.  The earthiness of truffle oil also matched well with the fish and endive.  This was also the first time for me with the speck ham in a sauce.  I expect salt from hams but the oil seemed to negate the salt making the dish a complete success. 

The wine list at Brasserie 44 is suppose to be a highlight of the restaurant and it was working for me.  Barbara tried a couple of different reds but I stuck with my Pinot Noir.  It worked for me and Barbara seemed to enjoy her choices.

Thanks for meal Barbara, I enjoyed our foodie outing – photos and all and I look forward to the next one.

BRASSERIE 44, 44 West 44 Street, New York City 10036 212 944 8844

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