[Pink Pig Time Machine by Wilfrid: March 13, 2017]
It was off to Boston in a rental car, that cool March ten years ago, to see a family member perform in Joe Jackson's musical Heaven & Hell at the Boston Conservatory.
I took the opportunity to fill in some gaps in my Boston historic dining experience; but I did eat in New York before we left.
First at O.G. on East 6th Street, a little fusion bistro which was in my regular rotation for many months: inexpensive, always new dishes to try, vegetarian friendly. On this occasion, beef and carrot dumplings follow by pork ribs with wasabi mashed potatoes.
My birthday fell that week, and celebration was appropriately over the top: the everything-you-want "pig out platter" at Virgil's, the honestly underrated (because, tourists) BBQ joint off Times Square. And to rhyme with that, cocktails at Angel's Share. At some stage, a bottle of Contino Gran Reserva 1994 was breached.
The drive to Boston featured plenty of James Brown and Raulín Rodríguez (my bachata crush at the time). After the show--which I think it's fair to say didn't make Joe Jackson the new Lloyd Webber--supper with the family at Sonie in the Back Bay (eclectic cuisine!). For me, that meant scallop risotto followed by buttermilk fried quail.
Next day, after the mandatory tour of Faneuil and environs for Boston newbies, lunch at ancient Durgin Park (circa 1742). My diary seems incomplete, but the meal featured classics like the Boston baked beans, and Indian pudding, a sort of sweet cornmeal/molasses dish.
Evening drinks at The Red Dragon, where a bartender seized on us gratefully: "You're from New York?" Yes. Hoarse whisper: "I'm a Yankees fan. But don't tell anyone." The dinner at a much newer restaurant than Durgin Park: Locke-Ober (circa 1875). This was during Lydia Shire's ownership, and the interior sparkled after her restoration.
Outside is a scene from Dickens. Wonky, wood-framed buildings on a narrow alley. Inside, past the old bar, the grand dining rooms were lined with glowingly polished silverware. I drank a Ward 8, because it was created there. The food was good, the service strange. A waiter took up his position at a table occupied by a young couple (adjacent to ours), and asked them how each bite "was working" for them. Not just the first bite. He paced them through the meal. Comedy gold.
We were left comparatively alone to eat:
Ricotta and walnut ravioli
Seared foie gras
Mashed potaotes, spinach
I can't imagine why a bottle of Chapoutier Hermitage '94 was opened with that menu, but it apparently was. Lobster Savannah is closely related to Thermidor: baked with brandy, sherry, heavy cream and grated Parmesan. Some paprika and bell pepper perhaps relate it to Georgia.