Don't worry, the pig is still here. I've been traveling most of the last two weeks and have a backlog of reviews to publish.
[Pink Pig Time Machine: October 20, 2016]
Ah, mid-October, grey and melancholy. But brightened up ten years ago by some casual eats and a couple of good stage shows.
Literature was in the air too, as I began attending a Robert Musil reading group led by Burton Pike at the Mercantile Library (now the Center for Fiction).
[Free Stuff by Wilfrid: October 3, 2016]
Back in January, I trudged through the cold to sample superior bar food at the Greenwich Village branch of The Malt House. It had been open since 2012, but the owners were excited about their newer, grand, finer dining version on Maiden Lane in the FiDi.
The ground floor Arch Bar from above: courtesy The Malt House
Nine months later, I was pleased to accept an invitation to sample my way through a good section of the menu at the second Malt House (and there are rumors of a third).
[Pink Pig Time Machine by Wilfrid: October 3, 2016]
Yes, this pig was more orange than pink. A nice, fatty pork shoulder, well rubbed with annatto, garlic and sazón, and cooked long and slow. I ate cochinita pibil several days at the end of September ten years ago. Including in tacos, in quesadillas, and with Native American "fry bread."
I did eat out too.
[Pigging by Wilfrid: October 3, 2016]
I just keep going back to Whole Foods to buy the Windham, made by Grafton Village Cheese and aged by Crown Finish Caves in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. This may not be a special occasion cheese like a Rogue River Premium Reserve or a seasonal Vacherin, but as an every day cheese you can't do much better.
Somewhere between a Cheddar and a firm Tomme, this has a creamy, nutty, almost sweet paste, balanced by the sour flintiness you look for in the crust.
[Pigging by Wilfrid: September 26, 2016]
Yes, end of summer, start of fall, and you're still in the streets as much as possible, walking across Central Park, watching soccer games, going to food festivals, finding yourself in shirt-sleeves at midnight on a cool night.
Well that's me anyway, so here's a dump from the in-tray to the out-tray featuring a random range of refuellings.
[New York Peasant by Wilfrid: September 26, 2016]
Shows at the Grey Art Gallery in Washington Square drawing on documentation of the modern avant-garde, both from NYU's Fales Library and other sources, have been unfailingly informative. The current (through December 10) two floor exhibit devoted to Charlotte Moorman and work she inspired is just outstanding.
Known always as the topless cellist, for some of her controversial early perfomances, and as the subject of a remarkable video sculpture by Nam June Paik (detail above), Moorman spent years instigating happenings, including founding the Avant-Garde Festival of Art.
[Pink Pig Time Machine by Wilfrid: September 26, 2016]
The route home from Paris meant a final night in London, again at Hazlitt's Hotel, and I had time for lunch at Jimmy's before heading to the airport.
Sadly now closed, Jimmy's was legendary. Opened in 1948, it was a basement Greek restaurant next door to the even more legendary Bar Italia espresso bar on Frith Street. Down the stairs, you found a dark dining room staffed by Greek waiters who seemed to have been there since the first night.
[Pink Pig Time Machine by Wilfrid: September 22, 2016]
Diverting my attention briefly from my stomach, I did some exhibition-going the next day, and stumbled serendipitously across a survey of the Dreyfus affair at the Musee d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaisme in the Marais, replete with contemporary photographs. Then Cubism and Surrealism at the Pomidou.
Lunch was in an old dining room known as Machon d'Henri, packed with regulars; dinner at the rather more ambitious Chez Michel, just a short walk from Le Gard du Nord. It had an acclaimed young chef, who turned out--very audibly--to be a screamer in the kitchen. Here's what I wrote:
[Pink Pig Time Machine by Wilfrid: September 21, 2016]
This was a good market day. I set out early and took in the food stands at Place Maubert and Aligre, stopping in the lovely Baron Rouge wine bar for some andouille de pays (that's the sliced, cold andouille, not the hot andouillette). Later on I made it to Raspail.
I managed to squeeze in two meals. Dinner was at the sedate, conservative Chez Maître Paul, a left bank outpost of the Franche-Comté. That followed lunch at Au Moulin-au-Vent, better known as Chez Henri. Here's that I said back then: