How to Upgrade Your Terrible Christmas Gifts into Michelin-Starred Treats
A belated but useful guide to spending your money
Did you get another necktie but won’t need to go into the office until the summer? Somehow ended up with three potato mashers (as one friend did)? Cash in that gift receipt and let’s see if we can’t get you set up with something legit…
Nomad Egg Nog to age for next year
Leo Robitschek, the vice president of food and beverage for Sydell Group (which owns and manages The Nomad) developed the recipe for this egg nog when he was at Eleven Madison Park. “It has been modified slightly with changes in the spirits, the addition of cinnamon and Frangelico to add nuttiness,” he tells me. He added a LOT more booze: Bourbon, Dark Rum, Cognac, and Scotch whisky round out the alcoholic ingredients, making the beverage clock in at over 20% ABV.
Because of the alcohol, this egg nog can and should be aged—Lobitschek has done it for up to two years for various experiments and has lived to tell the tale. He notes that it mellows out the concoction, while adding complexity. It comes in two sizes: 16 oz for $36 and 26 oz for $50. An investment for your post-pandemic self.
Pandemic-themed gear from The Four Horsemen
If you’re the type that wants a momento from what will probably end up being the most traumatizing year of your life, you’re in luck: The Four Horsemen wine bar in Williamsburg has updated its logo so the imbibing quartet are all wearing colorful face masks. The new design is available on totes and t-shirts, but I like it the best on this $25 blanket, which will come in handy for the three more months of frigid outdoor dining that we’ll endure as we try to get to the end of the COVID tunnel.
Ingredients from Sushi Noz
I wrote about Noz Market the other day and highlighted some of their more pricey items (a $600+ king crab comes to mind), but the move here is to load up on the house-made seasonings that can elevate your slab of supermarket fish or salad into something elite (or as the kids say these days, “zhuzh it up”). The bottles are on the smaller side, but an entry cost of six bucks for three or four meals worth of Michelin-grade ingredients is worth the trip to the Upper East Side.
Coffee with Eric Ripert’s face on it
Due to the current restrictions, Le Bernardin’s doors are closed. But in the two months that the restaurant reopened, Ripert used the platform to introduce a variety of co-branded products that are still available for sale: caviar, spices, and coffee. Only one of the items has the three-Michelin Star chef’s face on it, and at $13.99 a bag, is basically the same price as Stumptown or Variety’s blends. I recommend using it for cold brew, something not normally offered at the restaurant, while the chef judges you from across the kitchen.
The numbers over the holiday weekend are a bit skewed due to limited testing, but regardless, they are not good: New York City’s 7-day positivity rate is now over 7%—matching numbers from mid-May. Over the past week, the number of new cases range between 3000-4000 a day, and total hospitalizations continue to rise despite a relatively stable number of new hospitalizations per day. De Blasio and Cuomo have both suggested that a full lockdown—essential businesses only, no outdoor dining—could come as early as this week.
What I’m Eating
I ate, photographed, and wrote about Eleven Madison Park’s $475 Duck Dinner for Bloomberg. The Playstation 5 of takeout meals, the demand for this was so high that there was a waiting list. Resist the urge to shake the class warfare tree in order to harvest the lowest hanging fruit, and instead read all about it on the Bloomberg website.
Many thanks for supporting the newsletter this year! I’ll see ya in 2021!