… Or, what I did in the short, cold month of February!
Not unexpectedly, the month of Valentines, offered several inspiring moments ripe for Eating and Telling. First, there was the huge snowstorm that silenced NYC for a whole Sunday, but did not hinder the die-hard brunch fans from their Bloody Marys and blueberry pancakes.
Then there was the release of Amy Reiley’s HOT, HOT, HOT new book Fork Me, Spoon Me: the sensual cookbook, for which VinEducation (my company) held a fabulous food and wine pairing release party for urban singles. And of course there were ample nibbles and kisses to provide much needed warmth in this coldest of months.
I’ll gladly carry on with my musings about the snowstorm, and share the outcome of the “Fork Me, Spoon Me” event with you.
Snow in the City
Weekends mean long hours at work for those of us in the restaurant business. When I arrived at the restaurant that Saturday, it was a beautiful day. By the time I went home 14 hours later, it was snowing at a record rate. By the time I left home for work the next morning, NYC was under a blanket of snow that was at mid-thigh as I trudged to the subway (even if I had a car, it wasn’t going anywhere for days). If this were a weekday it would be a snow emergency, bringing the “city that never sleeps” to a grinding halt. But, since it was Sunday, NYC became a winter wonderland of sledding in the park, cross-country skiing down the wide, unplowed avenues, and snowmen instead of doormen.
So, what is a New Yorker to do when they find themselves snowed in and without taxi service on a lazy Sunday in February? Well, it’s Sunday in New York so the NY Times is a given – plenty of reading material to get you through the day and few excuses not to read it in its entirety. And, there’s nothing better than reading the Times in bed – except reading the Times in bed with a loved one; and since you’ve got all day… you get the picture! Now the only thing left to think about is sustenance… food, bubbles! Sunday brunch, to be exact – piping hot coffee, fluffy, buttery blueberry pancakes, vanilla-laced French toast, aromatic omelets, mimosas. How convenient that this is NYC and brunch is usually just around the corner, no matter where you live! After satiating one appetite, a short trudge through knee-deep snow is all it takes to complete the circle – back to your warm bed for more reading and whatever those bubbles inspire. You can always order out for dinner.
VinEducation presents Fork Me, Spoon Me
On Tuesday, February 21, we gathered a group of 25 sophisticated NYC singles at VinoVino, an eclectic new Tribeca enoteca for an evening of artisanal wines, aphrodisiac cuisine, and stimulating conversation.
We began the evening with a bit of “J” bubbly spiked with a choice of saffron infusion or peach nectar, and cones of truffle-butter popcorn. After some mingle-time, the guests were shown to the wine bar where I featured a selection of tasty bites based on recipes from “Fork Me, Spoon Me…,” the recipe I contributed to the book, rosemary chicken skewers. We paired three different love bites with two white wines (a sexy Sancerre and a bold Viognier), three more with two red wines (a sassy Aussie Shiraz and a velvety rich Amarone), and ending with Amy’s now-famous chocolate smothered brie paired with both a tawny port and a Proseco (aromas of the slightest hint of Juicy Fruit!). Each round of pairings was accompanied by a discussion of the aphrodisiac qualities of each food item, brief readings from the book, and a lot of blushing on my part as the guests probed, good naturedly, for details about the sensual nature of the flesh of a ripe peach and the bodily resemblance of the heart of a fresh fig.
Many new friends were made, the groundwork was laid for a series of bi-monthly themed events at VinoVino, and I sold out of books – an all-around smashing success!
Menu from VinEducation event
Choice of Saffron Flirtations or Bellini
Made with “J” Sparkling Wine
Rosemary Chicken Skewers
Minted Shrimp Crostini
Sancerre and Viognier
Fig and Mascarpone on Triple Gingerbread
Chile Rubbed Beef with Mango Aioli on Focaccia
Syrah and Amarone
Chocolate Smothered Brie
Vanilla Milk Shakes with Crushed Malted Milk Ball Rim
Proseco and Port
For more information on upcoming VinEducation events, please visit www.vineducation.com
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