At the end of the month I drove down to The City (NY) for a 24-hour visit for food, wine, and friends. I had not seen Jan for nearly five months, and this would be my last chance until year end to do so. In addition to having dinner with him near his office in Brooklyn (at Almar, a very good, casual restaurant owned by a chef from Puglia, and a friend of Jan), I did a few other food and wine things over the two days there. We had mostly pasta and vegetable dishes, but I could not resist a plate of grilled octopus, and it was superb.
Naturally, Jan’s wines were on the bill, and I brought a modest bottle of the Vestini Campagnano Kajanero, which I had searched for vigorously since last year in San Francisco at A16. It was a great feast and a fine chance to catch up.
In addition to traveling to the far reaches of Brooklyn on the subway to get the Kajanero, the next day I went to Garnet Wines on Lexington Ave. in Manhattan to meet Martin and to explore their excellent selection of Italian wines, including several of Jan’s good ones.
Two other stops and I was ready to drive home. One was a short visit to Paul Stuart to see their current selection of fine men’s clothing. I resisted the urge to buy anything, given that I really have no specific unfilled needs in that department currently. The other was a brief lunch nearby, at La Fonda del Sol at Grand Central Terminal. It’s a tapas place I usually enjoy for lunch. Very attractive room, good bar, and a few tasty choices. I had three dishes: the Pan con Tomat, Patatas Bravas, and Pan-Roasted Shishito Peppers, along with a glass of Txakoli. Standard fare, but enjoyable, especially the Bravas.