Photo Recap: Midnight Brunch Edition Two with Google Places

by Emily on September 19, 2011 · 2 comments

in Booze Without Borders,Food,Midnight Brunch

Guests in the low light of the Lower East Side

Midnight Brunch Edition #2 (sponsored by Google Places) was a great success, judging by the clean plates, full bellies and smiles on our guests faces. Not to mention all the empty wine and cocktail glasses …

We had 30 people (winners of the Google Places/Midnight Brunch contest) join us for a secret rendez-vous on the second floor of year-old mezcalaria Casa Mezcal on the Lower East Side.

I chose the LES because the neighborhood has been the first home of so many ethnic groups as they have made their way to the city. Jewish, Italian, Polish, Hungarian and Chinese waves have all flown over and through the neighborhood and their influences are still felt today. I visited over 10 venues for this event, and felt the vibe upstairs at Casa Mezcal was the perfect mix of city grit and low-key comfort we were looking for.

The menu was an homage to some of Manhattan’s most influential ethnic groups and the foods of their neighborhoods. We have Chinatown, Curry Lane, the Upper East & West Sides and Spanish Harlem all rolled into one menu. To complicate matters, I was working with a simple prep kitchen, so I have no oven. I rented burners and put together appetizers and a meal that could be assembled using the help of chafing dishes.

With the exception of the dumplings made by my friend and talented chef, James Beard Award Nominee Kian Lam Kho, I did all of the cooking. I had help in the kitchen on the night of the event, and the cocktails were made by my friend and bar proprietor Max Messier. You can read all about the excellent guest contributors for Edition Two here. Without them, the event would not have been possible.

Funniest moment: During dessert, a guest came up to me and rubbed her boob on me because she loved the Tres Leches so much. I won’t name names. She knows who she is.

Here was the menu, along with the places and purveyors represented.

~ Midnight Brunch Craft Cocktails ~

The Isaac Davis*


Brooklyn Gin
East Meet West Spiced Peach Syrup (handmade especially for Midnight Brunch)
Peychaud’s Bitters
Candied Lemon Peel
*Hint: “ I think that, under my personal vibrations, I could put her life in some kind of good order.”

Gin & Tonic

Brooklyn Gin
Brooklyn Gin
Handmade Specialty Tonic Syrup

Beer from Brooklyn Brewery was also served.

~  Appetizers ~
Chinese (Chinatown)

Chinatown Spareribs
Chinatown Spare Ribs
Not your average Pu Pu Platter ribs: These juicy spareribs are marinated for three days in a special Chinese Five Spice Hoisin Honey Sauce.

Dumplings Three Ways by Guest Chef & James Beard Award Nominee Kian Lam Kho of
An Homage to Dim Sum:
Crabmeat & Dill Shiu Mai
Crabmeat and Dill Shiu Mai
Pork Balls Coated with Glutinous Rice
Pork balls in Glutinous Rice, by Kian Lam Kho
Pea Shoot Dumplings
Pea shoot dumplings
Recommended Purveyor: Mosefund Farm
Places: New Amsterdam Fair (Mosefund Mangalitsa ground pork), Bayard Meat Market (superfine St. Louis cut spareribs)
Midnight Brunch – 12 am – 1:30 am, Sept. 18
Long Island wines were served with dinner.

Savory Starter
Indian (East Village and Curry Lane)
Kosambri Crostini, adapted from Chitra Agrawal of ABCDs of Cooking
A spicy, yet refreshing grated carrot salad that skews a little Thai.
First Seated Course: Kosambri Crostini
Places: Kalustyan’s (spices), Union Square Greenmarket (fresh produce)

Main Course
Jewish (East Village, Upper East and West Sides)
Cheese Blintzes
Served with Sour Cream and Carmelized Onions on the side
Main Course: Cheese Blintzes with "Google Kugel" (Salt & Pepper Kugel Bites with Roasted Garlic)
“Google Kugel”
Salt and Pepper Kugel bites with Roasted Garlic
Places: Fairway Market (farmer’s cheese, local eggs)
Google Kugel Bites
Dessert & Coffee
Mexican, Dominican & Puerto Rican (Spanish Harlem)
Tres Leches Cake with Fresh Mango
Dessert: Tres Leches with Mango
Purveyor: Ronnybrook Farm Dairy (milk and cream)
Place: Ronnybrook Dairy Shop at the Chelsea Market
Purveyor/Place: Cafe Grumpy
Cocktails Created for Midnight Brunch by: Max Messier
Chef: Emily Cavalier
Sous Chefs: Kian Lam Kho, Felipe Donnelly, Rachael Mamane
Cocktail Service: Tom Flaschen
Service: Bryce Longton, Stacie Capone

Here are some other great shots from the event. All photography here by Clay Williams.

Kian Lam Kho

Margarita Vaisman and Esther Brown, Google Places




Felipe and Rachael plate the first seated course

Emily gives the spare ribs a final stir.

Bryce Longton and Joe Santos

Tom Flaschen

Guests Mingling

Guests mingling

Team Midnight Brunch toasts the end of a successful event


View all of the photos in the photo album on Mouth of the Border’s Facebook Page.

Many thanks to our sponsor and to all of our guests who made this such a special night! Stay tuned … tomorrow I’ll share the recipes for the top two dishes from Midnight Brunch: Edition Two.

Read more posts on Midnight Brunch here.


I love sharing details about upcoming tasty trips and adventures, so you won’t want to miss a bite. As always, please feel free to chat with me on Twitter, join our group on Facebook and keep up with new posts here by subscribing. You can also follow Midnight Brunch on Twitter.


  • Nadia

    Looks like a total success to me! Congrats on yet another awesome event. Keep ’em up (I know you can!)


    • emilyspearl

      Thank you, Nadia!

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