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*
East Meet West Spiced Peach Syrup (handmade especially for Midnight Brunch)
Candied Lemon Peel
*Hint: “ I think that, under my personal vibrations, I could put her life in some kind of good order.”
Gin & Tonic
Beer from Brooklyn Brewery was also served.
~ Appetizers ~
Dumplings Three Ways by Guest Chef & James Beard Award Nominee Kian Lam Kho of RedCook.net
An Homage to Dim Sum:
Crabmeat & Dill Shiu Mai
Pork Balls Coated with Glutinous Rice
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.
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.
Places: Kalustyan’s (spices), Union Square Greenmarket (fresh produce)
Jewish (East Village, Upper East and West Sides)
Served with Sour Cream and Carmelized Onions on the side
Salt and Pepper Kugel bites with Roasted Garlic
Places: Fairway Market (farmer’s cheese, local eggs)
Dessert & Coffee
Mexican, Dominican & Puerto Rican (Spanish Harlem)
Tres Leches Cake with Fresh 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.
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.