apt4 food & wine, NYC
I had heard about apt4 initially from Tribeca Citizen, when the guys behind apt4 hosted an hors d’oeuvres and drinks event at a Tribeca loft. I was instantly intrigued by the concept — people go to an apartment, meet strangers who love food, and get served a full dinner with wine pairings. I immediately added myself to the mailing list and when the announcement for the next dinner came out, I signed up myself and a friend. I was not sure what to expect, but for $75, I was going to get four courses and wine pairings, so it seemed like a fair deal. Plus the website had some photos of previous dishes (which made me drool) and Yelp had great ratings, so I was convinced that I had very limited downside in going.
The evening certainly did not disappoint. The apartment was close to the subway station in Brooklyn and easy to find (and most importantly not sketchy, which is the fear when you go somewhere new). The dining room was warm and welcoming, the table set. While we were waiting for everyone to arrive and settle in, we nibbled on the bread and butter, drank cava, and I was stalking the guys’ bookshelf. It had such an awesome selection — from Ad Hoc, to El Bulli to random fiction literature.
As the courses were served, we were told about each one in detail as well as given a description of the wine. All of the diners were nice and affable and the apt4 guys were hilarious as well. They did not shy away from answering our silly questions: “Who is the craziest diner you’ve had?” “What is that huge pot used for? It can fit a small child!” “Has anyone ever refused to leave?”
All in all this was a great dining experience and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to try something different in the New York dining scene. The icing on the cake too is that the menu is always chosen day-of when the chef meanders through the stalls of Union Square’s farmers’ market and chooses fresh, seasonal ingredients for the night’s meal. So now here is what we degusted and imbibed.
NV Marques De Gelida Cava Brut
Sauteed Shrimp – corn ragout, duck fat, caramelized onions
2009 Musscadet Harmonie, Loire Valley, France
I love shrimp and these 3 guys were gloriously sauteed in duck fat with made them just magical. Can’t go wrong with caramelized onions. Ever. And I’m personally not huge on corn, but the bed of it and caramelized onions was a nice complement to the shrimp.
Mushroom Chowder – with roasted sweetbreads, arugula
2008 Villa Marie Private Bin Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand
At some points here I was not sure what I was eating – mushrooms or sweetbreads or maybe even bacon, but it was amazing! Loved the smooth savory soup.
Duck Two Ways – Duck breast and Duck leg ravioli on Brussels sprouts and cucumber slaw
2009 Xavier Côtes du Rhône, Rhône Valley, France
Yes, I got too excited and started eating my ravioli before I took the photo, sorry. Loved the sauteed duck breast, it was juicy and not too fatty as duck tends to be (or maybe that’s just Peking duck that I’m used to). The ravioli I liked, but the meat here was just not as great. The Brussels sprouts and cucumber slaw was everyone’s favorite — I definitely want to copy cat that side dish at home; it’s just such a refreshing side!
Strawberry Shortcake- cream cheese ice cream
Marenco Teresio Moscato D’asti, Piedmont, Italy
Sorry again, but forgot the photo of the strawberry shortcake. In all honesty, it was the least aesthetically appealing dish of the evening, so the absence of a photo is not really a big deal. But flavor-wise the freshly made strawberry shortcake with the homemade ice cream were amazing.