Celebrity sighting at Barney Greengrass

No trip to New York is complete without a visit to the “Sturgeon King” Barney Greengrass (come to think of it, no Woody Allen movie is complete without a visit to Barney Greengrass either).

Yesterday morning’s visit also brought a celebrity sighting. No, I’m not talking about my good friend Edoardo Ballerini (whom you’ve seen in countless movies and shows, like The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, and whom you’ll remember from the 2000 Giraldi film Dinner Rush).

No, I’m talking about his beautiful eight-month old, Lorenzo.

Edo and I go way back and it’s so great that we’ve become fathers at the same time.

Edo is also partly to thank for the name of the blog, which was conceived many years ago (long before there were blogs) as “Edoardo ‘Do’ Bianchi”.

It was so great to see them… and the white fish was great, as always…

New York Stories 2: Vivian, newest member of the NN+ family

Vivian is the newest member of the NN+ family. Finally, someone who calls me “uncle Jar”!

Couldn’t not have Barney Greengrass while in NYC.

More New York stories to come…

From Le Bernardin to Barney Greengrass, there’s nothing like a good piece of fish

Above: White fish salad appetizer, Barney Greengrass.

From Le Bernardin to Barney Greengrass: there’s nothing like a “good piece of fish.” Tracie P and I are staying on the Upper Westside this time around and NO visit to the west side is complete without some smoked fish at one of my favorite delicatessens, Barney Greengrass — an American classic and one of Woody Allen’s favorite “establishing shots.”

Above: You just gotta have the potato latkes.

Thanks, Greg and Eileen, for breakfast! And mazel tov!

Heading to Brooklyn now for some panelle…

You can take foxes outta the country but…

From the “just for fun” department…

Johnny OtisLife’s been a little stressful lately and there’s so much negativity going around right now in the world of wine that I thought it was time for some “just for fun.”

It had been a while since Tracie B and me popped any Movia. So Sunday night, we invited our friend and fellow natural wine freak Josh Loving over for Tracie B’s famous fried chicken and mashed potatoes and a bottle of Puro, which Josh — the consummate wine professional — ably disgorged (check out the video I shot below).

Dinner was served accompanied by one of my favorite records: Cold Shot! by the Johnny Otis Show. I love every track on that disk and “The Signifyin’ Monkey” is probably the most famous. But my favorite favorite track is “Country Girl.” Toward the end of the song, Johnny Otis doubles the following aphoristic chiasmus with his guitar: You can take foxes outta the country, but you can’t get the country outta foxes. It’s one of the mysteries of life but that line just kills me every time. Check it out, as Josh disgorges the wine:

You’ve probably seen Puro disgorged at Do Bianchi before but in case you haven’t, it’s really easy to do (as in the vid above). Winemaker Aleš Kristančič makes the wine using the méthode champenoise but he leaves the lees and sediment in the wine (i.e., he doesn’t disgorge before release). You store the wine upside down in your fridge (using a cardboard cylinder that comes with the wine) and then you disgorge it upside down in a basin of water. The wine will be totally clear (as in the photo below).

Although Bollinger remains the indisputable official wine of my band Nous Non Plus, we have been known to disgorge a bottle of Puro… or two.

Life could be worse…

In other news…

Today, “the absolutely fabulous Alice Feiring,” as Tracie B likes to call her, is up to bat at 31 Days of Natural Wine. Alice is a dear friend, a great lady, a mentor, and one of the few things — besides Katz’s pastrami and Barney Greengrass whitefish salad — that we miss about New York City. I love the wine she talks about and I can confirm what Cory writes in his intro, that “very Alice Feiring” has become a canonical wine descriptor. How cool is that?