Drop in on Friday, May 24 between 5-7pm for a free tasting of Spanish ciders with Rowan Imports. We’ll have 2 traditional Asturian hard apple ciders to try, and you’ll learn about the small family producers who have kept this unique tradition alive. These ciders are smooth, dry and tangy – perfect for spring and summer celebrations.
Eastern District News
Stone Enjoy By: IPA is produced periodically in very small batches, and is designed to be drunk soon for a full hop explosion on your palate. We just got a fresh batch in yesterday, and this weekend will be the ideal time to enjoy this citrusy, tropical, resiny flavor bomb.
This year’s Fantome Saison Printemps has arrived, and it’s a strange and wonderful brew. A floral hop aroma gives way to smoky, lemony, vaguely herbal flavors and mild effervescence.
In other saison news, Maryland’s Stillwater Stateside is now available in 12oz bottles for easier drinking. This classic brew is an American-style saison, with a little extra hop flavor adding some spice to the malty, slighty funky Belgian-style ale.
Utah’s Uinta has begun canning their Hop Notch IPA, and it tastes extra fresh and delicious in this format. We’ve also brought in cans of their Baba (as in black sheep), a black lager with a chocolatey, roasty flavor and a lighter body for a smooth drinking experience.
We have a couple newbies in the washed-rind department: these cheeses are periodically washed with brine or other solutions while they age to create an environment most welcoming to the microbes that produce funky, “stinky” aromas.
Oma is on the mild side for this type of cheese – the slightly pungent rind gives way to a buttery center and creamy, nutty flavors. Oma is produced at the Von Trapp Farmstead in Vermont and aged at the Cellars at Jasper Hill.
On the other hand, Hudson Red has an in-your-face flavor true to its New York roots. Made at Twin Maple Farm in Ghent, NY, it bears a powerful aroma and a strong, complex flavor, at some times reminding me of the wild yeast flavors of Belgian sour ales.
OTHER NEW TREATS
If you’re preparing snacks for Saturday’s Derby, consider adding some Kentucky flavor with condiments and spices from Bourbon Barrel Foods. Their soy and Worcestershire sauces are aged in oak bourbon barrels for extra kick, and they smoke their sea salt and black pepper over wood from those same barrels. These are especially great finishing spices for grilled foods.
While you’re at it, mix up some special cocktails with Jack Rudy tonic or grenadine syrup. These small batch flavorings hail from Charleston, SC and bring more complex, subtle, delicious flavors to your G&T’s or Jack Roses.
From closer to home, NYC’s Mina Harissa sauces add spice to Middle Eastern cooking, or can simply jazz up basic meat, fish or vegetable preparations. Mina produces a delicious spicy green version, as well as the classic red style, and I also like serving them with tortilla chips instead of salsa.
SPRING SEASONAL GOODIES
Some seasonal favorites have returned for the spring:
Lazy Lady young goat cheeses: the kids have been born and the does are producing plentiful, tasty milk for soft, lighty aged cheeses like Bonaparte (dusted with ash), La Petite Tomme (gooey brie-style) and Sweet Emotions (blended with cow’s cream).
Mt. Vikos Halloumi: grillable sheep’s milk cheese from Cyprus, great for salads and cookouts.
Cowgirl Creamery St. Pat: creamy organic cow’s milk cheese wrapped in nettle leaves for a green, smoky, artichoke-like flavor.
Circle C Farm maple syrup: we just received this year’s fresh, small batch of grades A and B from Joseph and Cathy Cicero in Pine Bush, NY.
Unfortunately the Lancaster Farm Fresh produce CSA is full for the spring/summer season: we just can’t fit more than 80 boxes of fresh veggies into the store each week!
But Village Fishmonger is still accepting sign-ups for their community-supported fishery program. Deliveries will begin sometime in mid to late May.
For details about the Village Fishmonger program visit: http://villagefishmongernyc.com/
To sign up go to: http://eepurl.com/t1cdH
One of the questions we get most frequently from new neighbors is, “Where can we get fresh local seafood around here?” We finally have a good answer: “Here!” Eastern District is partnering with Village Fishmonger to become a pick-up location for their fabulous community supported fishery.
Prices start at $15/week for approximately 1 pound of fish (2 servings), and each delivery will include fresh, seasonal, cleaned fish from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
For more information visit http://villagefishmongernyc.com/
To sign up visit http://eepurl.com/t1cdH
LANCASTER FARM FRESH CSA
There are also still spots available in the produce CSA from Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op. Vegetable, fruit, flower and medicinal herb shares are all available. Prices start at $18/week and weekly deliveries begin in mid-May.
For more information and to sign up visit http://www.lancasterfarmfresh.com/csa/default
We’re saying goodbye to cold weather with deep discounts on stouts and other dark, strong beers. Drop in to pick up a great deal on Keegan, Allagash, Maine Beer, Goose Island, Dark Horse, Mikkeller and other great beers.
Or swing into spring with some of the new beers we have in stock: like three from Westbrook Brewing in South Carolina. Pick up a 6-pack of Westbrook’s fantastic I.P.A. or White Thai (Belgian style wheat beer with lemongrass, ginger and Sorachi Ace hops). Or grab a big bottle of their limited edition Bearded Farmer: McCollough, a refreshing farmhouse ale brewed with a variety of peppercorns and 3 strains of Brett yeast for a touch of sourness.
We also recommend two double ales from two horse-themed breweries. Michigan’s Dark Horse offers Double Crooked Tree, a strong Imperial IPA with a citrusy hop character. Jersey’s River Horse brings us a Double Wit for spring, brewed in the classic Belgian style.
We’ve got lots of new treats for cheddar fans this month! Wisconsin’s Roelli, long known for their Dunbarton Blue, has released an early batch of their Kingsley Cheddar. It’s a pure, classic cheddar: clothbound, sharp and milky, with a crumbly but not dry texture. Only 4 wheels of this beauty made it to NYC this spring – try it now because the next delivery won’t be until fall!
From Vermont Farmhouse Cheese comes Alehouse Cheddar, a sharp white cheddar infused with Harpoon I.P.A. for a slightly hoppy flavor that complements the tanginess of the cheese perfectly. (No, it won’t get you drunk.)
Finally, we’ve added Fiscalini’s San Joaquin Gold to our line-up of extra-aged cheeses. This hard golden-hued cheese tastes like a cross between cheddar and parmigiano: sweet, salty, nutty, brown-buttery, with a touch of sharpness. Excellent as a snack or grated over pasta or salad.
Every few months we send the city a request to put a bike rack in front of our store. As you can see, those requests have not been effective. We’re thinking maybe, just maybe, if our customers put in some requests also, we might have a better chance at a result. If you want to see a bike rack in front of Eastern District, please take a few minutes to put in a request via the NYC website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/bikerack.shtml (The form requests our address, which is 1053 Manhattan Ave, and cross streets, which are Eagle and Freeman).
We’ve finally rescheduled our Barrier Brewing night, which was originally derailed by Hurricane Sandy. Barrier is back up and running after a massive rebuilding, and will be taking over our taps on Friday, March 22 from 6-8PM. Taste a wide selection of Barrier’s fantastic beers for free, then take home a growler or two!
BROOKLYN SILVER ANNIVERSARY LAGER
It’s time to bid happy anniversary to our beloved Brooklyn Brewery, which is now 25 years old! They’re celebrating, naturally, with a special beer release. Silver Anniversary Lager, a twist on the original Brooklyn Lager, is a doppelbock – an extra-strong lager that is ready to be drunk now or cellared for a special occasion in the future.
Silver Anniversary will be released in 4 different limited edition bottles, each designed by a different Brooklyn artist. The bottles we have now are designed by Fred Tomaselli, one of our favorite artists (Brooklyn or otherwise) and they’re beautiful as well as delicious.
I’m usually a cheese purist, so I didn’t *want* to like Floyd Beer Cheese – but it was love at first bite. Or maybe it was addiction at first bite. This sharp cheddar-based dip includes beer, pimientos and other spices for a big kick of cheesy flavor. You really want to try this. We’re carrying the original, jalapeno, and bacon versions of this Brooklyn-made product, from the Kentuckians behind The Bell House.
Warning: this is another potentially addictive new product. Liddabit Sweets has perfected the Mallomar-style treat and it’s called the Tallyho! Handmade marshmallows are layered between delightfully salty dark chocolate wafers and covered in chocolate. SO GOOD!
We’re teaming up with our friends and neighbors at Adelina’s Italian restaurant and wine bar for a casual cheese and wine tasting on Wednesday, March 20 from 6-9PM.
For the low, low price of $12, you can enjoy 3 delicious pairings specially chosen by US, in the cozy atmosphere of Adelina’s.
It all goes down this Wednesday at 159 Greenpoint Avenue (between Manhattan & McGuinness). Mangia people!
SPRING-SUMMER FARM SHARES
The time has come to sign up for the spring-summer season of the Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op CSA! Here’s how it works:
- Sign up now at http://www.lancasterfarmfresh.com/csa/default
- Send your payment to the Co-op
- Beginning in early May, stop by Eastern District every week to pick up your very own box of organic, farm-fresh produce
Sign up before February 28 for a nice little discount from the Co-op. Many more details are available on the lancasterfarmfresh.com site.
We have some exciting new beers in stock, like Dugana, a strong, hoppy IPA from Colorado’s Avery Brewing Co. Crisp, bitter, piney and resinous, this IPA is intense yet refreshing.
Emelisse Double IPA is a Dutch craft brew and another flavor explosion. Citrusy and piney hops are balanced by malty sweetness.
Gypsy Tears is an unusual new collaboration between Denmark’s Mikkeller and Maryland’s Stillwater. Billed as a “hoppy stout” and fermented with the sour-inducing Brett yeast, this is a well-rounded, full-flavored beer.
Hof Ten Dormaal Brew No. 12 is a special, limited-edition Belgian dark ale aged in Ardbeg Islay scotch whisky barrels. We’re a big fan of Hof Ten Dormaal’s farmhouse brews, but we haven’t tried this one yet: we’re planning to keep it in our “beer cellar” to age for another year or two.
We’ve gone bacon-crazy and stocked up on 3 different kinds of delicious bacon. Try them all and tell us your favorite!
Help yourself to pre-sliced packs of Vermont Smoke & Cure “uncured” bacon – it’s sulfite-free, maple-brined, and smoked over maplewood and corn cobs.
Or step up to the counter and we’ll slice you some of our new slab bacon. La Quercia makes their bacon from Tamworth pork, which is a heritage breed known for its beautiful fat marbling throughout the meat. La Quercia is so proud of this bacon, they suggest that you try it raw!
It’s hard to choose a favorite, but ours *might* be the Olympic Provisions bacon, dry-rubbed and hickory-smoked.
(The pork in all the bacon we sell is antibiotic-free, hormone-free and vegetarian-fed.)
In our last email we told you about D’ELidas, an awesome mustardy hot sauce that we brought back from Panama. We promptly sold out of the sauce that weekend, but finally we’ve tracked down a stateside distributor and we’re proud to be the first and only store in NY to carry D’ELidas!
Another brand-new product on our shelves is the Borsellino Salami from La Quercia. These sausages are so tender and meaty – the word luscious comes to mind. The original Borsellino is mild with a touch of fennel, and the Piccante has a hint of pimenton and red chili pepper.
On the sweet side, we have a limited supply of P&H Soda Co.’s seasonal Grapefruit Soda Syrup. Mixed with seltzer or blended into a cocktail, the all-natural grapefruit syrup is a perfect blend of sweet and tangy.
AGED GOAT CHEESES
February is a slow month for new cheeses, so instead I’d like to bring your attention to one of my favorite departments in the cheese case: the firm, aged goat’s milk cheeses.
Midnight Moon is one of our most popular cheeses, and is a great starting point in this area. Although it’s exclusively made for Cypress Grove Chevre in Humboldt County, CA, it’s actually produced in the Netherlands. It’s made in the style of a Dutch Gouda, and resembles that familiar form. But the flavor is quite different: it features the characteristic goat’s milk tanginess, and is sweet, creamy and nutty. Younger wheels (aged about 6 months) are smooth and firm in texture; slightly older wheels become hard and crumbly.
Sprout Creek’s Madeline comes from much closer to home: Poughkeepsie, NY. This cheese has a more crumbly texture and salty flavor than the Midnight Moon, bearing some resemblance to an aged Italian pecorino. The goat’s milk provides a sharp, sweet, grassy taste, while the moldy natural rind contributes earthy aromas and flavors.
Manchester, from Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, VT, is another cheese which really allows the tangy flavors of the goat milk to shine through. It has a smoother texture, reminiscent of the goat’s milk cheeses of Spain, and a beautiful balance of milky, earthy, nutty, sweet and acidic notes. Manchester features a washed rind: the briny baths throughout the aging process give it a slightly crunchy, salty rind.
Tomme Delay is made at Lazy Lady Farm in Westfield, Vermont and yes, it’s a bad pun on the name of the former House Majority Leader. (Cheesemakers have a way with words….) “Tomme” refers simply to the shape of the cheese, a squat cylinder, but most cheeses with “tomme” in their name also have natural rinds, covered with an exciting variety of wild molds. Thus the sweet and sour milky flavor of this moist-but-firm cheese are enhanced by the mold’s earthy and woodsy aromas. I love this cheese with a wild yeast-fermented farmhouse ale – the funky tart flavors blend beautifully.
Spring is right around the corner, and with it will come lots of new beer and cheese to enjoy. We’ll talk to you again in March!
Enjoy the Super Bowl with one (or more) of our brand new growlers, filled with any of the 6 great beers we have on tap this weekend! We’ve got something to please any palate, so don’t hesitate to ask us for a recommendation just for you and your couch crew.
SUPER BOWL CHEESE IDEAS
Looking for quick but special menu ideas for Sunday? We put together a list of 5 killer cheese and beer pairings for Greenpointers. Check it out!
We just added Fantome Saison to our shelves. A slightly sour Belgian ale fermented with wild yeast, it’s complex, lemony and floral, with a hint of smoky aroma.
Chicago’s Goose Island has released two excellent new dark, wintery brews. Night Stalker is an imperial stout. The color is indeed black as night, and the flavors are fruity, chocolaty, and malty, with a creamy texture. Big John, also an imperial stout, is enhanced with cacao nibs, and drinks like a seriously dark bar of chocolate.
The Perfect Crime Hollow Point is a Belgian quad, rich, dark, and sweet. It has the traditional caramely, malty, fruity, yeasty flavors of a quad, with a touch of citrusy hops and a medium body.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we have two beautiful new collections from Chocolat Moderne. The heart-shaped bonbons are filled with ganache or caramel, in very special flavors like Single Malt Scotch, Shiso-Lime, Habanero Pepper, and Passion Fruit with Cardamom.
Brooklyn’s Nunu Chocolates has just come out with a line of chocolate bars, for those who prefer their chocolate in more straightforward form. Flavors include Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Soft Caramel, and Toasted Almonds with Sea Salt.
By popular demand, we now carry La Quercia’s Tamworth Bacon. Sliced to order, this heritage pork is rich and flavorful, more porky than smoky. So delicate and finely cured, it can even be eaten raw, as bacon sashimi!
In addition to Olympic Provisions‘ awesome salamis, we now have their Pork Pistachio Pate. Subtly spiced and fresh-tasting, it’s perfect for a Super Bowl spread or a romantic V-Day dinner.
We’ve also added Brooklyn Cured Breakfast Sausage Links to the lineup. They’re made from pork blended with fresh sage, black pepper, and local maple syrup.
We brought something back for you: a limited supply of D’ELidas, Panama’s favorite hot sauce, made with habaneros and mustard!