Put your liquid jacket on

ABC Kitchen's Berkshire cider

This year’s official first day of winter is December 22nd but with this weekend’s lows in the 30s and get this— a chance of snow (Yea, I know, snow in October. WTF, right?) it looks like winter is showing up early. And while my closet is stocked full of puffy down jackets, wool coats, sweaters out the wazoo and scarves of every color in the rainbow and then some, one of my preferred ways of keeping warm is the ol’ liquid jacket. You know, booze.

Yes, most any form of alcoholic beverage—be it beer, wine or liquor— will do the trick, but my favorites are the seasonal kind. Earlier this week, for example, during lunch at the always delicious ABC Kitchen, I had the gut-warming, soul-soothing, Berkshire cider martini. Made with berkshire bourbon and spiced apple cider, it was smoky and deep, the kind of drink that literally makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Hot buttered rum

Also this last week, but this time at home and made by yours truly, was the holiday-style-gluttonous hot buttered rum. Ingredients: hot buttered rum mix (basically a blend of  cinammon, nutmeg, and the like), rum, and you guessed it, butter. I mean, really, don’t you feel cozy just thinking about it? Cause I do. With no garnish or much thought put into presentation, it wasn’t particularly attractive (nor did my camera do much to help the cause), but it was spicy and smooth, and made me wish I had a fireplace to sit in front of while enjoying it.

Winter might be here early but me and my liquid jacket will be just fine.

Kitchen eating

Yes, I know that organic and locally sourced are the ways to eat, and sustainability and eco-friendly are words to incorporate into my everyday lifestyle and eating habits, but I can’t help it. When I hear too many of those tree-hugging, reduce-reuse-recycle words and phrases thrown together I can’t help but think of hippies and nature freaks, granola, steamed veggies and tofu. I know, I’m awful, but I can’t help it.

But never was that less the case than at ABC Kitchen, where I recently had dinner with a friend, after she managed to make a reservation at the consistently full restaurant. Everything, from the “reclaimed wood tables” and “soy based candles” to the “consciously sourced ingredients” was exactly the opposite of what I might have been hesitant about. I can’t say I was really surprised though. ABC Kitchen, located inside the massive ABC Carpet & Home store, is a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant, and really what doesn’t that guy make awesome?

Crab toast with lemon aioli

Because I was with a friend and not my allergic-to-shellfish boyfriend, I suggested we start with the crab toast from the market table section of the menu. A dark, nutty slice of toast was topped with sweet, meaty hunks of crab meat and a creamy, zesty lemon aioli. No tofu or granola in sight, just two very happy diners. Continue reading