I was 45 minutes late meeting Birdman for dinner at Almond Flower Bistro because we still had pages to close at Nation‘s Restaurant News, and of course you don’t get your dinner until you close your pages.
But I called Birdman to let him know I was late, and I trusted that he would be fine sitting at the bar being fed wine and calamari by our hosts of the evening.
You may remember Birdman from previous blog entries here as the paleontologist and biology professor David Krauss, who is an old college friend of mine and who advises me on things like the structure of trans fats, metabolization of alcohol and assorted other things. This evening he recounted for me the battle of Thermopylae, which is a little embarrassing because I’m the one with the history degree.
You might also remember Chris Cheung, but probably not. I met him years ago, when he was trying to open his first restaurant, which he hoped to call Tigerlily. I did a Q&A with him in which I asked him what it was like to try to open your first restaurant.
He ended up calling the restaurant Tiger Blossom and opened it in the East Village in the summer of 2001, which was a bad idea, but no one knew that at the time.
Then he had a place in Brooklyn called Little Bistro, which is no more, and now he has Almond Flower Bistro, on what I guess is the border between Chinatown and the Lower East Side, at Bowery and Hester.
Anyway, I got to the restaurant, climbed onto the barstool next to Birdman and apologized for being late. Who do you think came in after me and set next to me but Mark Beckman!
Mark was my sophomore-year roommate in college, but I wasn’t as shocked to see him as you might think. He’s a lawyer for Kaye Scholer and actually works in the same Park Avenue building as I do, so I see him from time to time.
But he and Birdman hadn’t seen each other for, like, 18 years, and they seemed glad to see each other.
What we ate:
foie gras char siu bao with black truffle
grilled cuttlefish skewers
grilled oysters, foie gras, gruffle oil and scallop
miso marinated broiled sable with cauliflower cheddar casserole and barbecue sauce
babyback ribs with corn on the cob and mac & cheese
lychee custard tart
Asian pear pie