Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Pines

Sometimes, if no one can celebrate the end of exams with you, you must take matters into your own hands.  And find yourself at The Pines for a drink--you've been curious about it because you once attended its sister restaurant Littleneck on a similarly dark and dismal night.  And you heard the cocktails are good and wintry, and the food sounds strange... and they let you in out of the storm, even though you're 15 minutes early, and make you a nice stiff drink of rye and pine and yuzu.  Eventually, you add some food--you never imagined apples as the star of their own dish before, but the Pines-y rendition succeeds, a giant bowlful coated in sheep's milk and sesame seeds, whose taste shines through, and a little bit of vinegar.  And maybe when you ordered it, you weren't thinking about how testa is basically headcheese, but it melts on the tongue and is accompanied with a pumpkin bread that's more like a loaf cake, and tart huckleberries.  And there's the amuse-bouche of garbanzo beans with--could that be guava salt?  Who knew!  Your second round drink is also made of apple, and whiskey and smoke (this is not actually the first cocktail you've had with apple and whiskey and smoke, but this one holds the smoke longer).  And your book is made out of winter and England and mystery and the dining room is cozy, and certainly your wallet feels the cost of the privilege of sitting here out of the cold for a couple hours, but it's money and time well spent.

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