Metta

Henry Rich knows how to create a local neighborhood restaurant with an urban Brooklyn vibe.  I love the way that Metta feels the second you walk up to the place.  The huge mullioned glass windows that sit on the corner sets the tone for the place.  A soaring ceiling in the front room cuts to a wood ceiling that takes the height down a notch where a bar hugs on the left side of that room and the open kitchen sits in the back with a wood fired oven.  It feels like a warm home.  Even the seating is tight which gets the community feel inside Metta.  When a restaurant serves a bone broth bourbon cocktail, you know when a place that speaks to the times.

We shared everything.  The bread here is really good.  Coal charcoaled flat bread with a tasty bean dip.

Seed crackers with cheese and honey.

Slow roasted lamb with chili, pickled veggies on a piece of lettuce.  A bit heavy handed on the salt here.

Veggies are the standout.  Roasted carrots with a green sauce and a farmers cheese.

Roasted beets still in their skin with creme fraiche and rye berries.

Roasted chicken white large white beans and greens tossed with a citrus vinegar.

If I lived in Fort Greene, I’d become a regular.  It is your neighborhood kitchen with friends to boot.

 

 

Miraval

Jessica and I went away for a girls weekend to Miraval in Arizona.  She needed some rest and relaxation and I can always use some rest and relaxation myself.  What we liked about Miraval is it is all about the spa. No golf, no kids, but purely a place to try new things and that includes new ways to pamper yourself.

Located in the desert of Arizona outside of Tuscon and the setting is absolutely beautiful.  We took a two-hour hike the first morning we got there.  The scenery is breathtaking.

Loved the cactus

The views

And the workout.

We hit up the zipline afterward.  You climb up a 50 foot pole so for some that is a big thing.  It is definitely not an easy jaunt.  Then they strap you in and off you go.  It was really fantastic.

The food at the resort is better than I expected.  There is a juice bar opened all day but there is also alcohol for the evening activities which is a nice bonus.  You deserve a drink after a day of rest.

All and all, loved this place.  I’d definitely go back.  We got there on Friday night and left Monday morning.  Perfect amount of time.

 

 

Living in the amplified world

In the start-up world, time flies fast and furious.  That type of constant creates anxiety, frustration, and exhaustion. These days, the incessant flow of information is furiously coming at all of us, all the time.  It is overwhelming and a lot of the information is not even real but pushed at us and it takes place in our thoughts nonetheless.

It all began with our mobile phones.  People more now than ever are yearning for a sense of community and a place where they can connect with others be it sitting around a dinner table, hanging at the park or stepping outside of that media feed to just breath.

There is a reason that wellness is top of mind for everyone.  David Leonhardt, wrote a great piece in the NYTimes, called “You’re Too Busy, You Need a “Schultz Hour”.  Supposedly when George Schultz was our Secretary of States back in the 80’s, he took an hour a week for reflection.  It was the only time he could think strategically about his job.  Not convinced that anyone in that White House right now is thinking strategically.

These days, I am not sure one hour a week is enough.  Figuring out how you can put time on your calendar for that self-reflection makes a difference in your health and more than likely makes you better at what you do.  We all need to take a break these days from the flow of insanity coming at us daily and that doesn’t even include the stress of our own careers.  As our personal lives blur into our careers because we have constant access, now more than ever, it is important to take the time to reflect and breath.  Perhaps we all need a “Schultz Hour”.  I certainly do.

Le CouCou

Since the doors opened, Le CouCou has become the hottest and hardest reservation in town to get.  Through the goodness of a friend, I was able to get a table.  I discovered that there is a reason the place is packed a month in advance.  The room is beautiful and inviting, the service is quality, the food is delish and what I loved most of all is having a slice of Europe in downtown NYC.  If you close your eyes, you could be in Paris but of course that makes sense as Daniel Rose, an American, just spent over the last decade at a Spring, a small jewel of a restaurant that he opened to the joy of anyone who walked in the door.

Even the bar sparkles.

There are three sections to the menu, not including dessert.  The first section are small treats for the table or for yourself.  We all shared.  Small roasted stalks of asparagus topped with bigeye tuna and a smoky vinegar.  A perfect spring dish.

Poached sliced leeks dribbled with a light vinaigrette and toasted hazelnuts.  Classic french dish.

Chicken terrine with raw uni on the size.  Insanely rich but so insanely complex.  Slathering a piece of uni on top took decadence to another level.

I did not do a lot of tasting of other plates this evening so I can’t account for everyone else’s meals except for mine although I did taste one bite of Fred’s appetizer.  He loved his main course so much that I couldn’t grab a bite before he had eaten it all up.  I started with the raw scallops sitting in a rhubarb juice with a shot of horseradish.  Extremely light and fresh.

Salad of lobster tail salad deconstructed with green lettuce, tomatoes, basil and a paprika cream sauce to be poured over the top.  Every ingredient stands on its own.  Just excellent.

For dinner, I had the lamb chops.  Two perfectly grilled lamb chops served with roasted eggplant, and tiny tomatoes stuffed with choulder and chard.  It doesn’t sound as special as it is.  This is European cooking at its finest.  Each flavor sings, everything is incredibly well sourced, and the combination of the flavors work so well together yet they can stand individually by themselves.

Dessert was shared by all.   Chocolate mousse…divine!

Rice pudding with pistachios.  Another winner.

Le CouCou is European fine dining in NYC.  Rose takes classic French dishes and brings them into the 21st Century.  His touch is light and deep at the same time.   I am returning in a month…and I can hardly wait to go back.

Social systems vs jail time

Almost 20% of the people in jail are under the age of 26 and almost 94% of that number is men.  Most men don’t even wake up until they are 26.  There are obviously exceptions to everything but when someone lands in jail under 26 years old, the chances that they will go on and live a productive life once serving their time is questionable.  Your record could read for the rest of your life “do not hire me”.  Also, consider this, 50% of all black males have been arrested by the time they turn 23.

Our attorney General, Jeff Sessions, seems to be stuck to a theme that didn’t work in the 70’s which is of heavy-handed jail terms and a belief that our streets are riddled with crime.  The data points otherwise but the Trump administration is not interested in data, they are only interested in what they believe with no facts.  They are fabulous at creating fear around unfounded data which is just like hearing fake news spewed at you all day long until at one point you actually believe it.

In California, a place where change is taking place around future thinking, there is a program in the courts based on science.  The data shows that adults under the age of 24 have not fully matured yet they are being tried as adults in court.  Scientists believe that an immature brain may contribute to some criminal behavior. Considering that this generation of 24-year-olds will live to be 100, the concept of just tossing them in jail for a crime and hoping that they get on with their lives or not is a huge expense to all of us.  A program in California took people for this age and instead of putting them in jail, gave them an alternative to meet with the court administrators to help them with employment, housing and education.  They also go to weekly therapy and life-skills classes.

I really like these approaches.  It might not save everyone but this way of thinking can have a better impact on the community, the economy and most important, a human life.

 

Flipping the tables on the podcast this week, it is me. #23

Episode 23: Turning the Tables – This week we’re turning the tables and putting me, the Gotham Gal in the hot seat. I am interviewed by Alexandra O’Daly, who works with me every day and we talk about the path that led me to become the investor I am today, what informs my passion for investing in women entrepreneurs — and gives some insights into my ‘take no bs from anyone’ attitude

Torishin

Not sure where I read about Torishin but randomly (or perhaps not) it was reviewed in the NYTimes the following day.  The restaurant has been given a Michelin star for years.  If you close your eyes, you might think you are in Japan.

It was late so we didn’t opt for the chef’s omikase but we do plan on going back and doing that.  We had a few things.  The kobi beef was really good and just enough because it is very rich.

We had the chicken with a miso dressing.

Also chicken with chopped shiso on top.

Even the simply grilled mushrooms were just perfect.

Great spot.  My guess is now that it has been written up, it won’t remain a hidden secret.  At least it was a secret to me.

 

Wasteland, the movie

I have been following Vik Muniz’s career for years.  We finally pulled the trigger late last year and purchased a piece of his work.  Someone pointed me in the direction of a documentary, called Wasteland, where Vik Muniz spent almost 3 years photographing “pickers” of recycled products in the largest garbage dump in Brazil.

The film really stuck with me for many reasons.  This garbage dump (aka landfill)  in Brazil located on the outskirts of Rio is just that, a dump.  There was nothing being done in regards to recycling instead it is a pile that grows daily.  The pickers who live around there use this dump as an economic means by spending days and evenings at the dump picking out the products that can be resold.

Through the film, there is a community of people that Muniz befriends, takes photos of and has them work with him to create their portraits.   The people are amazing and perhaps through this connection with Muniz they begin to unite and push the Government of Brazil to rethink the dump in regards to recycling and the future.  For Muniz he talks about leaning in to see the materials but then you step back and see the whole image.  It is true for the Brazilian Government when you look at this dump.

It is a really good film.  There is one man that is interviewed who has been living there for decades.  He came as a young child and the dump is his income.  He said something so poignant that stuck with me more than anything.  He said, “one makes a difference, 99 is not 100”.  Deep truth in those words.

Come From Away

In general, I do not like theatrical musicals although I loved Hamilton.  I much prefer dramas when it comes to theater.  As for movies, do not like scary films, but again exceptions to the rule such as Get Out which I would actually classify as a completely different genre.

We went to see Come From Away this past week.  Not exactly sure why I bought the tickets but I did.  I got the feeling that this play has created quite an uproar among musical theater buffs because there was a huge standing room only audience in the back.  The crowd was humming and it seemed that many had been before.

The play is only 100 minutes long which I find perfect.  I don’t love the zero verbal only singing banter but what I liked about this play is the story.  It is a true story and I didn’t know about it until now.

In the very quick aftermath of 9/11, all US airways were closed.  Of course, they were but I never gave much thought to what happened to the planes that were in flight en route to the states.  I now know.  Those flights that had over 7000 passengers on them were forced to land in Newfoundland, a place which had a huge airport at one point because that is where planes used to refuel on the way to Europe.

This play is about what happened in Newfoundland when an area of fewer than 7000 people had to accommodate 7000 visitors with zero preparation.  It is an uplifting story about the human spirit.  I am quite sure that for the rest of my life, my eyes will swell up with tears around any conversation, recollection or anything around 9/11.

Didn’t love the musical aspect but the pace plays with the emotions that fly around this topic.  You got from smiling to crying to laughing.  It is a story that needed to be told and particularly today when tensions are high, it is comforting to know that at the end of the day, most people just try and do the right thing to help each other through.

Ian Cheng at MOMA, PS1 and Glasserie

We went to Ian Cheng’s opening at PS1.  One of the smartest things MOMA did was getting behind PS1, an exhibition space in Long Island City that was founded by Alanna Heiss in 1976.  It is a place to experience emerging art.

Video art is finally having its heyday.  In the past year, we have gone to several installations in major institutions.  I highly recommend getting over to see this installation of Cheng’s work.  It is pretty amazing.  This is his first US museum solo show.

There are 3 parts to this body of work.  It is called Emissaries.  What I love about his work is that it is built on a gaming platform so through predictive technology it is always changing and growing.  It is almost apocalyptic.   In one room there is two screens where you can experience something being zoomed in on.  You could honestly sit there for hours.  There are 3 rooms in total.

Afterward, we went to Glasserie, located in Greenpoint, for dinner.  The grit of that area and the restaurant has the perfect vibe that fits right into the neighborhood.  A Mediterranean menu with a new approach.  My favorite is the grilled bread, hummus, and herb salad.

My pics were dark so I won’t give the entire rundown but this beet salad served with feta was not only beautiful but good.

Nice way to spend Sunday in NYC.