An evening in Long Island City
I used to go out to Long Island City in the 80’s to check up on the manufacturing of garments we were making. It was a very different place back then. Now it is a city in motion. Soon Amazon will be there. So many apartment highrises that you can’t count them all. There is a still not enough grocery stores, restaurants or neighborhood amenities such as a dry cleaner, shoe repair place or drug store but that changing rapidly.
We spent most of Saturday evening in the area starting with the Bruce Nauman show at MOMA PS1. There is a Bruce Nauman show right now at MOMA PS1 and MOMA which is super smart. I will need to get to MOMA to really get the complete curation behind the show.
Have always been a fan of PS1 and having that cultural center in Long Island City is a huge bonus for the area.
After the show, we went over to Dutch Kills, a bar that I knew about but had never gone to. You would never know from the outside what was inside. Set in an unmemorable one-story concrete building on Jackson Avenue. You walk into a long dimly lit hallway that has an aroma of a wooden bar, it really smells good. As you enter, there are booths on both sides, some that seat 4-6 and others that only seat two people. They are dark with light just washing the walls to create the type of vibe that you want from an intimate bar especially on a cold night. At the end of the tables which they keep names on a list for so people aren’t lurking over you, is a big open bar space that is magical. Liquor bottles create the ambiance and about 4-5 bartenders who are serious professionals are working the crowd. Totally love this spot.
Dinner was at Adda, an Indian Canteen. The aromas pull you in the second you open the door. The chef and my guess is his co-partner, work the room and make you feel at home. There is super loud Indian music that gives the place an almost frenetic energy. The food is spicy, delicious and really good. FYI, BYOB. Emily wrote an excellent post (much better than mine) on this place last week titled, Where There’s Passion, There’s Promise which I highly recommend reading and while you are at it, signing up for her weekly post.
These panipuris are filled with potato, tamarind, mint chutney, and yogurt. It is essential to put the entire thing in your mouth and just let it explode. The combination of heat, sweet and salt are overwhelming good. It is the perfect beginning to the meal the beginning of what is to come.
Fried kale in chickpea flour, chat masala and chutney are insanely innovative and absolutely delicious. It is like eating crispy chips where you can’t stop going back for more.
Butter chicken is actually perfect. A spicy rich chunky curry with juicy pieces of chicken.
The Tandoori chicken is also a winner. Coated in a spicy rub with vinegar and black salt. I could eat this all day long.
Goat curry biryani is served like a pot-pie. Really spicy rice with chunks of goat, chilis, and onions. Served alongside is a yogurt that is needed to cool down the heat.
Those were my favorite dishes of the night. We went with part of the family which was really great. We were serious explorers of this city when our kids were young and took them on all of our food and art journies. Seeing them as adults continue on that path and know the city inside out in the areas that many don’t frequent, makes me happier than one can imagine.