Comfort Food & Christmas Trees

The original plan this weekend was to throw a party, but we decided to go for a comfort-food-and-Christmas-tree extravaganza instead.

Friday night was super-exciting.

Peas On Face from Jordan Reid on Vimeo.

I know, you’re jealous.

Saturday started out at Grimaldi’s, home of what many call the city’s best pizza (I hear it’s a close tie with Di Fara), as well as the longest line I have ever seen for bread, tomato sauce, and cheese. Kendrick’s been trying to drag me to Grimaldi’s ever since I lost it over the pizza at Pepe’s, in New Haven…and even though I did complaining aplenty during our hour-plus wait (did I mention Saturday morning was a tiny bit chilly?), it was, as promised, worth it.

I have to say, though – we only made it inside without me munching away on Kendrick’s arm because of the close proximity of the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

Above, my appetizer.

This Vanilla Chocolate Chunk with hot fudge looked so delicious that despite the weather, several of our fellow pizza-seekers were inspired to head across the street for some ice cream themselves. (Apparently the hot fudge is a new addition to the menu; created by the pastry chef at the River Cafe next door, it’s just about perfect.)

Oh, my pizza. This was so good that I might have to make a repeat trip next weekend, weather be damned. If you go – and you should – be sure to order the cured olives as a topping.

We spent Saturday night decorating our Christmas tree and eating Shrimp Scampi straight from the pot. It was…ok. I’ve had better. What I did: I sauteed the shrimp in butter and 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves, and then removed it from the pan and concocted a sauce with more butter, wine, lemon juice, parsley, salt, & pepper. Then I returned the shrimp to the pan and tossed everything together with some fresh linguine, but it didn’t taste as amazing as the last Shrimp Scampi I had (which, OK, was in Little Italy, but still).

Anyone have a Shrimp Scampi recipe that they love and wouldn’t mind passing on?

Here’s Kendrick looking extremely determined to perfect his ornament placement strategy.

And here’s a new addition to our tree: an ornament Kendrick got when he was three years old, and picked up on his last trip home.

Sigh. I love Christmas.

Now: Sunday. Remember how I mentioned that I wanted to go back to The Blue Stove for some taste-testing? Well, I did…and Kendrick accompanied me once I promised him pie for lunch. We went for their famous Chocolate Bourbon Cake and a slice of Plum Crumble, and stood at the counter eating while watching a crochet club (can I join?!) clicking away.

Verdict: Plum Crumble has the edge, but both are worth a trip to Williamsburg.

Apres-pie, we stopped into this remarkable place, Caffe Capri, where coffee is fed through a gelato machine and the Christmas lights stay blinking through April.

A quick tour through The Brooklyn Kitchen had me eyeing these mugs (and matching plates) and wishing I had just gone ahead and bought the set in Ohio.

I’m not a huge fan of fancy beer, but the bartenders at Spuyten Duyvil are OK with that: just tell them what you like (even if you have a similarly undiscerning palate to mine) and they’ll recommend something just right.

Sidenote: after chatting with the bartender about the kinds of flavors I liked for a bit, I asked him what beer he thought I would hate most in the world. He didn’t even hesitate for a second before telling me to stay far, far away from this.

With some time to kill before heading back to Manhattan to pick up coats for the NY Cares Coat Drive, we decided to check out the incredible Christmas decorations that have popped up all over Brooklyn in the last few days.

Above, Kendrick with reader (and coat-donator!) Rose. If you’d like to set up your own coat drive through New York Cares, click here. Click here for coat dropoff locations, and here for other holiday volunteering opportunities around the city.

Sunday night ended with some present-wrapping by the tree, and a couple of very uncooperative assistants. Those two, I swear.

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