A Penny for your Food Thoughts

Hello every!  Happy and beautiful Monday.  Still a cold spring...still freezing my nads off!  This past week was pretty chill for me.  Lots of kitty cuddling, which I won't complain about. What I'm really trying to avoid saying is that I did a bunch of nothing!  And yea, sure, sometimes I felt a little bad about waking up at 3pm, or binge watching random series on Netflix, but for the most part, why should I feel bad? I know in this game of life, we are conditioned to think that we should be "working hard", which is fine, but what about those of us that just want to live life each day in new and different ways?  I have no problem working toward a particular goal that I'm trying to accomplish, but working hard every day?  Maybe it's not for me!  Some people thrive off of mundane daily tasks.  I suppose I could see the joy in that.  However, I thrive off of daily relaxation, discovery, unplanned spontaneity, and learning new things.  I've always asked myself this question because of these things... Am I just lazy??

I don't really think I am.  Just because I don't want to "work" in the traditional sense doesn't mean I don't have things that I want to do.  The things that I actually LOVE doing don't really make much money though .  But does lack of a typical "income" denote a lack of work ethic? (Don't you just love written air quotes?)  According to society, as long as you are getting paid, you are technically working, right?  There are people who get paid to sleep for crying out loud!  What am I doing wrong?

In honor of exploring my options of doing what I love and getting paid for it (the true American dream), I decided to begin writing about my traveling and food experiences!  I dabbled a bit when I wrote my blog about my trip to Columbia recently, and today I will review a lovely dinner party I was invited to last night!

So if you know me, you know I LOVE food.  Where does it all go?  Beats the heck outta me, because I've remained the same size since middle school.  Gift and a curse people, trust me.  Anywho, last night I was very randomly invited to eat at a supper club dinner party by a wonderful lady named Naomi! Naomi is the founder of CENA, which is a monthly dining experience like I have never had before. I didn't really know what to expect, but I received the email containing the location and a sample 5 COURSE Indian cuisine inspired menu (there was no set menu, but she told me that people could send in allergies before hand).  

The invite also said BYOB, (which is basically what I do secretly at every restaurant anyway) but I'm glad it was encouraged.  The venue was a small pottery shop in a Greenpoint neighborhood that use to be a restaurant and record shop.  Very cute!  A lovely, mood setting jazz trio was in the front doing a set of a few cover songs when I got there.  Also there was a cat named Dragon sleeping in a box!


Chef Shuchi!
 One thing I WAS a little leery of was the guests of the dinner party.  I'm not the most social of butterflies, so I was very nervous when I saw the set up of the room.  There were 16 settings at 3 different long tables.  Who the heck was I gonna be sitting next to??  I was gonna have to interact with people I don't know! Ahhh! It turns out, as the guests started to arrive, some people did infact know each other already.  A few did come all alone, like me, but there were all very welcoming and personable.  I suppose if you are coming to a place like this you are probably an open individual anyway.  It was a very communal setting though overall.  The kitchen was completely open for us to see chef Shuchi Mittal (of 29calories.com) preparing the food.  

She came out to introduce each dish, since the menu was practically a secret until the day of.  As the wine flowed, I began to come out of my shell a bit and talk to some of the people, who all loved food just as much as I did.  I guess food really can bring people together.  Usually we think of food as a necessity of life and just scarf down the required daily portions, but it's so much more!  It's an experience! The idea of this kind of dinner party supper club is actually very cool when you think about it.  BUT it is definitely for the adventurous and open minded.  Each month is a different location, chef, and group of people.  The reservations do sell out fast, so you should probably make some in advance.  And yes, I know, it's hard for us random New Yorkers to actually PLAN things so far ahead like that, but it will be worth it when the day finally arrives.  

Beets + Cilantro Raita + Spicy Orange Compote

Fishcake + Green Beans + Pickled Cabbage

Chicken Keema + Pastry + Achaar Aioli

Mix Veg Korma + Chickpeas + Pilaf

Butter Cake + Cardamon Creme + Chikki

New York is full of so many things that I haven't even THOUGHT about trying yet, but I will be here to tell you about each experience I have (so you can know which ones SUCK and which ones are awesome).  This one was absolutely awesome.  I'm not gonna jump off the social deep end just yet, but it really opened me up to the idea of getting to know more people in this town.  

If you live in NYC, go check the website for April's dinner party reservations www.cenanyc.com 

And if you need some food (or a tropical location) reviewed, feel free to invite me for dinner! 

p.s. I use to want to be a professional taste tester when I was a kid (like those people on Iron Chef), but then I thought about all the terrible stuff I'd have to eat too -___-

p.p.s I do remember my first food review job ever though, I was like 12 and this lady in the mall made me watch a video, eat a piece of candy, then answer some questions about what I ate.  I got 20 dollars too!  Man those WERE the days...