Welcome to our first edition of SLUMJAM: Dining with Slumlord. This is where the food blog gets a little more bloggy. We are not reviewing or critiquing stuff- merely sharing our love of local dining, local friends, punk rock friends and local punks. And foodie punks- so many foodie punks!
So Tasha and I were at a party a few weeks ago (hard to picture, but try), discussing our after-jam dinner plans for the following evening, when a little bird told us to check out Coastal @ Night. It's a funky dinner service operating out of the Coastal Cafe from Thursday to Sunday every week- run by Graeme Ruppel (formerly the chef at the delicious Brooklyn Warehouse) and Chef Tito (formerly the drummer for The Total Bastards). Each week they offer a different five course, prix fixe menu going for about fifty bucks and featuring an unexpected theme. Wine and beer pairings are also available. The night we chose to pop in, the boys were serving up an interesting theme indeed: in honor of April 20th- aka: 4:20- Coastal @ Night was featuring their take on "The Munchies." How could we say no?
Joined by our friend Jim Doherty, we set out to eat everything. As we were seated, I noticed how lovely the cafe was in the evening candle light. I'd only ever been to the Coastal for brunch in the bright and cheery sunlight, but it's an equally fantastic space @ night.
The three of us went with the set menu, although a tempting a la carte menu was also available. First munchie course: Bacon. Braised pork belly, parsnip puree and sweet, sweet roasted apples.
Next up was the potato chip course: a rich, crispy potato gratin with smoked onion creme fraiche. It was the ultimate ode to chip n' dip!
The next course was (almost) my favorite: Nachos. Welsh cheddar polenta with a sharp salsa verde, lime, grapefruit and plenty of cilantro. We all agreed, the flavors worked so well together but we never would have thought to combine grapefruit and polenta. NEVER! Perhaps it's telling that we didn't take any pictures of this dish. I must have been too busy tending to the party in my mouth.
Time for the main course: C@N's take on that big kahuna of munchies, the Donair. Spiced pork roast, duck fat pita, garlic tzatziki sauce and pickled turnip. So glad they included the pickled turnip! I'm definitely a 'lift' girl.
Although Tasha and I were stuffed after all that goodness and decided to take our brownies home to eat later in bed, we watched with hedonism as Jim slowly destroyed his, muttering softly to himself. Later in my PJ's, I was able to understand his bliss. Never have I tasted such a brownie. It stole the entire show in my opinion: melt in your mouth brownie that was really more like a dark, decadent and smooth chocolate ganache. Salty, smoky chunks of caramel that were surely choice pieces from God's personal Crunchie bar. All topped with a peanut butter mousse, encapsulated by a firm milk chocolate shell. Thank you Coastal @ Night. I am forever grateful for the best bedside brownie of my life- and I've had my share.
So please, if you crave bang for your buck, and epic, unexpected flavor combinations served up in a beautifully intimate setting for you and your favorite bass player, visit the Coastal @ Night. Those boys are dead serious about playing with their food- with dramatic results. I hear this week they're boasting a 'Cinco de Mayo' inspired menu! Their facebook page (complete with up-to-date menus) can be found here.
Lastly, I'd like to give a special mention to that insane fried chicken and waffles dish (complete with maple syrup and apple butter) that I ordered from C@N's a la carte & brought home for TJ. Even though I was full, I still picked at it when he wasn't looking. Sorry buddy.