This past Thursday, the sweet and savory aromas of Thanksgiving filled my apartment building. Through my bathroom vent, I can usually smell what the neighbors are cooking. Since the kitchen and bathroom vents in the building are conjoined, it often draws in odd yet strangely alluring scents to the apartment by way of the bathroom. Sometimes it’s waffles, bacon and Pantene Pro-V on Sunday mornings. In the evening it can be a medley of pot roast and spicy Thai curry. But it was Thanksgiving day, and most kitchens in the building were already whirring with activity by early afternoon. The familiar smells of sage, pumpkin, cinnamon, and roast poultry were not only coming in from the bathroom, but had managed to slip into the hallway as well, enveloping me with delicious aromas when I opened the door and walked to and from the elevator.
Typically when I make Spaghetti Alla Marinara, it usually involves roughly chopped tomatoes, garlic, random vegetables from the produce drawer, and a handful of Barilla pasta —all thrown together in two pots and ready to eat in 20 minutes. When my friend Josh suggested that we make spaghetti for dinner, I had no idea I was in for an authentically lengthy Italian experience.
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Hello World (to-Table fans). My name is Kelly, and I’m writing to you from my home away from home, Poughkeepsie, NY. My real home is actually in an apartment with my sister Veronica, creator of this blog. But I currently live with three friends in a house near Vassar College, where I am a student.
That’s enough about me. What about FOOD? Like my sister, I have acquired quite a refined palate, which is a blessing and a curse, as the dining hall that “nourished” me for four semesters is not cutting it anymore. Good-bye meal plan and hello kitchen!
Last Thursday a bunch of us city folks made a trip down south to Louisa, Virginia to stay at my friend Tristan’s family farm. We hopped on the Boltbus for a 4-hour wi-fi and coffee fueled journey down to Washington D.C. Arriving in the early afternoon, we spent the rest of the day walking, eating, visiting National monuments, and then eating some more. Greasy sliders from Matchbox were followed by gloriously juicy cheeseburgers at Ray’s Hell Burger—the beefy patty oozed with intense beef flavor. We concluded our day of eating at Dolcezza, a gelateria in Georgetown, where we cooled down with cups of gelato. The Blueberry Lemon Thyme and Lemon Opal Basil gelato burst with creamy, tart, and herbaceous flavors, waking me up from my sluggish summer lethargy.
Last Thursday, I went to King Phojanakong’s new Brooklyn restaurant Umi Nom for a friends and family night to try some of King’s new dishes before it officially opens to the public. Occupying a space that was previously a laundromat, the restaurant is hidden amongst small local Mexican eateries and modest neighborhood bodegas. You have to be willing to walk a little further (up the stairs in the case of Kuma Inn, or on the subway for Umi Nom) to get a taste of King’s food, which takes a tapas-style approach to dining, but it’s worth the few extra steps.
Umi Nom is a long, narrow restaurant, with a dark wood bar, exposed brick walls, and Edison light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Some of the Asian-themed design accents in the restaurant include the funky bamboo lighting above the bar and white ceramic wall decorations with small dotted lights running through what resembled the cross-section of bamboo.