Showing posts with label dates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dates. Show all posts

Monday, April 30, 2012

Voyager Bien: Desert Gold

Spring in Los Angeles means many things. Open windows. Musky Jasmine blossoms. Rogue beach days. But for me, it always stirs a need deep in my soul to return to the desert. Lucky for us, we don't have to go far. Weekending in Palm Springs is the norm, but this year Spring offered a spiritual respite off the grid. For my friend Natalie's bday (you may remember her as octo-girl), we ventured deep into Joshua Tree's boulder country for a sun-spiked, dusty boot brand of good ol' R&R. With tequila.
First, let's talk about this crazy house. Bless Natalie's VRBO karma, because she scored with Boulder House, a throwback to kitschy Crayola Southwest pageantry at its best.
And Boulder House isn't deemed so for nothing. The master suite is tucked between some ancient big guys, who are quite the sight (and great huggers). Still, I couldn't have been happier with my adorable lil' cowboy twin room.
The morning view from my bed of sleeping boulders and acres of desert foliage grounded my soul. This is vacation.
A desert day started right, with Stumptown Cold Brew stubbies to sip on in the morning sun while cast iron flapjacks sizzled on the wood-burning stove inside.
Dates, fruits and homemade corn nuts from a nearby farm graced the table at every meal.
The water was a wee bit cold for me, so I readied some poolside drinks while the polar bear club dared each other to commit the dip.
I whipped up a pitcher that was a riff on the Sonoran Sunset, a cocktail inspired by my desert hometown Tucson. I replaced prickly pear syrup with earthy raw pomegranate juice, which justly compliments the secret ingredient - Spicy black peppercorn and serrano chili infused tequila.

Yucca Valley Sunset

1 1/2 oz black pepper/serrano-infused tequila
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz raw pomegranate juice
1/2 oz Cointreau

Shake, shake. Serve in a salt-rimmed glass.
Afternoon plans: Desert Gold, the photo shoot. What else?
Nightfall was illuminated only by birthday candles and flashlights hiking into the desert darkness. Fiery-bright stars, beer, and makeshift "piñata" action... Boulder naps, hot tubs and bats.
Thanks for the tip, fridge. (Yes, we visited Pappy & Harriet's in Pioneertown on the drive out of Yucca Valley the following day - what feels like the original Western saloon. Highly recommended.)

Until next time, Boulder House... Spring does come every year.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Voyager Bien: Moto

I'm missing New York this week. Over the past few years a few Brooklyn joints have proven to be mainstays in my heart. One in particular is on my mind this blustery morning. Every visit, whether it's the first night in town or a quiet respite before heading back to the airport, Moto in Brooklyn is always on the agenda.
Nestled under the tracks of the JMZ train Hews stop, a hanging bicycle is nearly the only signage outside the narrow wedge-block corner café Moto. Entering through the curtain is like stepping into a Parisian-inspired 1930s speakeasy, a compacted jazz band often playing to one side, church pews and small marble tables lining the walls up to the tiny round bar. Candlelit crowds sip wine out of tumblers, snack on simple heartwarming plates like warm lentil salad, mussels, and pork ribs. But the real reason I continually return to Moto is for the last course. Armed with an espresso, glass of port, or a Black Velvet (Guinness and sparkling wine), I always order the famed date cake.
Visually akin to a giant cube of fresh gingerbread, the moist earthy cake is served warm anchored in a sticky pool of toffee caramel, topped with fresh whipped cream and a spring of mint. Even beside Moto's high scoring crème brulée (on record as my favorite dessert varietal) the date cake sparkles.
Don't be scared off by the occasional setback of a wait (and note: Moto is cash only), because once you get nestled into your seat and take your first bit of cake the pleasure of your night will be just beginning...

394 Broadway (between Hooper St & Keap St) South Williamsburg, NY; 718.599.6895
Moto on Urbanspoon