Entries in food (2)


Hello 2013!

Michael Neff's Christmas tree installation in Brooklyn, New York (© 2013 Amber Drea)

With the holidays and initial onslaught of work deadlines behind me, I'm now ready to greet the new year with a fresh sense of excitement and invigoration. For Christmas, my husband and I went to Chicago, where we laughed a lot with family, kissed a lot of babies and ate a lot of food. It was the first time we spent the holiday with his brother and sister-in-law in at least six years. The four of us even got the chance to have dinner with my husband's 87-year-old grandparents at Marinella's Ristorante Italiano in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. My favorite part of the evening was when my husband's grandfather told us his plans for he and his wife's 65th wedding anniversary party, which will take place at the Lincoln Park Zoo and involve a baby giraffe and/or a woman with a boa constrictor draped over her shoulders. The restaurant also featured its "famous" nativity scene—an incredibly intricate diorama of the entire town of Bethlehem.

Nativity scene at Marinella's restaurant in Glen Ellyn, Illinois (© 2012 Amber Drea)For New Year's Eve, my husband and I treated ourselves to a six-course prix-fixe at Reynard in the Wythe Hotel. The indulgent meal included caviar, seared diver scallops, beef carpaccio with sea urchin or a persimmon salad, Maine lobster or grass-fed steak, and Meyer lemon pudding cake or chocolate stout cake (I ate both desserts, btw). All the dishes were delicious, but my favorite was the raw bar plate comprising oysters, clams, mussels, beer-poached shrimp and avocado-crab salad. Then we hurried over to a friend's house party, arriving seconds after the stroke of midnight. We could hear everyone counting down as we ran down the hallway and just missed the ball drop. Fortunately, they recreated the countdown for us so we wouldn't feel left out.

New Year's Eve 2013 in Brooklyn, New York (© 2013 Amber Drea)So far, 2013 has been off to a great start. I'm about halfway through the first draft of my novel—thanks to National Novel Writing Month—and I plan to spend the next few months finishing it so I can begin the revision process. I've also met a ton of amazing people in the NYC storytelling scene and I'm looking forward to hosting my new monthly open mic series, Another Round Storytelling, at LaunchPad in Brooklyn every fourth Thursday of the month. The first installment was super fun, and I can't wait to hear more boozy stories. The next show is Thursday, January 24th, and features the hilarious Glen Roseberg. Hope to see you there!

Another Round January 2013 flyer (photo © 2013 Eric Medsker)


Portland, Promotion and Publication

Sunset in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (© 2012 Amber Drea)

This year has been jam-packed with change: a new job, a new apartment, a newfound sense of focus. In January, I was promoted to managing editor at my magazine, and the position has been both challenging and fulfilling. I'm also putting more energy into my fiction and recently published a short story called "Filipino Baby" at Northvillereview.com. Inspired by the Cowboy Copas song of the same name, the piece was originally written for a mixtape-themed reading at the Asian American Writers' Workshop. As a result of this re-prioritization, my blogging at Newyorkdrinkie.com has slowed down quite a bit, but Lobster Lover is still going strong. This summer, I tried plenty of lobster rolls in New York, Connecticut/Rhode Island and Maine.

Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine (© 2012 Amber Drea)

Speaking of the Pine Tree State, my husband and I vacationed in Portland in July and had a wonderful time. We stayed at the Percy Inn, a quaint, literary-themed bed and breakfast on the West End, and our room was named after John Keats. We ate a lot of delicious seafood and drank a lot of delicious drinks, most notably at Fore StreetLocal 188 and, of course, Portland Lobster Co., the best place to get a lobster roll in town. We also enjoyed the gorgeous surroundings, including a sunset lighthouse cruise on Casco Bay, the geological formations at Two Lights State Park, and the sun, sand and ice-cold water at Crescent Beach State Park

Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (© 2012 Amber Drea)

Other travel adventures took me to San Francisco to visit my best college friend, Jessica, and to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to see my mom's side of the family. While in California, I toured Alcatraz Island, walked among the tall Sequoias at Muir Woods, tasted wine in Sonoma County and explored the Sutro Baths. I also indulged in top-notch cocktails at Jasper's Corner Tap, Fifth Floor Restaurant, Elixir, Bourbon & Branch and Smuggler's Cove, as well as tasty food and drinks at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar and Tsunami Sushi, but my favorite meal of the trip was Jessica's home-cooked crawfish étouffée. In North Carolina, I checked out the local dubstep scene with my brother, played mini golf, ate gelato and got manicures with my sister, went out for dinner and dancing with my mother, and kayaked down the Cape Fear River with the whole family. 

Cape Fear River in North Carolina (© 2012 Amber Drea)

Back in Brooklyn, Jeb and I love our new place in a quiet section of Williamsburg. We snagged a spacious one bedroom with tons of natural light that's two blocks from the train, and we're settling in nicely. The cats are too.

Cruddy on the perch in Brooklyn, New York (© 2012 Amber Drea)