Have some Hudson mussels

Lately my mind has been on muscles. No I haven’t been to the gym since the week before I went to New York. I’ve been stagnant, and thinking about mussels.

During my 10 day visit to New York, my hometown for most of my life, I was invited to a restaurant on breezy South Street Seaport for dinner with a view. The restaurant–which at first glance resembled a fish and chips dive–was tucked away in a vessel-type hole in the wall inside a vertical strip mall.

But enough of that, let’s jump to the menu. I ordered the most fitting item for a dusk-to-night glimpse of the East River lazily lying beneath the sturdy Brooklyn Bridge: an entree sized mussels in garlic and herb broth and a glass of chardonnay.

A moment of nostalgia with a friend of over six years was interrupted by a glass of urine-colored wine. If there was an awkward abyss between dry and sweet it would be humid and tangy and this wine was a perfect blend. Inebriation quickly came just in time for my my mussels to arrive and there I sat happily awaiting getting drunk off the sweet experience of this great city. A deep ivory bowl held about 25 pale yellow mussels which sat in a muddy broth of a fading ginger color. No garlic and absolutely no herbs.

I knew I was looking at that East River, I just didn’t expect to be eating mussels that used to be living in it. Unfortunately the dish was priced at $19.95. The view alone was worth it, but my stomach was an angry customer. I’ve had better mussels for $6.95 at the Pickel Barrel (bask in your compliments Chura-no). I enjoyed the rest of my night with good company and a large slice of bubbling hot pizza.

Tonight I made mussels in a Thai coconut broth with chili peppers, lemon grass, coconut oil, coconut milk, lime and garlic. Served with crusty garlic bread, it was magical. And eaten with amazing company, it was divine.

(Photo from 1066seafood.com)


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