The London Fox | Currently on sabbatical in New York City

Month: January, 2013

The Dinner Bell

The London Fox swoops down the grimy steps at the 47-50th street subway. In this underground city, he feels at home when presented with the familiar sights of tracks, signs and stairs and the smell of soggy concrete. But somehow, he is lost. With no colour coded lines to rely on, he looks at the subway map, and tries to figure out how on Earth he is to reach his destination.

This was my first experience in the New York subway. It was as confusing as hell at first, but became very intuitive and simple once I worked out how it works. I was on my way to Brooklyn, where in my first week in New York, I managed to secure a place at the much hyped Dinner Bell supper club. I’m told that New York is full of these clubs, whereby someone hosts a dinner for an array of random, paying guests.

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Julia, our chef, is an artist-come-untrained-chef. The Dinner Bell began as a hobby of cooking which turned into an experiment with friends and has now become a hugely popular and oversubscribed affair among the New York foodie scene.

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And there is much grounding for the hype. The food was exquisite. Intense flavours, paired with some well thought out wines. I particularly enjoyed the dessert of Panettone Bread Pudding, and I’m not even into sweets. Of course, the main of Braised Beef Brisket, perfectly balanced with a pickled red cabbage was also a favourite.

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The thing that struck me most about the Dinner Bell, though, was the freshness of the experience. Surrounded by a fashion PR and several social network extraordinaires, whilst sat around a stranger’s dining table, you wouldn’t be mocked for thinking his was a bizzare experience for me. However, with some dutch courage (helped by the wine pairings) and everyone’s love of food, I ended up meeting some truly great people.

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Don’t expect Michelin starred presentation at the Dinner Bell, but it shouldn’t be. The food is too comforting, and the setting too homely for that kind of sterility. Overall, an absolute pleasure.

The Dinner Bell
Brooklyn, New York

Goodbye London

The London Fox turns the key to lock the door, picks up his bag, turns and looks at the front door of the building to his Islington flat. He breathes a heavy sigh against the cold winter air, creating a misty cloud in front of his eyes. Through the cloud, three and a half years of fond memories begin to play in reverse at high speed.

There he was, browsing through the canal boat market in the Summer…

The orange Autumn days rustling through Hyde Park…

The Sunday roast chickens…

The tired Monday mornings…

There he was in the car, moving into this city as a fresh faced graduate from smalltown Cambridge.

The mix of cold and nostalgia causes a shiver to run down his back and his eyes to become bleary. It’s time to say goodbye to London…for now.

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