Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Sample of Mid-Winter Specials at Jimmy's No. 43

Chef Phillip Kirschen Clark has added some new ingredients to his mid- winter specials menu. A nice variety of smoked salts and house made pickles (satsuma tangerines, shitake mushrooms, pistachios) have been worked into menu items. This time of the year can be frustrating for a chef, so many of the local vegetables are from root cellars. We are proud that we still manage
to turn out a diverse, interesting, mostly local menu in late February! Take note of the following Specials...

Saturday Feb 23 selected specials:

Toasted pecans, vermont maple syrup, smoked sea salt
Benton's slab bacon, tamarind puree, pickled pistachios
Cloth-bound cave aged cheddar (cabot aged at jasper hill) soup w/spicy cashews
Tuna crudo with nasturtiums, preserved satsuma tangerines
Sauteed chicken livers w/mustard greens, giblet cider vinegar jus
Crostini w/slow roasted lamb leg, violet mustard

Wheat beer steamed cockles w/garlic chives
Roasted spicy andouille sausages w/pretzel puree and watercress
Risotto of 18 month smoked prosciutto (benton's, tennessee) and oyster mushrooms
Red miso braised veal cheeks w/babywhite cabage and red cabbage pureee
Roasted dourade w/celeriac/vanilla bean puree and sweet and sour onions

Willow Farm Interview

Willow - you want to fall in love with her name- she's built a beautiful sheep farm in Vermont out of unused land. I met her recently in NYC, at Jimmy' s No.43. She was in one night with a crowd of young, hip cheese mongers: Sashi from Marlow and Sons and Anne from Saxelby Cheesemonger.

Willow, what were the first products you raised/ grew on your farm?

Well, my background is 10 generations of beef on one of the largest cattle ranches in the USA. I wanted to raise animals but needed cash flow while we built fencing and a house to live in on our abandoned dairy farmland that we bought. So we put in several acres of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries as well as perennial flowers and herbs. We also operated a 5 acre diversified vegetable garden to sell locally to co-ops and farmers market. Back when we did 3 markets.

When did you become a certified organic farm and why?

We were organic from this farm's inception in 1991. It is a philosophy and not motivated by money. In fact, our products actually have always been priced on par with conventional ones. We wanted to raise our animals in a healthy manner, without GMO's in their feed or routine antibiotic use. Also with an eye toward selecting a herd for our farm that was stronger and hardier thru selection and without use of crutches like antibiotics. Remember the old adage? Only the strongest survive? There is certainly no guarantee that GMO's are not in anyone's food but if you are buying organic feed (and I mean grain here) it's very strictly enforced. We buy all our hay locally and some grain as well. And also recently dropped our certification since it became too costly. We still manage organically and use herbal medicine when necessary with not only our family but also our animals. In organic dairying, it is all about managing a herd for prevention. Prevention of sickness and disease. It's very management intensive and not for every body. One must keep detailed records on each and every animal and observe the herd over time and make adjustments.

What is your favorite season of the year on the farm?

Wow, that's a good question. I love summer. I am originally from Hawaii so I think I gravitate to warmer weather. Vermont falls are definitely gorgeous though.

How many sheep do you have, on average? How many did you start with?

We have on average about 100 ewes and their lambs and breeding rams at any one time. What alot of folks don't know though is that we have also been milking and making cow's milks cheeses since 2000. I never thought I would allow cows on this farm, being tired of them growing up, but we got some beef cows when my father died. We raised grass fed beef like our ranch for a number of years and just recently downsized to just our dairy cows. Oh-back to the question-we started with 8 sheep to milk and build the herd. Then we also had to build fence, a house and a barn after ours burned just 5 years after we started. So really we should have called this farm "Build-on Farm". It seems continual! We'll get there one day...

That's it. Pretty simple. The NYC cheese people are really excited about your products! Keep up the good work.

To learn more about Willow Hill Farm and cheese, visit the following websites and

Monday, February 18, 2008

Interview with Alex Hall

Alex Hall is a leader in the cask ale, aka "real ale", movement in this country. He was kind enough to answer some questions for us. Jimmy's No. 43 features 1 or 2 casks ales every night......

You Name?

--- Alex Hall (Alexander Michael Compton Hall if you really want to be formal about it!)

Can you tell us how you first got involved in beer, cask ale specifically?

--- My first job after leaving school was on the railway system in Britain, and the dirt cheap staff travel ticket rate (a quarter of the public fare) enabled me to regularly travel to all corners of England, Scotland, and Wales. CAMRA's Good Beer Guide was my trusty navigator to find the best cask beers in the best pubs in all the unfamiliar cities, towns, and villages I would visit, and as a result I became familiar with Britain's regional and localised brews. After six years of doing that, I was quite the expert on them. As a result, in 1992, I was offered a job in a new 'free house' in Brighton, The Evening Star. Recenly opened under private ownership as a cask ale stronghold, this pub strove to obtain real ales not usually seen locally. I thoroughly learned the necessary cask ale cellarmanship skills there, and two years later it became a brewpub for the fledgling Dark Star Brewing Company. I kept the cellar there until 1999, the year I emigrated.

When did you start the Gotham Imbiber website?

--- I started The Gotham Imbiber as a printed magazine in January 2003, and from the beginning it was also available on the web. I changed my strategy in 2006 and decided to shelve it as a printed magazine, converting the website - into a major resource containing a full city beer guide (Beer Demystifier NYC). My direction has always been to promote craft beer from street level rather than from a pedestal, and the Demystifier I found to be a much more successful way of doing this than the magazines. A local monthly beer publication exists in the form of The Malted Barley Appreciation Society's newsletter, which I contribute to now instead of compiling and publishing The Gotham Imbiber.

How many cask ale establishments are there in NYC now, approximately?

--- At the last count, 38 with it available all or most of the time, 14 part time (a gravity cask once or twice a month), with plenty more in the works - including a new bar where it is planned to have cask ales as the only draft lines.

What are some of your current favorite breweries that make cask ales?

---All the local craft brewers, plus Mercury (Ipswich & Stone Cat), Sly Fox, Yards, Arcadia, to name just a few. Not forgetting Dark Star too, whose cask beers are seen here from time to time thanks to importers The Shelton Brothers.

Is Gotham Ibiber still up? Is there a current listing of cask ale bars?i

--- Yes, is very much alive and well and serving as New York City's craft beer resource online. In addition to the Demystifier, there's a list of cask bars on there - though, to be honest, it's very hard to keep up-to-date the way things are going at the moment! Also, there's a national list up on my other website,

Is there anything we should know about Paul Pendyck and UK Brewing supplies?

--- Only that without his herculean efforts and dedication, cask ale in America would still be very rare indeed. Without the cooperage and dispense equipment he regularly brings in from England by the container load, it just wouldn't be happening. I am delighted to be working with Paul to spread cask ale's availability.

Any links you want us to post?a

--- My two websites, as above. Plus The Malted Barley Appreciation Society can be found at, check out their website and monthly newsletter. Also, I'm part of an exciting new brewery project - keep tabs on our progress at

Anything you want to add about cask ale?

--- That, if kept correctly, the experience cannot be beaten by any modern draft system. It is definitely here to stay - and continue growing in popularity.

Any links to good cask ale sites for information?

--- For cask ale supplies, I run an American cask ale discussion and message board:on our Yahoo group. For UK-based information (but relevant here), apart from on my own cask ale site, CAMRA is a good resource -

Alex, it's unbelievable, but we've had visitors from all across America who have learned about our cask ale offerings from the Gotham Imbiber list of cask ale bars!

--- Cheers!

Monday, February 11, 2008

More on SixPoint Craft Ales!

Read this intro to SixPoint Craft Ales from the press archives. Jimmy Carbone discovered SixPoint beers in the summer of 2005 when they were less than 1 year old and they have had a special relationship ever since.

Don't forget, tonight is the night to sample the special menu inspired by (and occasionally including) some SixPoint brews! For more information, scroll down a couple of posts and let your mouth water!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Homebrewers Guild

Jimmy's No. 43 is a proud sponsor of and drop off point for the NYC Homebrewers Guild "Homebrew Alley" Competition.

Feb 11th Menu Featuring Sixpoint Craft Ales

On Monday February 11, Jimmy's No.43 will be hosting a pre-Valentine event featuring several limited, seasonal beers from Sixpoint Craft Ales of Brooklyn. Chef Phillip Kirschen-Clark will offer a menu of specials inspired by or actually prepared with The Belgian Style Triple, Scotch Ale, Guerilla Porter, as well as 2 cask ales pared with winter ingredients from the Greenmarket.

Enjoy reading the proposed menu:

Baby lettuces w/beer pickled cherry tomatoes, radish sprouts, and sheep's milk feta
"Bengali Tiger" I.P.A. and cave aged cheddar soup
Crab cakes with wheat beer aioli, frisee, and tarragon

Strozzapretti pasta w/ boquerones, pickled cherry tomatoes, and drunken goat cheese.
Bio-dynamic barly "risotto" w/bosc pears and pecorino cheese
Miso and beer broiled "kampachi" (baby hamachi fish) w/ flageolet, and baby turnips

"Beer Mash" marinated pork belly ribs w/garlicy kale
"The Slab" Benton's Tennesse country bacon with accoutrements
"Diesel" stout braised lamb shanks, yukon gold and marjoram puree
"Brownstone" braised oxtail w/heirloom carrots

Barley wine and toffee bread pudding
Triple apple crisp (fresh and hard cider, goldrush apples)

Chimay cheese
Epoisses cheese