Hello hello and welcome to edition 18 of Le Digestif! Spring is showing her beautiful face in NYC right now and it seems to be the first day where I can eat al fresco sans jacket.
Welcome to the 498 new subscribers that have joined us at the dinner table! Overjoyed to have you here. If you would like to join our dinner table aka our subscriber list, click the button below!
Since there are so many new pals, allow me to reintroduce myself. I’m Abena Anim-Somuah and I live my life in pursuit of the next meal. Food is such a big part of my life and is a vehicle for me to gather in community, learn more about a particular place, and also rejuvenate myself. I love food so much that I decided to start a company around it. Eden is an emerging membership club connecting food lovers of all ranges. I believe that everyone is a food enthusiast and they just don’t know it yet. We’re still in the early stages of launching concepts primarily in NYC and excited to watch it grow! Le Digestif is my newsletter where I offer food recs, tell interesting stories about what me and other people are eating, as well as announce all the exciting Eden things that are coming up!
When I’m not thinking about food, I’m playing tennis or running, vibing to a record, or reading a book! Please say hi and tell me about your relationship to food- I always love reading them!
Without further ado, let’s dig in!
TO EDEN: Friendly Style Volume 1
This is the new column I’m introducing to announce all Eden things!
Thank you to everyone who applied, RSVP’d, donated, and attended our first volume of Friendly Style dinners! It was so lovely to reconnect and meet so many people excited about food, enthusiastic about meeting new people, and also being such gracious guests to our restaurant partners. We were able to raise over $3500 for Ukranian relief efforts & organizations supporting food accessibility.
Having a smidge of FOMO from Volume 1? Fret not! We will be announcing new dinners for May & new events soon so keep your eyes peeled. If you have any suggestions on events or would like to partner on something together, shoot me a note email@example.com!
TO PANTRY: Brightland Ramp Vinegar
Most people are excited for spring because we’re ditching our coats but let me tell you about my saviour in flavour, RAMPS! Foraged from the lush forests of the Northeast, these cousins of spring onions have decadent leaves and rich bulbs that turn farmers’ market enthusiasts into the culinary equivalent of sneakerheads anxiously waiting for the next jawn.
Luckily the team at Brightland is going to get me to be less frantic this spring. They just launched a new ramp vinegar and wow is it delicious. I just received it in the mail last night and already devoured it with a loaf of local bread and some pate for a nice late-night snack. I’m really excited to have it be the main character in salad dressings or taking a random swig to perk me up.
Snag a bottle here
before supplies last (they just sold out but sign up) when they release another drop Also, they ship super duper quickly so you won’t have so much FOMO.
TO DRINK: Acid League Proxies
In the spirit of trying to live a life without many spirits, I’ve been looking for booze-free alternatives that don’t make me feel like I’m sticking limes into soda and calling it a night. Don’t get me wrong I love a good cocktail but it’s always fun to see if I can do without booze.
Recently, I’ve started stocking up on Acid League’s wine alternatives and popping them open like Olivia Pope after causing yet another scandal. These concoctions of juices, teas, and spices bottled just like your favourite adult grape drink are exceptionally and carry all the boldness, taste, and depth that come with wine sans that weird headache you get the morning after. I absolutely love pairing the Sauvage with a great salmon or chicken or the Velvet with some snacks for movie night. I think as people sit down for Easter and Passover dinners this week, this is definitely a great add to any table you’re dining at!
Enjoy them best served chilled. I get mine at Spirited Away or Whole Foods but check out Acid League’s site for that at-home delivery. Right now, they’re selling their 4-pack with a 15% discount so don’t sleep on them!
TO DINE: 233 Bleecker St Series
As someone whose whole job is to plan events around food, I like to take time off…..by going to events around food. Tucked away in neighbourhood restaurantville aka West Village, 233 Bleecker is an incredible spot where vegetables are loved with so much gastronomical excellence. While their daily service is exceptional, I’m beyond hyped for this guest chef series they’re throwing together.
For their Spring Flame series, the team is inviting 4 outstanding chefs to take over the hearth. Come dine and watch as talents like feelings-forward chef Sophia Roe, and Eric See of BK bakery Ursula bring veggies to life. Catch me at the dinner with pals Woldy Kusina and Lani Halliday, a dynamic duo who I admire not just for their skills in the kitchen but also for their fashion sense. Get your tickets on Resy today before they sell out!
TO READ: Coming to My Senses by Alice Waters
Every year, I fall in love with a book and then buy approximately 30 copies of said book to give to friends, other bibliophiles, or random people on the train. This year, the Abena Book is Alice Waters’ glorious memoir Coming to My Senses. As a Waters’s stan, I think this book answered a lot of questions and introduced me to one of my personal heroes in such an intimate light.
Alice transformed the way that we dine by drawing us closer to the producers and practices that help bring food to the table.
What I appreciated about the book was how Alice stumbled into this journey. She never aspired to become a world-renowned chef but was someone passionate about doing better for the world in some impactful way. As a new founder in a similar field, Alice’s journey is relatable and a great blueprint for understanding how to build a business rooted in hospitality and community. It’s such a great read and so good that almost everyone I’ve gifted to has not been able to put it down!
Snag a copy wherever books are sold!
TASTING MENU: Tokyo Record Bar
In the last few years, the tasting menu has replaced family style as the mot du jour that restaurants use to entice us to spend all our money leaving our hearts and bellies full. In order to make a Monday less drab, I lucked on a Resy reservation at my new favourite hole in the wall, Tokyo Record Bar!
Tucked away in the West Village on famed dining street MacDougal, you mosey down the tight set of stairs into one of the most memorable dinners you’ll have in NYC. Chef Zach Fabian and his amazing team have crafted a 4 course omakase that changes every week.
Start off dinner by leaning into the sake pairing if libations are your jam and write down your song of choice from a menu of vinyl curated by the staff. It’s so cute seeing bopping as their song comes on the speaker!
The night’s theme was an ode to the summer barbeque and respectfully these chefs will be getting a to-go plate at whatever BBQ my family is throwing.
We started the night off with a deviled egg toast, soft milk bread toasted to perfection, topped with a deviled egg mix and scallions.
Then we transitioned into the crispy fried chicken, paired with housemade kimchi and topped with tangy honey sriracha and the classic no-fail ranch.
Tbh, desserts are always slept on but team TRB came correct! These chocolate whoopie pies were filled with this exceptional cream but the real cherry on top were these sugared cherries soaked in sake. Truly put maraschino cherries to bed (honestly who likes maraschino cherries)
To Carmen & Jess on the floor, Eddy, Liam, and Zach in the kitchen thank you for one of the best meals. And thank you for making us feel extra special by letting us share post-service beers with your team. Felt like being the equivalent of being the teacher’s pet.
If you wanna join the Tokyo Record Bar fan club, snag a res here! They release them at 10am every Monday so set those alarms homies!
Thanks for reading along! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or anything you would like for me to try for Le Digestif, please shoot me a note! I always respond!
Have a happy Easter/Passover/Coachella weekend!
Your friend in food
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