The History of Eggnog: And it’s Association with Christmas.

For as long as I can remember around Christmas time, I enjoyed the popular wintertime drink Eggnog which was only available in November and December. I always looked forward to the holidays, and referred to it as “Eggnog Time”! Not until I was older did I consider why I had to wait till winter to enjoy this festive concoction, as well as it’s odd name.

spiked-eggnog-680x1020Now I’m quite sure that I’m not the only one who began to think about this little quirk after reaching a certain age, but just didn’t give it the proper attention because it only comes to mind once a year (and the holidays are very busy for most of us) then fades into the background for the following ten months starting January 1st.

Now it’s origins date back to medieval England where a certain drink by the name of “Posset” which was an ale-like beverage served hot, and made with milk, figs, sherry, ale, wine and eggs that was enjoyed by the wealthy (and 13th century monks) and used as toasts to good health and prosperity. It was also referred to as “Milk Punch”. As for the name, posset was served in a carved wooden bowl or mug, which was called a “noggin”. Get it? Egg+Noggin!

eggnog-cocktail-680Now just how did this thick milky ale/wine/rum laced drink become associated with the holidays? Well around the 1700’s when the English began to colonize America, milk punch/posset/eggnog traveled along, and many English colonist families had their very own unique recipes. It was prepared during Yuletide and thus later on began to be associated with Christmas.

Eggnog-2Whether you love it or hate it, Eggnog is almost 100 years old in the United States, and is not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. Having said that…….Happy Holidays and Cheers!

Restaurant Review: Dinner at Lido Harlem.

Now I have been going to Lido Harlem for drinks since around the time they first opened up in Harlem some years ago, but never really ate there (except for the occasional bar food, calamari and wings), and since I always liked the place, I thought it was high time that I actually did a review!

20191210_190703I arrive around a few minutes after 7pm and said to the manager at the desk up front: “dinner for one”. Right away was the response, and was taken to a table that was up in the front of the restaurant, in the mist of all the action, (it was quite crowded for a Tuesday night). Now I did not inform them that I was coming to do a review, and was trying my best to be “under the radar”, but after being seated, I noticed that the manager was staring a bit in my direction a few times. I also noticed that he whispered something in a waiters ear while trying not to look in my direction, but I saw it happen.

My waiter Vladimir, who the manager whispered to, promptly came over and asked if I wanted a drink, Chardonnay I said! (of course) and he quickly went to fetch it for me.

20191211_132259Lido is one of the few restaurants in Harlem that serve a decent Chardonnay, so I sipped upon it and enjoyed the bread while I perused the menu for what I would eat for dinner and critique for the evening. The Cannonball Chardonnay had a 2016 vintage (quite good I say) a California wine from Sonoma, that hints of Honeysuckle, Vanilla and Quince, and very full bodied. I loved it.

When my waiter Vladimir returned, I ordered the Center Cut Pork Chop, which was topped with sautéed Spinach with garlic cream, with Currants Agodolce.

20191210_192459The presentation was superb with the spinach on top the chop, and the other ingredients underneath the chop supporting it like mini table legs. It was a very unique presentation that was visually pleasing. Inspecting the “chop” I found that it was cooked very well, not too dry nor undercooked, and the garlic cream sauce was something noteworthy.

20191210_192515At this point I began to suspect that they were onto me, and knew who I was, so as I went outside for a smoke I introduced myself to the manager Patrick, and confessed that I just reviewed the food for the magazine. Patrick was delighted and the owner was standing nearby, and I could see by the look on her face that she was delighted too!

But as I stepped outside to smoke, I saw that a man had fallen in the middle of the street and holding up traffic, I rushed over to help him up, but he was obviously under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both. I could get him to his feet, but he either refused, or could not walk to the safety of the sidewalk, even with the assistance of two other gentleman. I quickly called 911 for immediate medical assistance (and he was still in the middle of the street holding up traffic) exercising the “Good Samaritan Law”.

20191211_133451Several passerby’s walked up to me and gave me either nods or words of approval at my swift and effective action to rescue the gentleman (and resume traffic on the corner of 117th street and Fredrick Douglas Blvd). I returned inside of Lido to settle my bill, and was received like a hero for my actions outside to my amazement (I do this all the time, but, oh well) and returned to my table to sign my check. Since my cover was blown, and they knew I was a restaurant critic, I asked if I could take some photos of the interior of the restaurant for the article, which was met with a resounding yes!

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I also took the opportunity to check out the bathroom, which was clean, and also possessed a bit of charm.

20191210_193956As I made my way back to my table to collect my things, I saw former New York City Mayor David Dinkins sitting at a discreet table in the back of the restaurant. As I tried to keep a respectful distance, he nodded towards me with approval, and I extended my hand to the former “Hissonor” he noted my “heroics” outside and inquired of my visit to Lido. I explained that I just finished a restaurant review of Lido, as I’m a Food Critic, aside from being a men’s fashion magazine and gave him, and his guests at his table my business card.

20191210_195128The former Mayor was very gracious and inviting, and also was so kind to take a photo for the article.

20191211_133708(Mike Strange, and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins)

The former New York City Mayor’s guests wanted to get in on the action as well, and all posed for a photo together!

20191211_133924When I finally returned to my table, I found that the Manager Patrick gave me  another glass of Chardonnay on the house, as a reward for my “good deed” and for reviewing the restaurant!

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20191210_195906(Mike Strange, and manager Patrick)

Lido is quite a fine Italian Restaurant in Harlem that I believe has stood the test of time, and will continue to do so, and will continue to be one of my favorite spots.  The service, décor, and overall aesthetic I give 4 1/2 stars. The food is worthy of 4 1/2 stars as well. Lido is located at: 2168 Frederick Douglas Blvd on West 117th Street in Harlem.

20191211_132507Needless to say this has been the most eventful review that I have done so far (never a dull moment), with fabulous food, superior Chardonnay, rescuing a fellow Harlemite, and practically sitting on David Dinkins lap for a photo. I just simply love Harlem, and I love Lido Harlem.

20191210_200355So what are you waiting for? Get to Lido for dinner or drinks to mix and mingle with their fabulous pre/post gentrified clientele. Oh…did I mention that they have a great Chardonnay!!??

LVMH: Purchases Tiffany & Company for $16.2 Billion.

The world’s leading luxury group (“LVMH”) Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy has reached an agreement with Tiffany & Co to acquire the global luxury retailer for $16.2 Billion or $132.00 per share in cash. Tiffany & Co was founded in 1837, and has since been a luxury leading brand from the U.S. with their worldwide iconic “Blue Box” with over 300 location around the world.

lvmh-tiffanyChief Executive Officer and Chairman LVMH Bernard Arnault said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Tiffany, a company with an unparalleled heritage and unique position in the global jewelry world, to the LVMH family. We have an immense respect and admiration for Tiffany and intend to develop this jewel with the same dedication and commitment that we have applied to each and every one of our Maisons. We will be proud to have Tiffany sit alongside our iconic brands and look forward to ensuring that Tiffany continues to thrive for centuries to come.”

485_mainThe acquisition of Tiffany’s by LVMH was approved by the board of directors of both companies with the recommendation by Tiffany’s board of directors to their shareholders, that they approve this very large and history making transaction.

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The deal is set to close in the middle of 2020 pending regulatory conditions of the closing and Tiffany’s shareholders approval to cement the transaction. LVMH has a portfolio of brands that include: Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Krug, Ruinart, Mercier, Château d’Yquem, Domaine du Clos des Lambrays, Château Cheval Blanc, Colgin Cellars, Hennessy, Glenmorangie, Ardbeg, Belvedere, Woodinville, Volcán de Mi Tierra, Chandon, Cloudy Bay, Terrazas de los Andes, Cheval des Andes, Cape Mentelle, Newton, Bodega Numanthia and Ao Yun. Its Fashion and Leather Goods division includes Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior Couture, Celine, Loewe, Kenzo,  Fendi and Givenchy.