Every year for our birthdays Jodi and I give experiences instead of gifts. It could either be a tasting menu from a restaurant that we've wanted to go to, lessons for a new hobby or a trip to somewhere we haven't been. These experiences have been some of our best memories.
Brooklyn Grange is a farm on a rooftop in the middle of New York City. Yes, a fully functional farm on a roof. Of course, Jodi found out about this place years ago and took me during one of their farmer's markets. Since we've been following them, we found out that they host Butcher Paper dinners. These picturesque dinners feature local restaurants and chefs who come out and line a 50-foot communal table with food for all to eat.
We have never been able to score tickets because they sell out so fast. I signed up for their email list and got the email one random morning that they had opened up the new season of dinner tickets. I bought two of the last few Ribfest tickets. Sucess!
The day finally came, and unfortunately, it was about 95° and no clouds in the sky in New York City. I refuse to wear anything but black and reserve the right to complain about that when I'm about to cook in the sun on a rooftop. Good thing we were both too excited to care about how hot we were.
As soon as you get off the elevators and reach the rooftop, people are pouring local beer and wine. You can grab a drink and wander around the farm while waiting for dinner to start. We took 500 photos and proceeded to find a seat. Because I am semi anti-social, I always plop myself down and hope that the people who sit down next to me are fun and will do most of the talking so I don't have to. We were lucky enough to have a handful of friendly, just talkative enough people around us. Even some transplants from Ohio.
The food starting coming out. Staff started pouring out from the prep area with bowls full of smoked meat from The Butcher Bar, boiled corn on the cob and potatoes; all served with a side of pickles and bread. Everyone was picking up food across the table with their hands. There was a DJ playing music, and pretty soon everyone was up talking and dancing with strangers. We quieted down long enough for one of the staff members to present the dessert. An eight layered cake that she made with produce from that season on the farm.
We finished up, had another beer and asked if we could grab some napkins to wipe the BBQ off our faces. The staff replied, "there are no napkins allowed here, use the hose over there."