Re-imagining Puerto Rico: Lucky Luna’s Cocina Criolla Supper Club

Bili_MarinWattsBilí Ingredients/ Photo by Marin Watts

Re-imagining Puerto Rico

Lucky Luna’s Cocina Criolla Supper Club

7pm on November 17th, 2014

Lucky Luna’s first supper club aims to complicate popular notions of Puerto Rican cuisine and re-imagining traditional dishes. The evening is centered around bilí — a rum that is  infused with vanilla bean, bay leaf, peppercorns and cinnamon that originated on the island of Vieques off the coast of Puerto Rico. In collaboration with Von Diaz,  writer, cook, and journalist, we bring you a sit-down dinner with recipes from her Puerto Rican food memoir and cookbook in progress, Gordita, complete with beverage pairings that feature bilí and other Puerto Rican flavors. Each dish will be presented within cultural and historical context, introducing diners to Puerto Rican ingredients and techniques. In an effort to keep the night intimate and allow for conversation, we are limiting the supper club to 20 guests. The $80 ticket includes the 5 courses with drink pairings.* Reservations are required, cancellations are honored though Nov. 14th.

 Tickets can be purchased at: luckylunasupperclub.bpt.me/

For more information about this event, please email: info@luckyluna-ny.com

To learn more about Von’s project, please visit: Vondiaz.wordpress.com/cocina-criolla/

*Please review menu for allergies or dietary restrictions and note that we will be unable to make substitutions

The Menu

 

Bilí

dark rum, quenepas, vanilla bean, bay leaf, peppercorns, cinnamon, brown sugar

Sopa de plátanos fritos

fried plantain and beef soup

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Mas que un mojito

white rum, culantro, lime, raw sugar, vanilla, pineapple, mineral water

Pernil Bao with salsa aji-li-mojili

pork shoulder stuffed steamed bun

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Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc

2012/Central Valley, Chile

Ensalada de Chayote, Habichuelas Tiernas, Tomates, y Aguacate

chayote, green beans, tomato and avocado salad

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Cono Sur Pinot Noir

2012/Central Valley, Chile

Conejo Estofado

braised rabbit with chorizo sofrito and chard

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Cafecito de Naranja

coffee, coffee liqueur, dark rum, orange bitters

Cazuela

pumpkin, sweet potato and coconut milk

La Vida de los Muertos

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El Día de los Muertos is not Halloween.  It is not about trick-or-treating. It is not a celebration of death.

What it is, is a celebration of life.

It is a time to honor and remember the lives of those who have passed.

It is a time for friends, family and communities to gather and rejoice in life.

Muertos is just as much about color, brightness and laughter as it is about mourning, reflection and stillness.

Skulls and skeletons comprise much of the iconography surrounding Muertos, yet the darkness of their morbidity is juxtaposed by the sweetness of sugar from which they are made.  The silence and sorrow that surrounds a funeral, is contrasted by the comparsas band, leading family and friends in a joyful dancing frenzy as they wake the sleeping spirits.

 

Candles illuminate tombstones and altars, covered in marigolds (the flower of death) and gifts of the dearly departed’s favorite beer, tequila, snack and sweet.  Altars and sand “carpets” (tarpetas de arena) also pay homage to the symbiotic relationship that is shared with the earth, using naturally different colored tierra, sand, maiz, seeds, fruits and nuts to illustrate stories of pre-hispanic time and detail the cycle of life.

In Mexico, the word death is not taboo.  It is a part of life and therefore cannot be removed or ignored.  Irrespective of religious beliefs (and at times contradictory), death is not viewed as finite.  El Día de los Muertos (which is actually more than one day), is a chance for the living to gather and visit with loved ones who have left this world.  It doesn’t matter if the spirits – or whatever they may be called –  actually come back to the world of the living— the significance, rather, is in the life of those that have passed, relived in the festivities of remembrance.

 

Lucky Luna’s final show this year, La Vida de los Muertos, is a photojournalistic journey through Oaxaca, Mexico with nearly 100 images taken during Day of the Dead in 2009 and 2010.  Lucky Luna will also feature food and beverage specials October 31-Nov 2 in recognition of this holiday. 

La Vida de los Muertos is dedicated to Lucia Ana Flores Cadena, Jesus Cadena, Herminia Cadena, Tommy Jenkins, Sandy Rademacher, Richard Belski and Daniel Schingeck. 

 

 

Mexican Independence Day is Not “El 5 de Mayo” ?????

Yep.

Contrary to popular belief, Mexico does not celebrate its Independence on the 5th of May, aka “El Cinco de Mayo” – which is a day honoring Mexico defeating the French in what is know as the Battle of Puebla  (there were actually many battles but we won’t get into all of that here but you can read this quick little essay for more info).

Mexican Independence Day is the 16th of September, commencing with this guy, Miguel Hidalgo, and his “Grito de Dolores,”  (Cry from Dolores) announcing the beginning of the War for Independence (from Spain). There is an English language, US made film called, “Hidalgo” but we cannot promote it nor assess its accuracy since none of us have seen it…..

But we will celebrate.

So join us next Tuesday, the 16th of September, at Lucky Luna.  There will be no ironic mustaches or sombreros but Lucky Luna will honor this historical day with some food and drink specials, some Mexican and Spanish language music (not all ranchera or mariachi), and some other fun stuff.

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Summer Love

Summer 2014 has been pretty eventful thus far-

From our very first artist salon ending in a late night tango 

(if you would like to receive notice of our events, please send an email with subject “Add me!” to info@luckyluna-ny.com – and we promise not to flood your inbox!)

 

to World Cup frenzy

 

and Department of Health inspections

to celebrating a birthday and a wedding!

 

We also added a bunch of new concoctions to our “Cocktail del Dia” collection

 

We started #WinoWednesday with $2 off all wine by the glass

and #TacoTuesday featuring $1 Tecate and $2 Espolón Tequila shots with an order of 2 tacos

And, by popular demand and consistent request, we have started to jar our ¡HOT! sauce (you can pick up a 3oz jar at Lucky Luna for only $6) 

So while we all know that the approaching autumn is inevitable, Drake reminds us to savor every sunny day with unbridled enthusiasm.  See you at Lucky Luna!

 

 

 

 

 

La Sirena by Melissa Hunter Gurney and Zhenya Bernadskaya

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La Sirena: A collection of words and photos

July 7th – September 29th, 2014

Opening Reception July 7th, 7pm – 10pm

Lucky Luna Restaurant and Bar, 167 Nassau Ave., BK 11222

La Abuela was magnificently named. In many cultures the only women who aren’t identified as gifts of sensual pleasure and desire are the old ones, the ones who are no longer pleasing to the eye. Because of fallen skin covering once lush curves they resemble dried up flowers and no longer arouse us. We don’t want to smell the soft necks of wilted tulips or run our fingers over crispy hydrangeas – nothing about a wilted, dried up flower appeals to the senses but we still respect these flowers because they remind us of certain truths – their age and lack of moisture tells a story of a moment or an emotion we were unable to express.

La Abuela was different, she was an enigma, she was given the name “The Grandmother” inciting the idea that she was more than the wise, wilted, orchid storyteller but she was all the wise, wilted, orchid storyteller’s: the bird of paradise, the bougainvillea, the daffodil, the rose and the peony. She was given this name before her skin fell, before her hair greyed and before her walk lost the same flavor as her eyes – the flavor of desire, passion and the hunt. Men treated her as if she birthed them, pausing in her presence to ponder the confusion of lust and maternal love.

La Abuela was granted a passage in-between worlds.

La Abuela spoke to her sisters in metaphors and made the English language sound like a poem.

“You are 100 petals without a stem to hold you, without soil to keep you in place. The wind divides you and the sun changes the color of your complexion giving you a different name each day: begonia, carmelitilla, aguilena.” She whispered their names softly paying homage to a goddess.

“First you must trust the people. Their lives and their places will bring you pedals again. Then, you will go in search of a stem – you only find a stem by looking mi hermana.”  When she called me her sister I felt the pleasure of a little girl with fruit dripping from her mouth and hands.

“In some countries a woman who rebels is referred to as La Puta, in other countries she is called La Sirena – an individual, a rebel who cannot be chained by the shackles of tradition.”

“Do not misunderstand mi hermana. Not every woman is granted the freedom to use her talent as she pleases. A man knows a woman who chooses frivolity and insecurity over intellectuality and confidence – only one is called La Sirena because she is other worldly, a temptress made to breath in two lands – the air of tradition and the water of the wild. Every woman must know who they are before entering into a life of lust because if she is merely human she will be spit on for the choices she makes.” 
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Melissa Hunter Gurney is an independent writer and the founder of GAMBA Zine – a literary magazine dedicated to art and rooted in passion and thoughtfulness without the politics of publication. She is connected to the artist life as seen throughout South America and writes for La Gente Descalza (The Barefoot People).  You can follow M.H. Gurney’s work at www-brokenbraids.tumblr.com and gambazine.tumblr.com

 

Zhenya Bernadskaya is a Brooklyn based photographer from Ukraine. Zhenya combines her background as an Occupational Therapist, working with children, with her passion for photography and travel. She spends her time wandering the streets of NYC and beyond with her camera. Most of the images from this exhibition are from her travels in South America. You can follow Zhenya’s current work at travelallways.tumblr.com

Please join us at Lucky Luna (167 Nassau Ave., BK) on July 7th, 7 – 10pm, for the opening reception and artist salon where Melissa and Zhenya will be accompanied by other local artists sharing their work over wine and cocktails!

Say Hello to Summer!!!

As Lucky Luna bids adieu to spring, we wanted to share some of the activities and dishes we have enjoyed since our last update.

Negroni Week was a lot of fun as we celebrated this classic cocktail and did a slew of original variations (a new one each day) all in the name of charity. Check out our takes below:

Hop Fresh  House Hop-infused Gin, London Dry Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Branca Menta

The Rossellini Dry Sherry, Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Dry Vermouth

Rum and Rye Roni  Smith & Cross Jamaican Overproof Rum, Rye, Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Chocolate Bitters

Agave Garden  Mezcal, Cocchi Americano, Cynar, Aperol, Campari and Angostura Bitters

Poblano Rojo  Gin, Campari, Ancho Chili Liquor, Cynar and Orange Bitters

The Managua  Rum, Dry Vermouth, Velvet Falernum, Campari

 

And in accordance to our philosophy of consistently finding ways to create and engage the community in arts and services, not just through delicious food and drink, Lucky Luna hosted its first Ladies Swap Meet!  Participants brought in choice items such as clothing, art, books, shoes and more to trade, swap and just give away to other attendees.  The only rule was that items could not be exchanged for money, only other goods or services.  New friendships were formed over piles of clothes, cocktails, and laughter.

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Lucky Luna also has been working diligently on setting up our Take-Out Window!

As summer has been approaching with her hot and sunny days and warm nights, we have been experimenting with some cool dishes, savoring spicy Micheladas and enjoying visits from our furry neighbors out for a stroll!

AND we got another slew of Kickstarter out in the mail with one round left!

And received our Best and Most Original Bloody Mary plaques!

Last but not least—- we FINALLY, after a year of requests, have a graffiti-free restaurant!!!!

And so we welcome summer with open arms and eagerly await new surprises, new guests, and new adventures! Happy Summer!!! 

Negroni Week!!

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In honor of one of the greatest classic cocktails, the Negroni, Imbibe and Campari have asked bars across the country and beyond to join forces celebrating this time-immortal libation and raise some dinero for the charitable cause of their choosing.

Lucky Luna is happy to jump on this bandwagon!

From June 3-8 (not the 2nd because we’re closed Mondays) we will be participating in #NegroniWeek by serving up a classic (equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth) as well as an original variation each day.  For every one sold we will be donating $1 to Safe Horizon, an organization that provides shelter, support, counseling and legal services for victims of domestic abuse, violence, sexual assault and related crimes. 

Check out our Instagram and Twitter for pics and recipes of our Negroni inspired cocktails and stop by to try them while supporting a great cause!

#LuckyLunaNY 

#LuckyLuna

@LuckyLunaNY

 

 

Sunday Bloody Sunday

This past Sunday, Lucky Luna were proud participants in the 1st Annual Brooklyn Bloody Mary Festival!

We faced fierce competition from 9 other respected Brooklyn bars and restaurants, each pouring their bloody best concoctions to the masses.  The day consisted of three hours of tasting the most amazing and extravagant bloodies and noshing on Tacu Tacu treats. We brought our Kimchee and Nori Bloody and ended up taking the “Most Original” 1st place award!  The biggest shock came when the festival hosts, Evan and Yunna Weiss, announced the “Best Bloody Mary in Brooklyn” award-  it was Lucky Luna!!! 

In celebration of this prestigious award, we will be offering the winning bloody for $5 tonight!!! 

Bloodies aren’t just for brunch! 

The High Road and Other News

Well folks, Lucky Luna’s train has continued to pummel forth at high speed into out third month open.

A few weeks ago, a review about Lucky Luna appeared in a little newspaper called the New York Times—  and apparently, they have a pretty big readership base.  On the local level, we graced the front page of the Greenpoint Gazette!  We are overjoyed with the attention that these pieces have brought us, coming hand-in-hand with the increasingly warm and sunny days that every New Yorker desperately desired.  And while the cold and grey still make frequent visits, Lucky Luna feels like a spring breaker— ready for adventure.

On the 14th, we opened the show, “Creosote” by Tessa Estelle Kramer, a textile artist from Arizona and current Brooklyn denizen.  A humble but hearty turnout to the reception brought Ms. Kramer one sale and two commissions! Creosote will be hung at Lucky Luna til mid June, so there is plenty of time to check it out.

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Today, April 23rd, marks the first day of “High Road Restaurant Week” -  a week long celebration of restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn that are recognized for implementing fair labor practices in their establishments by paying higher wages, offering opportunities for advancement, complying and exceeding labor laws, and supporting positive and healthy work environments in addition to their dishes.  Lucky Luna is proud to be a participating member of this event, honoring not only amazing food and drinks, but the people who are the magic and the muscle behind providing these treats.

AND this Sunday, April 27th, from 1pm -4pm, we will be participating (and competing) in the THE 1ST ANNUAL BROOKLYN BLOODY MARY FESTIVAL !  The festival will be held at Tacu Tacu 134 N. 6th Street in Williamsburg.

The event will be 3 hours of unlimited Bloody tastes from 10 different Brooklyn restaurants/bars with brunch snacks and music! We will be serving up our Kimchee and Nori Bloody! 

Tickets include unlimited Bloody Marys and brunch snacks $35 – available April 12th and until the event sells out
Tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-1st-annual-brooklyn-bloody-mary-festival-tickets-10925487427

 

Creosote by Tessa Estelle Kramer

Creosote

April 14th – June 15th, 2014

Opening Reception April 14th, 7 – 10pm

Lucky Luna Restaurant and Bar, 167 Nassau Ave, BK 11222

From a young age I was drawn to textiles and fabric.  My Grandmother taught me how to hand-sew when I was a child and since then I have always gravitated towards fabric, the more textural and vibrant the better.  When I was introduced to weaving, something clicked – I can make my own cloth- my own fabric!  Using natural fiber yarns, raw wool, found and up-cycled pieces of fabric and paper I create ‘landscapes’ and textural planes on a turn-of-the-century, four-harness table loom.  The pieces in this exhibit are all pieces I have made in New York since I moved here eight months ago from Tucson, Arizona.  The colors, plants, and sunsets of the Southwest are all strong influences and let me explore my roots, while also helping me process and embrace my new home in Brooklyn.

This exhibit is named Creosote after one of the most prominent plants in Southern Arizona, Mexico and Texas.  The Creosote bush has many indigenous uses and reigns most prominent in people’s minds for the lovely scent that it brings the desert during the summer monsoon season.

-Tessa Kramer April 2014, Brooklyn, New York

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    Lucky Luna’s inaugural show,”New New Yorkers”, responded to the journey that every non-native New Yorker experiences when acclimating to this great city, manifested through sometimes extreme existential, emotional and physical metamorphosis.    Tessa Estelle Kramer’s “Creosote” reflects the delicate balance of sweet nostalgia for the ethereal desert and magical sunsets of the southwest, and the energy and fire that fuels life in New York.   Tessa’s works weave together a melange of textures and colors, much like the city.  Unlike New York, however, which can sometimes have a dark edge, Creosote is a series of pieces that reflect a lightness that Tessa has brought with her from Arizona and cultivated in this city.  

Please join us for an opening reception April 14th from 7pm – 10pm at Lucky Luna Restaurant and Bar, 167 Nassau Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11222