Playing Pepper Roulette
The other evening I had dinner at Cookshop a wonderful restaurant located in my Manhattan neighborhood. I've lived for more than 20 years in Chelsea— far enough off the beaten path that really good restaurants have been hard to find. Over the last few years, restaurants have begun opening that I actually love and want to go back to.
Cookshop is definitely one of them. They do everything I appreciate in a restaurant: source sustainable ingredients, offer a creative menu without going over board, and put together an eclectic and interesting wine list.
On my last visit, I noticed they had added Padrone peppers to the menu. I've never seen these delicious morsels on a restaurant outside of Spain or California, where, as at Cookshop, they are most often fried whole, and seasoned with sea salt.
Eating Padrones is like playing pepper roulette: only one out of eight or so is hot. But that one is really, really hot, hot enough to make your eyes water and for you to get your hands on some bread pretty quickly. I had forgotten how much fun it was to eat them. I got my hot one after about the 4th one and survived. I've decided to look for Padrone seeds and plant some next year so I can have the experience more often.
Cookshop_156 10th Avenue_NYC_212.924.4440