Stepping into The Cauldron from the back entrance, in what I imagine is the most London feeling part of downtown NYC, you step through the door and are immediately suspicious that you may no longer be in the same world as a moment ago when the taxi driver honked at you for crossing the street and the delivery biker almost took your life because he was texting. It’s dark and the sign says to see the host at the front. Making our way through the tables and the flickering lamps that line the walls I see a patron utter a spell, wave his wand to turn on the lamp at his table… my suspicion grows. Wait… AM I still in New York?… surely this can’t be Narnia… or The Elven Halls of Lórien… I am SURE I was just in New York a moment ago.The host seats us and says our server will be right with us, at least that felt like New York… well, almost… she wasn’t angry about it... The smell of spices and rum is strong and relaxes everyone coming from a long day at the office. Kat, our server (who may have been a nymph… we’re not sure), became the best of friends with us during the night, gave us our menus and potion lists… potion lists… maybe I’m at Hogwarts?
Once we finally accepted the fact that perhaps we may never make it back to NY (would that be such a bad thing?… Although with spring on the way in New York, Narnia might seem a bit tedious), we settled on some potions at Kat’s recommendation… none of us were disappointed – although I will point out: A drink that is not on the menu… The Wizard of Menlo Park (a leading role in this blog post) took a BIT of time to recover from… definitely not for the faint of heart or soul and it certainly kicked some life into my bones. Any drink that can be set on fire and then tossed in dry ice surely will make you feel SOMETHING! 😉 I would highly suggest that if you are NOT looking for a good time, DON’T get that one! 😉
If there was one thing that stuck out and really impressed me was The Cauldron’s ability to tell a story through their food and drink… We started off on such a high with the potions and then decided to order some food.
On the left just below this is a picture of Gifts from the Forrest Dwellers… Allspice Roasted Carrots, Pumpernickel-Hazelnut “Dirt”, Carrot Caramel, and Sage “Moss”… How utterly romantic to be eating gifts from forrest dwellers! (Cue a big content sigh) I think everyone at the table was secretly thinking about who the Forrest Dwellers are and we were so grateful for the gifts they left us. These carrots melted in your mouth and truly made you believe that only The Forrest Dwellers could have concocted them.
The middle and right picture below was the Cauliflower Cheese dish – and yes they set it on fire AT our table (WHAT?!) – the cheese sauce was tasty and the spectacle was definitely worth it… We experienced true childlike wonder at the fact that they lit food on fire AT the table and then two minutes later it was covered in cheese and in my mouth.
Upon finishing our first round of food, and after I had recovered from the journey that The Wizard of Menlo Park took me on (‘recovered’ is a loose term… that wizard continued to make an appearance throughout my evening), we headed to the Tree of Life and used our magic wands to pour ourselves a glass of LIFE!
Now if you dive deep into your memory of being 14 years old and completely obsessed and in love with every character in The Lord of The Rings (at least that was my 12-15 year old self), you won’t have a hard time remembering how desperately you wanted to try the magical bread that Frodo and Sam survived on for quite some time… Lembas Bread… and when I saw this dish sitting on someone else’s table I couldn’t concentrate until I ordered the Elven Bread (Black Pepper Yogurt, Lavender-Honey, Leavened Sweet Bread)
While one slice of the Elven Bread equals one full meal in magic worlds… unfortunately my self control was nowhere to be found because some magical power came over me and I asked for more food… I wanted to keep living in this world and remembering these stories.
The Mint Sauce was so good on these flavorful, fatty, delicious Mutton Ribs (on the right below)… I thought for sure that Gimli was about to barge in and take my mutton, but we finished it quickly and didn’t encounter any unruly dwarfs… that we know of…
As if we weren’t bursting at the seams, how were we supposed to pass up the opportunity to see what journey The Cauldron would take us on for dessert!? To be quite frank… the tree of life was giving me so much… life… that I have no idea what these were other than simply sublime… on the right below: our instructions were to BEAT those plump little bubbles of pink delight (Strawberry Shortcake) to our hearts content and then mix in the spoonfuls of goodies (middle picture) and then eat it as we pleased… we asked for a bit more guidance but the final instruction was to “experience it however you want… and no other way”… which just had me tickled. So we beat the heck out of it and then mixed in the strawberries, white chocolate and magic white cream. Despite our overfull stomachs… we had no problem putting it away.
As much as we all tried to remember – the tree of life had overcome us, but truly recalling to the best of our ability: we think the dessert on the left was some sort of rice or bread pudding – I just remember that it was there, and then oh so quickly it was… GONE (apparently we’re magical creatures after all).
What comes next is really just one big #oops … but to be honest… are you supposed to say “no” to shots that are bubbling over and creating smoke rings on your table!?
So that’s The Cauldron… it was such a magical time… such a journey and an evening that told a story with peaks and valleys with very emotional moments, and very exciting moments… I think I felt all of the following things in my two hours at The Cauldron: Happiness, Anger, Sadness, Surprise, Trust, Fear, Love, Excitement, Terror, Romance, Nostalgia, Hope and all around pure JOY.
Check it out: The Cauldron.
That’s all for now friends, thanks for reading. Check out My Instagram for more pictures and videos of this experience.
I’m Dan, and I Like To Eat!