Evan Rail has been called upon by The New York Times, Saveur, and Anthony Bourdain to serve as an expert on the beers of Central Europe.
What was the food highlight of your year?
The new restaurant DSTRIKT in Vienna. Chef Wini Brugger originally made his name with Asian recipes, but here he has returned to classic Austrian cooking. His grandmother’s version of Kärtnen-style quark dumplings with mint was amazing: rich, decadent, strangely fragrant. Central Europe on a plate.
What was the music highlight of your year?
Until now, I would have said Major Lazer’s “Get Free,” a single I kept on almost constant repeat, but the New Division’s “Night Escape” EP is pulling up fast in the final stretch.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
It’s hard to explain, but earlier this year I found myself in a ramshackle pub in East London, halfway through a long trip, when this drunk woman started banging out honkey-tonk on a beat-up old piano. At the time, I was pretty exhausted, and I knew I had still several more days and another thousand miles ahead of me. But just that combination of a solid pint and unexpectedly good music suddenly made everything all right. Once again.