Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dinner c/o Tinto

Two weeks back, I think it was, my two bosses took the team out for a nice dinner at Tinto. Though the restaurant serves its food tapas-style, we all were feeling a little territorial and decided to order as individuals, not a group. This was probably wise, as the portions were generally on the smaller side (understandably). The meal started with complimentary cheese flaky thingadoos.
I ordered the charcuterie mixto: thinly sliced cured meats that included chorizo, serrano and other nice treats. So thin and served with a hummus-like textured egg salad.
Next I ordered the Basque onion soup (veal consomme, caramelized pearl onions, brioche and idiazabal gratin). Mmmm. It was rich and the idiazabal cheese factor was quite delish. Delish?

And an oyster bocadillo (fancy for sandwich) which was very generous with its fried oysters and paired choricero pepper tartar and sweet onion escabeche. Oh it was a good sandwich, yes it was.
B. and I split two desserts because we were intrigued by certain components of both and couldn't decide for ourselves. The first was cafe con leche (espresso mousse, canella gelato, brandy steamed milk and hazelnut turron) and was just superb. Each flavor and texture was severely wonderful. Yes, severely.
This photograph is not very good but the dessert, torta de aceite de oliva, was quite nice. Olive oil cake, grapefruit curd, preserved citrus and rosemary cream. Oh my.
This was a lovely meal and I thank my employers for the opportunity.

Breakfast c/o Little Purity

Sunday morning it snowed. We walked to Little Purity for breakfast (the link is right but the photograph of the inside doesn't reflect my memory of the establishment's decor). It was on this walk that I realized that my beloved Sorel boots, which I have had for four years, have become less effective at keeping my feet warm and dry. I've walked away the heel on one of them in such a way that moisture finds a way up and into my boot, thus making me walk around with a wet foot. Booo. Oh Sorel, are you the sort of company that, like winners and champs every where, has a lifetime guarantee for your product? Will you re-sole my shoes maybe? They have served me through one (two?) mid-state New York winters, three mid-western winters (I think I had my boots in Indiana, I know I had them in Chicago) and it would make me sad to have to say adieu.
But the boots are not the point.
I ordered poached eggs and sausage. The eggs were delicious and poached just like I like them, the sausage was robust and bursting with juicy goodness. It was really nice to see K. and C., I don't think I have seen them since their burrito party during my foray into the city last winter.

The Party

The party that K., C. and I attended was definitely an experience. K., C. and I knew very few people while it seemed like most of them knew each other through something called Burning Man. There was a lot of booze, Chinese food and additional snacks. This was a giant loft space, also in the West Village, which our host owned!
Um, yeah the host also had a pretty interesting collection of photography including at least two Avedons. And a number of other photographers that I vaguely remember from my History of Photography days. We were given a very extensive tour.
I have no idea what's going on in this photograph. I am clearly not looking at the camera and can only assume that I'm saying something to C. But what? I may have been measuring my amusement at our location (there was singing later, including a song about why 'pesticides are bad') (pesticides are bad by the way).

New York Is The New Baltimore, Part Trois

On the Saturday of my New York trip, I met up with K. and C. in the West Village. We went to Little Branch, which was very basement speak-easy fancy cocktailed. We all started with martinis, mine was a dirty vodka while they went with gin.
I then had some sort of peach mint julep kind of thing with a metal straw and lots of ice.
Then, afterwards, we started to head in the direction of a party of a friend of K.'s boyfriends?
And we found this giant piece of ice!
K. tried to carry it to the party to surprise her boyfriend, but it was heavy and she gave up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Picture For Picture's Sake, Except Badly

Fancy lady cocktails. Fancy cocktails, ladies! Cocktails, fancy ladies?

Images and Art

I did my first power point presentation last week. This was not part of it. This is from my friend C.'s power point slide for some architectural theory class she's taking in her grad program. I don't know what the C stands for, but it might be a spontaneous manifesto.
A. is having a show in Philadelphia.
These are people with a bit of vision.

Giant, Enormous, Who Cares What I Do, Media Post

Okay, so, I may eat a lot but I do at least one other thing on a regular basis, and that would be consume media like it's cheesecake. What? I don't even know, cheesecake is pretty rich so you wouldn't want to consume a lot of it...though it is also tasty. Whatever. In no particular order, what I have seen or read or listened to in the last few months:

For the last two years or so I've been listening to Terry Gross' Fresh Air in podcast form. And through this medium I have heard far more about how awesome The Wire is than I can stand. So, last week, I finally started watching it. And Terry was right. I'm hooked, even though I know that no good will come of any one in the first three episodes I've watched (it's like, nine million years ago, when I watched OZ...I had no idea what the show was about and it was brutal and terrible and I just couldn't stop for three seasons worth of DVDs).
I had some down time during my NYC weekend (ie time between people where I walk around aimlessly and end up buying books at a Barnes and Noble in Park Slope and beginning to read one of said books in a Dunkin Donuts). I bought three books, with a bonus gift certificate card from my work (Huckleberry is right, my job is quite nice). The first read was started in New York and completed last night: Steve Martin's Born Standing Up. The hype this book received, in a number of places (Terry Gross being one of them), almost guaranteed that I wouldn't be as 'wowed' by the book. It was, however, a good and interesting read...just not as open or honest as I think people enjoyed saying it was. But then, I struggle with how to write about my life three years ago when I was equally unfamous and unsuccessful, I have no idea what it would be like to write about 30 years back in my life during a time when I was super-duper-crazy good at what I was doing.
The fourth season of Nip/Tuck is a farce. A complete and utter farce. So ridiculous. But they seemed to know it. And that kind of almost made it okay.
I had high hopes for Be Kind Rewind. Unfortunately these hopes were generally left hanging. I blame Michel Gondry.
I have liked Beck for years. I remember a friend once telling me, around the time of Mutations, that Beck smoked crack...and I a) believed him and b) was really disappointed in Beck. Now I think that Beck didn't smoke crack but is a scientologist, and I don't care. Modern Guilt makes me happy, Guero made me happy, Sea Changes made me sad etc, etc, the dude is okay with me.
I rejoined Netflix, which I cancelled during the great unemployment of late 2007/early 2008. Becoming Jane is silly. But damn, I wish James Macavoy wanted to leave his Irish family to starve in order to marry and love me. Oh well.
Simple Life by Ruth Porter. This is a book my father gave my mother and me for Christmas, mainly because somehow, at some point, years ago, they met or something. Reading this book was like reading my own writing, only worse. By this I mean that this story, a story I would never tell, clearly was assuming that the reader wanted to fill in blanks of personality and nuance. Maybe that's not it at all. It may be that it reminded me of my own writing in the way the narrator would explain what someone was feeling/thinking in a way that made my skin crawl. No. It's that her main character was as fundamentally weak as my own novel's primary protagonist. And that there was a lot of exposition. I don't know. I may be being harsh. I did finish the book. Though I didn't cry or laugh at any point. Nor will I ever need to read it again.
I've enjoyed Hawksley Workman's music since my sophomore year of college. Treeful of Starling, his maybe latest album is different than his earlier works while keeping the best parts. The guy can sing. And I agree: a moth is not a butterfly.
This album of Hawksley Workman's needs a few more listenings before I decide what I think...but I know I like two songs. A kind of overdone but rockier album?
I never read How To Eat Fried Worms. Having seen the movie, I do not feel the need to ever read the book.
I started reading Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father before he was elected. It was a slow read, but not because of my displeasure with the prose or lack of interest in the subject. Reading this book I felt like I was reading the story and opinions of someone not thinking about becoming a president in the future. Any person who writes a book has an agenda; this book's agenda was not necessarily propoganda. What? I liked this book.
I can't lie. I liked this movie a little. It was over the top and impossible but, for god's sake, Kevin Klein was in it for an incredibly short three to five minutes of film! Maybe longer? One guy (not Kevin Klein) sharing three possible stories, all ending in Abigail Breslin as his daughter. A 'who done it' of the mother variety.
I think I watched this movie on too small a television screen. I imagine it would have moved me if it was a movie theater screen and sound system delivering the audio visuals. The way Christian Bale speaks in his Batman suit, what's up with that?
I like this album. I listen to and enjoy it, and if I were to be walking somewhere it might make my step a little more sprightly.
Another silly movie. Hilary Swank, I don't know, she just can't do romantic dramedy with the right tone. Gerard Butler, on the other hand, does a pretty good job of being a complete dreamboat of an Irish dead husband.
I think I might like Kid A. or Ok Computer the most.
This is good walk around on a day in winter that feels like the fall, as the weather changes into a storm. People with umbrellas but no rain walking weatherl. Ominous skies and the like.
T. and C. had Vampire Weekend in their car sometimes while I was in Indiana. But I don't think I really ever listened to the full album. Or maybe I did, but thought it was just a few songs? Whatever. This music makes me smile. I like the tempos.
I'm also going to watch Lost tonight. Hopefully get my bearings and figure out what it's all about (ha).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brunch c/o Ed's Lobster House

The next morning M. and I went to brunch. We brunched. We had a meal that could have been breakfast...but could have been lunch. Well, in our case much more lunchy than breakfasty. I wonder, was it lunch? Did I consider it brunch because I had a virgin bloody Mary? I've realized I don't actually need the vodka in this morning beverage. The true draw is the horse radish and, in some cases (not this case), the olives or other pickled condiments that accompany a bloody Mary (Bloody Mary?) with the notable exception of celery. I have never understood the appeal of the vegetable? Root? Stalk? I was the kid who licked the peanutbutter out of the celery. The strings? Ugh. Celery is only good for a bloody mary as well as it can stir and be put aside. There. Now you know how I feel about the brunch (lunchy brunch) beverage of a Bloody Mary (if I could only commit to one way of writing the name of this drink).
You may be appalled or amazed by the number of oysters I have been consuming of late. I do not believe I wrote down the kinds of oysters I had. I think M. recommended the Battlefields? And perhaps Stingrays. Yikes. I'll try to find the receipt.
I tried the lobster roll because I was told that it was the best in New York City. It was really expensive. The quality and portion of lobster meat was certainly generous. The fries were hot and crisp, the side of pickles was original if, perhaps, not really my thing. The actual roll was toasted and crackled with saturated buttery crumbs. It was r-i-c-h, rich. The lobster meat was tender and seemed to be perfectly cooked; whole pieces instead of only a mush of shredded lobster meat. Its dressing, pleasing in a not overly spiced or flavored kind of way. While I do not feel a complete chump for spending $27 for a lobster roll, I don't think I'd spend as much for another in the future. Well, maybe I would.
M. had the mussels. She found them quite delicious if I understood correctly.

Monday, January 26, 2009

New York Is The New Baltimore, Part Deux

The weekend before this past one I went back to New York for another round of visiting with pals. This time, however, I took the Bolt bus instead of the train and left at three thirty instead of six something...this resulted in a much earlier arrival time. This earlier arrival time was important because I had dinner plans with M. and A. Well, with M. and A. and J. and D. and T...but it was all orchestrated by M. and A. and it was in celebration of A.'s birthday so, there you have it. I recently wrote about how my meal at Zenkichi was one of my best of 2008 and I was fully prepared to spend the big bucks and be amazed again. While this meal was stupendous and the company superb, I must admit that the food and service wasn't quite as perfecto as I had expected. I chalk this up to the fact that it was restaurant week (we, though we went to take advantage of the restaurant week deal, ended up not doing that whatsoever). M. and I started out with our own respective sake flights.
Also, unlike my last visit to the restaurant, they did not provide us with menus to take home with us so my ability to tell you exactly what all of the food is, is a little compromised...and some dishes have no photographic proof because a) I think the camera has almost had enough and b) I was trying out a new mini-tripod (bought at Rite Aid for $6) that does, in many ways, help in low light situations but does not, in fact, do as it is told for every photograph. This was one of the first plates (a seaweed amuse bouche and miso soup are not pictured), and consisted of uni on top of tofu with a dab of wasabi on spoons, a kumomoto oyster and a tuna sashimi kind of thing. The tofu reminded us all that tofu has many different tastes and textures and that we may get overly accustomed to the poor quality stuff.
Another view.
This was something that may or may not have been the fried sperm of a fish with peppers. I don't care what it was, it was de-fucking-licious. Creamy, fishy, crunchy. Whatever.
Miso black cod or bass, I forget. Cod. Flaky, rich and a repeat from our last meal but still good.
M. and me laughing about something. Perhaps our love of sake, perhaps not.
J., M. and I all went to high school together. J., like so many who came before her on this blog, was not really a friend during our school years (though we were on equestrian together, go team!) and I haven't seen much of her since our respective graduations, but I am glad to have gotten to know her a bit more out of school. It was also nice to meet her boyfriend D. and M. and A.'s friend T. (neither of whom are pictured but do, I am almost completely sure, exist). And no, I have no idea what the faces are about since the meal was, on the whole, good, not stick-your-tongue-out bad.
This was the slow cooked pork. I just don't know what to say, last time I thought the pork dish was not as tender as my own dishes...this time it was quite tender but one could totally differentiate between the morsel's flesh and fat (as opposed to being unable to tell because the fat, over the long cooking time melted into the flesh like some sort of fatty super secret jackal).
Somewhere in all of this was a chicken salad that M. liked very much, while everyone else was a bit less enthusiastic (which is good since M. kept poaching bites from our plates). I forget what this was. Eel?
The many faces of J. and A.
Dessert! Quite an array and yet my favorite remained the black sesame mochi ice cream pocket of goodness.
Thanks to A. who, in a feat of timing and covert maneuvering, managed to pay the bill without any of us having realized it...though I seriously continue to protest since it was his birthday and I had the money. Whatever, I'll buy you a meal next time. Or the time after that. Or something.