A week or two back I found myself suddenly and inexplicably turning 31 years old. Well, this actually didn't really come out of nowhere and wouldn't really count as a surprise at all; my birthday, like most, doesn't change. So really that first line was just a total fabrication. I wasn't caught off guard at all. My true birthday day fell on a Monday, and you'll soon see that I chose to better celebrate it with friends that following weekend. But I did feel that some little treat would be nice on the day-of. So I went to two different restaurants' happy hours to enjoy a few oysters (which were not good at all, thus my lack of photograph or expanded discussion of either venue) and other food deals during the 4-6 PM range. After a mixed experience as far as satisfaction was concerned, I went to good ol' McCrossens to meet up with LW for birthday darts and a few rounds of cocktails. This month I'm fat, but next month maybe will be better. We'll see.
The Monday oysters I tried were of two different varieties, and the thing that made me sad about them was that they weren't all that discernibly different. I love oysters. I may still qualify as a dilettante compared to some, but I truly can and do note differences between species, so saying that the two different varieties tasted the same means, for me, that their shared similarity was one of tasting just a wee bit fishy, literally and figuratively. In any case, these mystery oysters didn't have that veil of 'maybe this oyster is not quite as fresh or happy as it could have been' and better highlighted what a mild briney oyster can be. I was pleased.
Tria. I had planned on redeeming the deal with BC. Unfortunately she had to cancel at the last minute, but I decided to follow through with the rationalization that it was my birthday week. This didn't work out exactly as I planned because the coupon was only good at one of their locations, and it wasn't the one I entered. In the end that didn't stop me from trying a cheese, a small plate, and a glass of wine at the bar. I chose to try one of their "Stinky" cheeses, the Quadrello di Bufala from Lombardy, Italy, which is made up of Buffalo milk. I'd give it a 5 as far as actual stinkiness, and perhaps a 7 overall. The cheese was served with sliced bread and dried/preserved cherries. I hardly touched the bread, but the cherries were decimated. I also decided to try their beets with feta cheese, which were good but not terribly remarkable. I asked for a wine that the lady behind the counter thought would go well with the cheese, and she brought me an Australian Syrah made in an Italian style. The fact of the matter was that I didn't really love it, but didn't want to complain because what do I know really? Thankfully she asked if I liked it, and I was honest in my so-so appreciation. I felt that it wasn't doing much to open or play with the tastes of the cheese. It was dry and a bit herby, but not in a way I particularly enjoy. So she ended up bringing me a glass of an Argentinian Malbec, which I found to be a better pair with the cheese and an altogether more pleasant play on my lips and tongue. I was grateful for the switch and lack of attitude about my feeling about that Syrah.