Monday, October 20, 2008

Guilty Pleasure

Cinzia Reale-Castello

The West Side Beauty met up with us Sunday night for an over the top dinner at Del Posto. This is one of Mario Batali's joints, and it was ah-mazing. The service was attentive, if a little overbearing. Our waiter hovered over us like Lord Voldemort surveying his chances for evil takeover, which was, frankly, a bit creepy. But the wine steward helped us pick a lovely red wine, and then made quite the show of opening it, and swishing a small amount in our three glasses to clear them of any impurities, I guess. The bulbs of the glasses were almost as big as my calves! You could almost stick your whole face in there.

Then came the food. We got the tasting menu which consisted of an appetizer, a couple of pastas, an entree and dessert.  They also piqued our pallets with a selection of small hors d'oeuvres- a shot of broth, fried cheese medallions and balls of mortadella bologna - as well as a basket of the most glorious breads. Along with butter was a spread of pork fat that took me back to my Granny and Big Daddy's house. Yum.

For our entrees we had a veritable Old McDonald's Farm reunion with pork (not The Boy, of course), duck and lamb. I had the duck, medium rare and just right.

Dessert was a challenge. I really wanted the dark chocolate thing, and I knew I didn't want the apple thing. But Daryl wanted the dark chocolate thing, so I ordered the pumpkin thing, with low expectations. Turns out, in my mind at least, I made the best choice. I ate every bite, and didn't share a crumb. It was one of the best desserts of all time.

Overall, Del Posto was an expensive, but pleasurable experience. Tomorrow, we'll start living la vida recession. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Salty, Sweet and Surreal

BankysChixNuggets My sis, the Dainty Dug Dealer, made another surprise visit to New York to help me celebrate being old! 

So she, The Boy and I headed out to the West Village for a late night dinner at Perilla, the new hot spot opened awhile back by Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle. My view on the place was mixed. The service was pretty good. But my food and sis's food were both a little too salty. Dessert, ahh. Not that great.

The real main course didn't occur until after dinner. In one of those classic only-in-new-york situations, we happened by a maudlin art exhibit framed as a pet store. An automatronic rabbit preens in a mirror, chicken mcnuggets peck in a chicken coop, hot dogs wiggle under a heat lamp. It was surreal and lovely. 

Me 1, Friends 0

King Cole BarSo for the big ole birthday celebration, I wanted to do something "old New York". Plus, I didn't want to be bothered by extreme crowds or ridiculous bouncers. So I chose the King Cole Bar at The St. Regis Hotel on 5th Avenue.

The Chef had arrived first and graciously commandeered several corner booths. That ensured our comfort for the night - especially since many of us were wearing shoes only fit for sitting down! All the usual suspects arrived in their late night New York finery - the Little Nolita Lady and her beau Abs, the West Side Beauty, T-Rex and the Platinum Bombshell.  We enjoyed our $15 drinks cool bar snacks delivered to us with somber professionalism by our tuxedoed waiter.

While everyone enjoyed the frivolity, I had a plan. There were bets about how long I would last given I usually was close to passing out after just one drink. But not tonight. Oh no way. I was prepared. I ate a full bagel and peanut butter for breakfast, both halves of a curried chicken salad sandwich and Fritos (yes, Chef, I know they aren't natural and full of chemicals, but they were a necessary evil.) For dinner I inhaled an extra large slice, and downed it with a can of Red Bull. I was on FIRE! 

So three martini's (yes, count them, three!) and half a beer later - I was still going strong. I made it past the under/over time of 11 pm easily. Even made it to a second bar. So all if have to say is Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. 

Monday, October 06, 2008

Subway Altercation

I was involved in an A-1, blogilicious subway altercation today. It was about 10 after 8 this morning. A subway rolled up to a large crowd of commuters, and against my better judgement, I crowded in alongside them, my body twisted unnaturally against half a dozen strangers. Even after the next stop the car was still bursting. We were like strands of straw haphazardly bundled up in a bale of hay. No one wanted to be there, but one guy - a bulky, meaty dude with a little turd of a ponytail - began fussing at the tall, preppy guy next to him. The meaty guy was pretty scary looking, all shoulders and biceps. But he was really going off and it irritated me. He was telling the guy to give him some room, that he was crowding him. The preppy guy was trying to explain that there was nowhere to go, but the meaty guy just kept on fussing. Here we all were, all in the same boat as him, nowhere to go, and he was acting like he was the only one whose personal space was being violated. So even though it goes against the New York code of conduct, I spoke up.

"If you don't like being crowded, then don't take the subway," I said. "We're all crowded."

So he said, "Shut up, BITCH! Mind your own business. No one wants to hear your problems."

So I said, "That's right. So why don't you shut up."

He said, "Suck my DICK!"

I said, "No, thank you."  I said it serious too. Even though I was quaking in my shoes a little, I kept my snark going.

He said, "I bet you would like it. It's really big."

"I doubt it," I said, snorting.

"Do you want me to take it out right here and show you?" he asked, threateningly.

I thrust my nose into the air. "Absolutely not."

Then we rode in awkward silence until I got off the train, 3 stops later.

No one jumped in or made eye contact. New York style.

Later, I felt kind of bad. Clearly he was having a bad day and was acting out. Perhaps I should have given him a hug and drawn a unicorn on his wrist. Or a butterfly. I'm sure that would have helped.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Mighty Man

It took us FIVE hours to reach Montauk from Manhattan. It is far on the tail end of nowhere. We passed what seemed like dozens of Hamptons villages before we reached it. We arrived at 10 after 8 for check-in that was supposed to end at 8. We were freaking out that we were going to miss it, and were driving lost up until the moment we spotted the Pizza Primavera, which was a key landmark. We pulled up to the registration tent with our tires smoking.

After check in, we scoped out practically the only available grub at a nearby pub. Then it was lights out in preparation for our 5 am wakeup call.  After being jolted awake by fireworks around midnight or so, we rolled out of bed and down the street to the Mighty Man Triathlon transition area about 5:45. My start time was 6:43 am. After a little bit of drama on the swim, I cruised to a finish a little after 8 am, followed closely by The Little Nolita Lady and T-Rex.
When we got back to the hotel, we realized we were right by the ocean. It had been so dark when we checked in that we didn't realize it.
Then we showered and headed to Bridgehampton for breakfast at the Candy Diner. They also sold homemade ice cream, so we got some for the road.
We were terribly impressed with our car packing expertise. We fit three bikes, three sets of luggage and three girls into my Land Rover. Sweet. The only drawback of the trip (other than the traffic and my near drowning) was that I couldn't find Chili Cheese Fritos, the perfect road trip food. But I tried to make it up with A&W Root Beer and a homemade chocolate chip ice cream shake. We passed several farmers markets, orchards and corn mazes on the way home. We were too bushed to check them out, though. All in all, not a bad way to spend a weekend.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Montauk or Bust

Heading to Martha Stewart's hood this weekend to flail around in the water, do a little cycling, and run along the sand at the Mighty Montauk Tri. The Little Nolita Lady and T-Rex will be in tow. If we don't bonk, we'll be back in Manhattan in time to party.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Law and Order Day

I had occasion to go to the courthouse this week, and the one that is showcased on the TV show Law and Order. A passerby helped me grab a shot of myself on the steps.  Later in the day, T-Rex and I were headed to Chelsea Piers to check out the pool. We took a wrong turn and ended up at the Law and Order casting studios. Perhaps it was a message to me that I shouldn't shirk jury duty or face the consequences . . .