So what have I been doing this month?
Running around with friends for cocktails after work, finally enjoying our quiet apartment, attending lots of dinner dates with other couples and celebrating my birthday.
But more than that, I've been eating. Like a lot. Massive amounts of food I tell you.
Last Friday we were invited to dinner with my friend Wendy and her husband. We tried a cute little restaurant over in Park Slope, Brooklyn. It's called Palo Santo and has some great Latin food. I ordered the grilled trout and also had a funky appetizer (of course, I can't remember the name now) but it was all very delicious and we topped the food with their homemade Sangria. Wendy and I were pumped to go out afterwards but the boys had work and school so it was a no-go.
Saturday night we were invited to a dinner party at Trattoria Cinque in Tribeca. My friend Rachel, a hometown friend, invited us to celebrate her boyfriend's birthday with 14 of his closest friends. It was so much fun and Rachel was a fabulous hostess (I took notes!). After dinner, she had the servers give everyone a glass of Champagne for a toast. The guest sitting next to me asked me for advice on what she should dress up as for a Halloween party she was attending. She had to dress as a music artist and sing one of their songs at this Karaoke Halloween shindig. I told her that Cher was too predictable but maybe Bonnie Tyler would work and then started singing...
"Turn around, every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming around..."
Well, let me tell you. All conversations stopped and the next thing I know the entire dinner party is belting Total Eclipse of the Heart to an obnoxious sound level. The birthday boy is slamming his water carafe on the table in time with the song. It was just one of those fun and ridiculous moments. And thank god it was past midnight and there were only a few guests at the bar.
Sunday we had dinner at my Italian class friend's apartment. Elena was so gracious and fabulous. Her husband made homemade pasta (for real) with a delicious bolognese sauce, a beautiful salad complete with candied walnuts and gorgonzola cheese (all from the farmer's market) and for dessert she popped out a puff pastry tart with apples and a brandy/brown sugar drizzle for the top. I was totally impressed and then thought, "Damn! We're gonna have to cater when they come to our apartment for dinner." Honestly, it was the most lovely pre-birthday dinner ever!
And then on the big day (Monday!!) Ben took me out to dinner at Boqueria in Soho for some tapas and delicious vino. We had such a nice night together and I was able to stare at Chef Seamus Mullen and ooh and ahh over him the entire dinner. He's such a great chef and is also competing for Iron Chef title right now. Good luck to him!
...and just to throw you for a loop, I went to dinner YET AGAIN on Tuesday evening with Ben and his father. We ate the freshest sushi ever at Kanoyama. It's my favorite sushi restaurant in all of Manhattan and possibly anywhere in the world (until I visit Japan).
Now I'm trying to eat salads for the rest of the week since I am visiting Florida this weekend. We all know how my parents love to force food down my throat like it's going out of style - Honey, why don't you just order the surf and turf? No! I just want a little something...I'm not that hungry. She'll have the surf and turf, thanks. - I have to eat sensibly this week because I might not be able to fit into my clothing come Friday and wouldn't that be embarrassing to arrive home wearing an oversized T shirt and sweatpants, am I right? Not to mention how unstylish that would look.
More stories to come. I haven't even touched on the 2009 NYC Food & Wine Festival two weekends ago.
We'll let all this digest first.