Friday, December 21, 2007

the restaurant experience

my parents are visting this weekend. today is also my mom's birthday. to celebrate the occasion, i gathered opinions on restaurants to find the perfect place for dinner. when people at work suggested i drop the magazine connection to secure a table i decided it wasn't a bad idea. i made reservations at centro vinoteca, a west village restaurant i heard good things about.

i mentioned to my parents that it would be great if they seated us in a nice section because of the name drop. sure enough, they led us upstairs to the more private dining area, took our coats, sat us down, and gave us the menus. we decided amongst ourselves that we'd try two of the piccolini before our entrees: the truffled deviled eggs (which i'd heard great things about) and the eggplant cakes. i was unsure whether or not the portions would be big enough or if we had to order a dish from each course.

but before we could say cipolline, they had placed four dishes of piccolini in front of us: truffled deviled eggs, pate, arancine, pumpin cakes with goat cheese, and a gorgonzola cake (i think). all compliments of chef anne burrell. it was then i realized "oh shit i hope they don't think i'm that important." we ate everything and placed our orders. my dad decided to get the oxtail cake as an appetizer after i mentioned the rave reviews i'd heard about them. in addition to the cake, they brought the seppioline salad. i'm not huge on seppioline, but the squash, pumpkin seeds, and salad underneath were amazing.

as if that wasn't enough, after clearing the antipasti, they brought two first course dishes: ravioli with sage butter (by far the best thing i've had in a long time) and pici pasta with sweet and spicy sausage ragu.

finally, FINALLY, after finishing the pasta, we had something we actually ordered-- my dad the rabbit involtino, my mom the rosemary crusted baby chicken, and i the tortellini (though i think it's funny i didn't order anything from the secondi menu).

we all agreed that, while we consumed a lot, none of us were stuffed. enough room for dessert. my dad had the hazelnut cake with nutella mousse, i had the green apple and crystallized ginger prosecco float, and my mom had some flavored gelatti (complete with a birthday candle).

i will most definitely send the chef a nice thank you note on magazine letterhead come monday.

and the funny part is, i can't even begin to tell you how much i had to reference the online menu while writing this to get the terminology right and to figure out what i was eating.

Monday, December 17, 2007

dear subway gods

why is it that 9 times out of 10, when i sit on the subway, the person next to me decides that it's nap time and i make a perfectly good pillow? the awkward game ensues: do i tap this person on the shoulder? move abruptly? or just go with it, hoping the next stop will jerk them awake?

i thought this was normal, but apparently this has never happened to melissa and jude. should i take it personally? am i that boring of a person?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

eat, drink, and be merry

(insert oh-so-typical "i haven't written in my blog for so long" comment here).

yes, it's been a while. time here in new york city has been a paradox of fast and slow. the days are flying by, but i still feel like i haven't been here for very long. my internship is almost over. it's been difficult, but i can say that i'm learning a lot about the magazine industry and my strengths and weaknesses. truth be told, financially, i'll be very happy when it is finished and i can seek a higher paying job. working for p.b.loco full-time, or even part-time along with another part-time job, will be a welcome change.

i'm extremely excited that it's december. i've been looking forward to this month more so than any other year. my month has been booked right through, though it hasn't exactly gone according to plan. last weekend i went to dc to do some p.b.loco demos. the days were long, though, and the only dc/friend time i had was in the form of meeting kate and the clarks for lunch. unfortunately, the timing was off yet again and i only ended up with about 10 minutes... just enough time to order my food to go and take it back to the bus.

celeste and chris were supposed to visit this weekend, but the snow ultimately got the better of us and they stayed home. luckily, when celeste told me on friday morning that they weren't going to make it, i was too hungover to fully process and it didn't hit me as hard. thank you, sales day party, for getting me drunk enough to numb the pain of my sister not visiting.

this weekend instead was spent wandering around the west village, consuming irish cream and egg nog, and reading. i haven't had a weekend with no plans in a while, so it was a nice change of pace. i also purchased the snl christmas special and a random christmas movie (noel) to watch in the living room, all nice and cozy with my fiber optic tree.

as for next weekend, my parents are finally visiting. i'm excited to show them around park slope (not to mention my apartment). this weekend won't come fast enough.

after their visit, i will work half a day on christmas eve, take the greyhound home, spend the night/day with my family, and take the bus back on christmas night. definitely a short visit, but i opted to work on christmas eve so i could take off...

...NEW YEAR'S EVE. this is the most excited i've been about new year's since... well, ever. a bunch of people are coming to visit including, but not limited to (in alphabetical order), alex, arthur, deb, katherine, kevin (?), jeni, joe, margaret, matt, and phil. some people have yet to determine whether or not they will be there, but we will hope for the best.

the evening will commence with a cocktails soiree hosted by my apartment. afterwards, jeni, joe, and matt will remain behind with jude, and they will cook dinner and play games. the rest of us will proceed to dinner and drinks in park slope. at midnight, we will watch fireworks at grand army plaza. and who knows what the rest of the night will have in store.