Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day, Mr. Lincoln

Valentine's Day was really Saturday night for Maddie and me, for scheduling purposes, which seems fine for a holiday that's even more arbitrarily placed than usual. If that gives Valentine's Day date night top billing over Abraham Lincoln's birthday, so be it. No offense to Abe.

We had dinner at a nearby restaurant we've been to before and enjoyed. The main draw for me is the spicy pear vodka martini they serve, because my sweet tooth is something like 15 percent pear-specific. The drink was therefore excellent. I've started to realize that I almost never remember restaurant meals that I eat, so I'll briefly memorialize this one. (It took me three minutes to call it back to mind, and it's only two days later.) I had a couple of lamb back ribs, over some kind of non-rice cooked grain and what I want to say was broccoli rabe. I could be wrong about the details, but it was tasty. I forget what Maddie ate. We both started with a magnificently creamy butternut squash soup, with a few delicate yet robustly seasoned croutons floating therein. Our waiter, a likable guy named Mohamed who kept crossing himself on the way back to the kitchen, forgot about us once and confused us with two different tables. I think he might have been new.

Afterward we adjourned through the slicing night wind to a comfortable, very classy bar near the Kaufmann Astoria studios, where we stayed chatting until the wee hours, by which I mean 10:15. Ah, to be young!

Saturday morning I'd snuck out to the florist a few blocks down Broadway from Maddie's apartment, under the pretense of running to Rite Aid down the block to get more coffee. (I promise this wasn't last-minute, I just didn't want to schedule a delivery when we were going to be in and out all day.) The florist is a 1-800-FLOWERS store. They were great, and efficient, but it strikes me as odd to go to a physical location named after a phone number. (If I opened a franchise, I'd name it after their website, The tulips were lovely, and it looks like Maddie's flight schedule will allow them to not fall into immediate neglect, which is the risk run by flowers cared for by flight attendants. The important thing about flowers, anyway, is that I was not run over in a crosswalk on my way to get coffee, which is what Maddie had started to suspect when I disappeared for 35 minutes. Incidentally, Rite Aid house blend: still satisfactory.

Next weekend is when Nate and Kyle come out and we all go see Nixon in China at the Met Opera, so that'll be pretty great.


Blogger madeleine said...

j: rack of lamb(medium) on a bed of broccoli rabe + haricots verts
m: salmon with mushroom risotto + displeasing cocktail

2/15/2011 4:14 AM  
Blogger nate said...

Sounds tasty, except for the displeasing cocktail! Kyle and I made our second annual Valentine's Day trip to East India Company, where the prix-fixe menu included pretty good chicken and shrimp entrees, as well as some very good roasted cheese (or tandoori paneer, to sound slightly less provincial about it); we added to it a second appetizer of papdi chaat, which disrupted the flow of the meal a little bit early on by confusing the servers, and for good measure a bottle of Penner-Ash viogner, which seemed to become magically sweeter as the meal progressed (not a bad property for a crisp white wine to have). East India Co. went a little more all-out for Valentine's this year -- bigger menu, single red roses for the ladies, live sitar music -- but it still seems like a less obvious destination for a romantic dinner, so the crowd was moderate. Which works out well for us, since we really only acknowledge Valentine's Day as an excuse to go buy ourselves a good meal out.

2/15/2011 10:19 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Well, since we're sharing...

I had a big bowl of Wheat Chex with enriched rice milk, alone in the nearly unfurnished house where I live, which would be vacant if it weren't for me. I accompanied the Wheat Chex with a bottle of vitaminwater zero, which tastes terrible, but which I had gotten a whole case of for free at a recent poem depot gig.

I also tore up some rotting floor boards with a claw hammer.

p.s. Dear Jack, please do the right thing and drink Fair Trade, if not Direct Trade, coffee.

2/15/2011 11:59 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Haricots verts! I just ate those, and I still don't really know what they are.

The displeasing cocktail was champagne and . . . pomegranate juice? It wasn't fizzy, plus it tasted pretty much nonalcoholic. We did get on-the-house espresso martinis after our first round of drinks at the bar afterward, so karmically we came out ahead.

Pete, thank you so much for sharing that. That made my day. Sounds like we all had a great holiday!

2/15/2011 12:43 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

And I ate half a pound of spaghetti and some potato chips by myself!

2/15/2011 1:38 PM  
Blogger nate said...

Yep. Good job on Valentine's Day, everyone!

2/15/2011 2:44 PM  

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