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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Balthazar. Blue Ribbon. Beige.

Tuesday, my day off, I was interrupted while doing laundry by a text from Fabiana (my former co-MD): … let's meet for a drink. Meet me at 5:30 at Balthazar.

I had less than an hour to ready myself before quickly jetting over to the A train for the downtown express; I arrived promptly at 5:30 (never leave a lady waiting) to Fabiana looking divine.

former model turned cook

Fabiana wanted to order a bottle of wine and after a couple of tastings, we jointly decided upon a bottle of white mâcon. I felt that the mâcon was overchilled and needed some food to go along with it. I recommended the assiette de fromages, selection of cheeses of the day ($17).

average assiette de fromages

By the time I'd arrived at Balthazar, Fabiana seemed to be growing impatient with the bartender. And by the time our cheese plate arrived, so was I. Not only was he inattentive to the fact that our wine glasses needed refilling, but he didn't describe the selection of cheeses upon presenting them--we had to make our best guesses. The assiette was just okay and didn't do much for our wine… Dissatisfied, we left Balthazar and headed west to Blue Ribbon.

gin martini at Blue Ribbon

Fabiana wanted to have martinis and once at Blue Ribbon, I didn’t feel like ordering my usual cava. I instead went with a nice Tanqueray gin martini, a little dirty. (James is such a good bartender) While Fabiana and I sipped our martinis, we chatted with Victor, the oyster shucker, about the terrible service we'd received at Balthazar. "It wasn’t even busy… he'd rather attend to the guy drinking one beer."

"He was stereotyping us--a girl and [a gay guy]… I even had to ask for a glass for my Pellegrino!"

Victor had asked who the bartender was and when we described him, "Oh, I know him. Yea, I don't like him either."

Fabiana and and I placed an order for some west and east coast oysters and Victor threw in some complimentary lobster as well. Blue Ribbon always shows how it's done!

I never knew I liked west coast oysters!

We also ordered the deliciously large New Orleans shrimp. (It’s usually just three, but I gave you four so you can each have two.) Later, Fabiana insisted we end our "late lunch" with Blue Ribbon chocolate bruno.

three out of four New Orleans shrimp

and a cool chocolate bruno

Later that night, I ended up at B Bar for the final night of Beige.

I went with my good friend Danny and we were later met by Derrick and David. We were already halfway through our first bottle of (Pol Deau) blanc de blanc by the time they'd arrived; we placed an order for a second bottle.

'champagne' for two

From the pictures on the New York Magazine slideshow, it seemed that nearly everybody I knew was there that night--but I only ran into a few. Even with the two bottles of bubbly, we somehow managed to make it an early night. The following morning I received a picture mail from Danny with the text message attached: Your pic in ny mag's article on beige.

... culinary blogger Pat Bradley enjoys some bubbly with a few friends

Let this be a lesson learned: look better when going to "high profile" events--you never know when you're going to be photographed!
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