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Friday, August 12, 2011

Good Stuff(s)!

Tuesday afternoon, I headed west on a Lakeland bus for some QT with my older sister, Kim, whose birthday was last Friday; I boarded the bus with a bouquet of fresh sunflowers in tow.

sunflowers for the sis

KIM picked me up at the park-n-ride commuter parking lot from which we headed further west, into the Poconos, for a tapas dinner at Liquid restaurant and martini bar. (the "Manhattan" place of the Poconos) Kim and I each selected two tapas from the menu (which our server quite wisely coursed out for us): sashimi tuna, colossal crab cocktail, blackened scallops and "black jack"--filet mignon over a crostino. While we both enjoyed the "colossal" crab cocktail, which was a touch interestingly sweet, the star dish of the evening was the blackened scallops.

blackened scallops at Liquid

For quite a while, I'd not been a fan of scallops. But this past year, I've slowly begun to come back around. (I loved them as a kid) I think these blackened scallops were a good "welcome back" dish. They were cooked near-perfect: a touch heavy on the blackening, but inside, still tender and juicy--not at all rubbery. The dish could have been more refined without the unnecessary and somewhat distracting roasted shallot marma-lade and siracha sauce; it only overpowered the scallops. Nonetheless, the blackened scallops appropriately served as thoroughly enjoyable tapas...

I'll soon be trading in my post along Central Park South...

THURSDAY, I had an interview for a maître d' position in Chelsea (just to keep my "hand in") and the interviewing manager, Jesse, asked if I could stay to trail a dinner shift. I--of course--did not refuse. I was immediately placed at the door, side-by-side, with their evening maître d' and about an hour into service, Jesse asked if I would takeover the door "for about thirty minutes." Nearly two hours later, Jesse made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Two weeks from today, my new (OpenTable) home will be in Chelsea's trendy gallery district!

a hot dog & cava--this one's for you Fabiana!

For the second time this year, I had good reason to celebrate in regards to work. I stopped at Épicerie Boulud's oyster bar and ordered a DBGB dog (complete with sprigs of frisée) and a glass of cava. ($5.90+$13) The hot dog was a huge let-down--especially considering Daniel Boulud. And I'd intensely wished that my cava was served in a flute instead of in a "cup." (I did see champagne flutes behind the bar) However, the place was more or less comfortable (if you don't mind standing) and I wouldn't mind going back to try some of their east and west coast oysters.

"an ideal pairing"

EARLIER this week, I received an email from ICE about their latest wine and beverage classes. This afternoon, after doing a little rearranging of my work schedule, I booked a class for Wednesday (Aug. 17) night's "Summer Sparklers and Cheese: An Ideal Pairing."
From light and lively to aged and complex, the worlds of sparkling wine and cheese contain amazing variety, as well as incredible opportunities for pairing. Spend a bubbly evening with Richard Vayda exploring the products of multiple lands as you look for ideal partners. You will discuss the production of various types of sparkling wine and cheeses, as well as serving and pairing suggestions.
The class runs from 7 to 9 p. m., but classes usually run over, to about 9:30--there may still be seats left if you're interested! Professor Vayda always leads an interesting class and his food pairings classes are my favorite ones...
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