I like my birthday. A lot. My husband says that will end next year when I meet the numbers "3"&"0" but for now I get to plan plan plan some tasty happenings. The festivities begin tomorrow night when I'll attend a guest chef dinner at Snack Bar featuring Shola of Studiokitchen. I've admired Shola's food for a long time. While I've discussed products and food with him, this will be the first time I've eaten his food and I've been anticipating this since I made the reservation a month ago. This is a birthday present to myself. Since I've used the gourmet meal budget on the Shola dinner, for Saturday night, the actual day I arrived on this Earth I'll keep it simple. It's a toss up between eating some cheese steaks at Jim's on South Street, a place Paul and I went often long ago, or trying the sandwich at Vesuvio's, the cheese steak BLT (I will hold the T) recently named best sandwich in the country by the Today show. Afterwards we'll listen to some jazz at Chris's Jazz Cafe and maybe we'll hop over for some gelato at Capogiro afterwards. Listening to live music at a small club and sharing a nibble or a cocktail is what you evolve to when you outgrow your club phase. There really is nothing like live music.
Some past birthdays:
When I turned 21 we went to brunch at Aquagrill when I lived in NY. I had a crab and asparagus omelet and saw Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman at the table next to us. I giggled that his feet didn't touch the floor when he sat. After I got us lost on the subway after a few mimosas, we ended up seeing the butterfly exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. It was a great day. That same birthday I discovered ganache, chocolately love. The pastry chef at Picholine, Deborah Racicot, made a two tier chocolate cake with candied oranges and ganache.
My Sweet 16 was very small scale. While most other girls at school had elaborate parties at a catering hall I had a 7 ft hero sandwich in my living room. I tried not have a party at all, but Mom wouldn't let me, she was very excited. She saved up every penny she had for that party. She even made the requisite for Brooklyn chocolate lollipop favors in a mold that had a heart with a big 16 in the middle. I bought the cake. I paid $1 per strawberry to have them dipped in chocolate and placed all around the outside. When I picked the cake up, the bakery forgot to dip the strawberries. To fix it they dipped the berries that already had apricot glaze on them in chocolate. Because of this the chocolate never hardened and I was angry. I still have ill feelings toward Savarese Bakery in Brooklyn on New Utrecht Avenue. One of the presents I received at that party was a tray of chocolate covered strawberries so I guess I made it well known how much I loved them.
I'm not sure how I want to welcome 30 next year. The most decadent meal of my life? Brunch at Lacroix? Maybe I'll head out to brunch in NYC to see if Danny DeVito has gotten any taller.