Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a great night (m)

Kathy sends an email last week inviting me, T and my friend V to dinner at her husband's restaurant.  It's a trendy new spot uptown Boston.

I forward the email to T and V and they ask what the event is for.  I tell them I assume it's Kathy's husband's holiday party.  The event starts at 6 and goes till 9.  They say they will go.

I pick V up at her huge 200 year-old home in Chalestown.  It's an antique jewel.  I love the location, too.  V looks stunning in a black top with sheer sleeves, diamond earrings and bracelet and a great shawl with edgy trim.  "Oh, I love that shawl," I say.  She turns to me and says, "You gave it to me for Christmas one year."  Apparently, I have good taste.

We get to the restaurant and our friend Kathy greets us.  She looks so stylish in knee-high suede boots with some animal print on them, a taupe skirt and black sweater.  Her hair is cut very short and is very stylish.  She still goes to Sahag in New York as she was close friends with him and knows all the stylists.  She says she'll take me there to get my hair cut whenever I want.  She's sporting her six-carat emerald cut diamond on her left hand.  This is the engagement ring we've never seen. V comments that she thought the simple band we had previously seen showed remarkable restraint.

T joins us and is all decked out himself in a nice suit and tie.  We don't see men in suits and ties that often and he looks great, too.

Kathy thinks I've lost more weight.  I'm wearing my uniform...black pants, black swing sweater with a red silk shell and a black necklace that sparkles.  That's as festive as I get.

Over in the corner is famed chef Lydia Shire, slicing a rack of lamb.  This is no ordinary party.  There are Esquire magazines fanned out on a banquette.  The restaurant is celebrating its recognition by Esquire's food critic John Mariani as one of the best new restaurants in America for 2011.

A waiter comes by with cocktails...some vodka drink that goes down so smoothly but sneaks up on you.  The spring rolls in spicy duck sauce are incredible.  V loves the little steaks that melt in your mouth.  Lobster in puff pastry.  Little balls of something with melted cheese and a light dipping sauce are out of this world.  Oysters with two sauces are in large platters by the bar.  Lydia's lamb chops with special sauce and her ravioli suffed with lamb are sublime.  Want chips?  How about plantain chips with the best salsa I've ever had.  Fresh, spicy, homemade.  Platters of eel on toasted rye with some Asian sauce are phenomenal. 

This is why they won this award.  The food is to die for.

The restaurant is very stylish and looks beautiful, decorated for the season.  Lydia is presented with the award from Esquire (I think it was John Mariani).  She is beaming.  Well-deserved, Lydia.  The food is amazing.

I try to show some restraint by having only one small appetizer of about 4 different things.  A bite of the lamb chop and then T finished it.  No lobster in puff pastry.  I stick to the oysters, the eel and one spring roll and the ball thing.

At 7:15, Kathy and her husband lead us to a table of 6 for dinner.  Dinner!  V is stuffed.  I thought I got out of Dodge without blowing a day's worth of points.

We sit for dinner and Kathy and I split a beet salad and an basmati rice and some lamb curry for dinner.  The rest order full meals, even V who weighs nothing.  Kathy and I pick at a maple cotton candy for dessert.  There are about 5 things on the dessert menu that I would have traded in my car to be able to eat.

The conversation is lively.  We are having a blast.  Kathy's husband is a star.  She says all her girlfriends love him.  Add me to the list.  He's a great guy. 

We leave around 9:30  The valet attendant gives me my car.  Inside, V notices they put a little bag of sugar cookies with a red ribbon, compliments of the restaurant.  I will bring these to Harrison.

T heads home in his car.  I drop V off at her house.  V doesn't sugarcoat anything.  She throws compliments around like they're manhole covers.

As she is getting out of the car, she turns and says, "This was a great night...wasn't it?"

Yes, V, it really was.

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