Tuesday, January 17, 2012

lunch at dovetail (lyn)

I moved to New York in January of 1985, and soon after meet Carol.  She is my first friend here, and that summer, we share a house with 20 others in Westhampton. 

Then I meet Abby; here we are in 1989.

And soon after, through Abby, I meet Alice (this was taken in 1992).

All three were-and are-accomplished, bright, interesting, and fun.  By the early 90's, Abby and Carol had moved to Westchester, married, and had three children each.  Alice and I stayed in the city, she living downtown and me living uptown; both of us had a child.

In March of 2009, we all get together for lunch, the first time in too many years to count.  We have such a great time that we decide to make it a monthly thing.  We set a date for our second lunch for sometime in April.  Something comes up and we need to reschedule.  Things happen and life continues and now, here it is, almost three years later, and we are getting together for our second lunch.

The next 20 days in NYC are restaurant week (it must have started as 7-days)….many of the best restaurants are offering 3-course lunch and dinner specials for $24.07 and $35 respectively.  It is a great deal, and a nice opportunity to visit new restaurants.  Carol chooses Dovetail on the west side, and we all eagerly agree.

I spend time on my hair, washing it and blowing it out.  I wear one of my little black skirt outfits.  I get to the bus stop across the street and it is steadily raining, thereby erasing my hair effort. 

The bus slowly meanders its way crosstown and I arrive late.  I am not exaggerating when I say that each of my friends looks prettier, healthier, thinner, and more vibrant than when I first met them in the mid-80’s.  As we are talking over each other to catch up, Carol looks across the restaurant and sees, like us, a table of four women.  They may not be much older than we are, but they have that senior look….grey hair in a I'm-not-young-anymore style.  Carol asks, “Do you think we will ever look like them?”  We look over and all agree that no, never.  Despite our ages, we will always be youthful, though our kids would probably disagree.  I try to sneak a picture of this other table, but am unsuccessful at getting all four.  One of the women looks at me with knowing eyes; I feel like a stalker. This is all I am able to get:

 Meanwhile, Carol announces her two goals for the new year.
  1. To give up eating only kosher foods.
  2. To learn how to drink a martini.
Her family is encouraging of the former (perhaps of the latter too), but she is finding it difficult.  We assure her that someday, if she tries really really hard, she may be able to eat a non-kosher hot pastrami sandwich and enjoy it.

The food at Dovetail is amazing and interesting.  The braised lamb appetizer (in a puff pastry with beets and mint) is excellent, and beautifully presented.

The salmon (with brussel sprouts, parsnips, and grapefruit) is also good.  I get lost in the conversation and forget to snap a picture.  Besides, the four women at the other table are still glaring at ours, expecting me to try and grab another photo of them.

Dessert is almost too pretty to eat.  I get the “bittersweet chocolate cremeux tangerine, olive oil crumble, cinnamon ice cream.” 

All the servings are small and exquisitely plated.  It is an elegant dining experience, except for all the laughter.  Two hours sneak by, and too soon we have to leave.  We still have many more stories to tell and news to relate.

We schedule our next lunch for March.  I hope nothing gets in the way, as today’s lunch was an astonishingly delicious treat.

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