Monday, July 21, 2008
Happy birthday to me
I slacked off until the last minute deciding what/where/when I wanted to do birthday celebrating. So much so that Monkeyrotica made other plans for my birthday proper. No problem! I had a lovely time out with my parents, Auntie M., Rosie and Dash. We dined at Rustico where after the quickest glance at the kids menu, I knew instantly what my tots would be eating: Dash= hotdog/Rosie= pasta w/butter. I had the lovely baked mac & cheese with roasted mushrooms, pancetta & English peas (though we all wondered what exactly made them English). We all baked ourselves in the window seat, where even though it was tinted, plenty of heat came through. Next time we should all wear tanktops and shorts or phone first to see if their blinds have come in. Kimberly was our fabulous waitress, who indulged us by fawning over Dash's silly comments (after receiving an adult-size water glass) like, "I think I need a small, small cup because I have teeny, tiny hands!"
Saturday, after our neighbor's son, Bram, came over for babysitting (sorry won't be available next weekend, he's going away to violin camp)—he was awesome, and I will absolutely use him again!!—Monkey and I headed off for Old Town. Our destination was PX, but since you can't drink several cocktails into the evening without having something in your stomach, we drifted over to The Majestic. We were thinking about going to Eamonn's first for fish and chips, but weren't sure we'd have enough time and it seemed too hot with sun streaming through their large storefront (I think I'd just been recounting the Rustico experience). It might have been crowded in there, too (alluding to Bourdain sighting to follow), but we'd already discounted going there, and didn't give it much of a glance. At Majestic, I had a glass of Cab, and the antipasti platter with some crusty bread and Monkey enjoyed their limeade with fried oysters. All delightful! When our reservation hour neared, we headed down the road to PX.
PX was pretty empty at 6:15, so after giving our greetings to Todd Thrasher, the "liquid savant/master alchemist" behind the bar, Monkey and I enjoyed ourselves in the blue room while we waited for our first cocktail order to arrive. I had the sparkling mojito, he had a Basil cocktail--very nice. When Kelly arrived, she was beside herself, the "Smoker's Delight" was such a wonderful mix of flavors! I asked Todd to come back and talk with her when he had a minute; I know how proud he is of his expertise and willingness to discuss, so a short while later he came by. He spoke of distilling flavors down to essences and then adding them to the cocktails, using eyedroppers to apply just the right intensity. We enjoyed each other's company for a while, and he mentioned that Tony Bourdain was downstairs at Eamonn's and he was at PX even though it was supposed to be his night off. He was called away and promised to come back to chat more. Our pal Don arrived and we all were having a delightful time with our drinks and exchanging tastes (Don had the "O" and the "Pump" drinks, I believe; the pump was mixed with homemade gingerale and will be the next drink I try when we go again). I went to check on Todd in case he was available to continue our conversation when I saw that Bourdain was at the bar with his entourage.
Maybe I was a wee tipsy, but I assessed the situation, then announced, "Mr. Bourdain, are you monopolizing our Todd Thrasher?" He smiled and laughed a bit. Then I said to Todd Thrasher, "why Todd, you have a celebrity in your midst!" One of Tony's entourage quipped, "Todd is a celebrity in his own right!" I had to agree. That's when I leaned in and told Bourdain that I was celebrating my birthday that night with Todd's fabulous cocktails! He smiled again and wished me a happy birthday. Woot. I was just some crazy drinker with a french twist, a flapper-style black beaded dress (with 8" fringe), red jet beaded jewelry and silver-lame strappy heels. He turned back to the entourage.
Kelly made BFF with another guest in the blue room who traded her his Smoker's Delight for her 2nd drink, which wasn't nearly as fabulous. Thank you, Mr. Generous, whoever you are! Our birthday cakes arrived (they must be pre-ordered, as they are delivered from Eve) with candles on each—I blew out all four (no, I won't tell you what I wished). That confection was wonderful, just perfectly, meltingly sweet icing and fluffy yellow cake-ness inside.
I discovered that the lovely Meshelle Armstrong was at the bar that evening, and with an adorable new coif! We had some giddy chatter in which she revealed that her family was on a cruise when they heard that No Reservations was planning to feature their restaurant, so they had to cut their trip short. She came back to chat with Monkey and my friends and we promised again to get our kids together for a playdate.