After some goodbyes in NYC, I went home to Washington.
Good byes should always be made with good food and farewells should always be made with decent fare.
Two weeks ago, I went to dinner with dear friends at Niko's Mediterranean Restaurant on the Upper West Side off Broadway.
Grilled Halloumi (a fresh Cypriot cheese) presented in the nicest way I've seen yet
A week ago, I went to dinner with a friend I'd made at the dentist's office when I worked there. We've met up quite a few times since then and really ought to become critics because we photograph and savor everything we eat on our foodcentric outings.
We met at Cafe Centro, an art deco gem inside the Met Life building which is on Park Avenue behind Grand Central Station. It was Restaurant Week in NYC (as it is this week in DC), so we went with their set menus.
I chose a frise salad with toasted pecans, slices of honey roasted pear, and mini gorgonzola fritters. I was so hungry, I forgot to take a photo, sorry. We each had a glass of white wine, mine being a California pinot grigio.
This was followed by:
Long Island duck breast (medium rare) on a bed of spinach, with cranberries and a vincotto (wine reduction), and a mini pureed chestnut flan
Dessert was a chocolate almond financier in a butterscotch sauce topped with brandied whipped cream and a rolled chocolate stick
On the subway afterwards, the two of us decided to meet again on Friday afternoon for the long-promised 3-course dessert at Chikalicious in the East Village. It was VERY windy and freezing cold, but I had essentially finished my packing and I could not leave NYC without undertaking this project:
We ordered the cocktail of the day, which was sparkling white wine with a frozen cube of raspberry juice with a raspberry in the middle - so as it melts, the wine turns pink
My main course was hot chocolate soup and banana ice cream with freshly chopped banana, topped by a cocoa bean crispy wafer
The final course was a little plate of teensy weensy petit fours
Then we went across the street to their bakery and I picked up a couple of their most perfect cupcakes.
The morning mail included a gorgeous handmade card from Nikki and Roomie, which I packed in my hand luggage and have now set on my little dresser. Thanks, girls :)
I can't believe it took only two days for that card to travel nearly 2500 miles!
The moving guys started after 9.30 and left at 11.00 am for their 4-hour drive south. Chris came by for moral support and to help roomie and me eat breakfast. It was past 1pm when I reached Manhattan and found Penn Station after wandering west from 34th St-Herald Square (having taken a taxi last time, I didn't know it was right underneath Madison Square Garden).
All panic stations when I missed the 1pm train, the next two were sold out, and I couldn't get a train out of NY until 3pm - two hours are precious when you are following a moving van! I called them and they were already in Maryland - not far to go. I called the office and they said they'd send them on their secondary delivery so as to buy me time. I called landlady and she said if I wasn't there by then, she could write them a check, and that everything would be alright and that I mustn't forget to breathe.
I got on the Acela Express, you know, the tilting bullet train. It was nice, but as regards comfort, not really that different from the slower and slightly less spacious Northeast Regional. It was, however, fast enough that I couldn't think about everything outside the window, so I fell asleep for a much-needed nap.
Arrival at Union Station nearly 6pm. As I left the gate I smiled and said, "I'm home."
No way the guys would still be at the house, so I took my time and snapped some pics
The lovely embossed barrel vaults make this a very classical space, the cleanliness, potted plants, and mood lighting promote calm
Classical figures stand in every niche. One day I will find out who they all are.
I got into a taxi and once again carried on a lengthy conversation with the taxi driver. People here are very southern in their social skills.
Once home, my bed was assembled, my bags and boxes piled against the wall, and my hangers in the closet. I was up until the wee hours, putting things away like a little squirrel storing nuts for the winter.
Here is my bed after I made it and rehung the voile curtains. No need to shut the curtains now in order to shut out the room.
In fact, I woke up in the middle of the night and smiled. You know how usually when you're in a new place, you wake up and don't remember where the heck you are? Well, that didn't happen.
Yesterday I went out with the other upstairs tenant to Columbia Heights, an up and coming neighborhood with some excellent brand new stores. Between Target and Bed Bath and Beyond, I got a cute kettle and a great trash can.
Simplehuman are very cool. I like their slow close lids, because it is so annoying when lids shut suddenly in a blast of trash can air
And my elegant little Oster kettle which works fine so far
Same time, same place, stay tuned for more.