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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mullet Mania is Almost Here!

I feel like it's Christmas Eve and on Saturday I'll be able to run downstairs and open my presents. Topping my wish list: a Bulldawg victory over the Florida Gators. The Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party takes place this weekend in Jacksonville, and to get everyone else as excited as I am I have included a link to a short but very sweet video. Enjoy and GO DAWGS!

Gators Wear Jean Shorts

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Visit from the Fam = A Visit to New Restaurants

This weekend, my very special and amazing parents came to visit me! When you move from Savannah, GA to NYC, a visit from your family is usually long awaited and always wonderful. We played all around the city (tip: the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a great activity if you want to see just how different the hip section of town used to be), but of course, my favorite thing about New York is the FOOD.

On Friday night, Dave organized a true feast for my parents, La La, Uncle Skip, and Cousin Rachel (who all also came to visit). We went to Paul and Jimmy's, a family owned and operated Italian restaurant in Gramercy. Dave's family has been frequenting the establishment for 3 generations so he called in a favor. We started with bruschetta, followed by calamari and fried zucchini. After a pasta course, it was onto the main courses: chicken with sausage and peppers, veal with portobella mushrooms, shrimp, green beans and carrots, and potato puffs. We finished it off with 4 desserts, the best of which were the rum cake and tiramisu. The limoncelo was the perfect end to the meal. I was a little under the weather, but that definitely helped clear out my sinuses!

Saturday night was my chance to pick a new restaurant. There is always immense pressure when choosing a restaurant like this. After all, my parents expect big things coming all the way to the big city from small town Georgia! After careful consideration (and several attempts at making reservations for some of the restaurants on my list to no avail), I landed a reservation at The Orchard.

  • I was a little worried when we arrived to find the place empty, but that was clearly only because we made an early reservation. 15 minutes after we sat down, the place was packed.
  • The restaurant had a good wine and cocktail list. Restaurant goers note, they only serve 2 beers: Bass and Stella. Bottles only.
  • Flatbreads are a must to start. They reminded me of a French dish: tarte flambee. We ordered the artichoke & goat cheese and braised short rib. Both were delicious - the short rib melted on my tongue.
  • We also ordered the drunken goat cheese salad. Romain hearts with a goat cheese that was made with wine. The cheese had a firmer texture than expected and the salad was light and refreshing.
  • The main courses were huge. I (along with Dave and his Mom) ordered the lamb. Seared on the outside, rare on the inside - perfect. It was served with a creme-fraiche orzo that was smooth and rich - of course, I ate the whole thing. It was also served with a pepper jam that was a nice substitute for mint jelly. Sweet at first but spicy at the back of the throat.
  • I couldn't pass up a taste of my Daddy's duck. That almost sounded dirty. Ew. With that idea hopefully out of our heads, the dish was wonderful. I wasn't crazy about the apple-raisin risotto as I always prefer savory, but he loved it.
  • My Mom seemed to enjoy her sole and Dave's Dad looked like he was happy with his veal ragu (as was Dave, who ate 1/2).
  • We couldn't say no to dessert, so we decided to order 3: Dave picked a cheesecake. You'll have to ask him how it was as I'm not a cheesecake fan. Daddy chose a chocolate-covered ice cream ball that the waitress described as "fun" along with an excited hand gesture. Good, I'm sure, but I couldn't even look in that direction as it paled in comparison to the flourless chocolate cake I ordered. It was sinful.
  • The crowd was young - nary a soul over 30. It made me feel hip and trendy (even though we all know I'm not).
  • Overall, The Orchard was a good pick: relaxed atmosphere, solid food, great LES location.

Unanswered Questions: Gossip Girl Recap - 10/26 Episode

I have a dirty little secret: I love Gossip Girl.  I love the salacious plots, the juicy one-liners, and recognizing the NYC hot-spots.  I've noticed that after watching an episode, I have several unanswered questions.  I've learned it's best to talk it out; therefore,  I will devote my weekly recap of this amazing show to venting about these more confusing tidbits.

This week was Halloween for the Gossip Gals and Pals.  In my opinion, costumes just make things all the more confusing on this show:
  • How is throwing eggs at Jonathan a "plan"?  Did Jenny really spend time coming up with that?  And how is that something they can't get caught doing?  It was clear who threw them and obvious who the mastermind was.
  • Is there any of the old Rufus left?  In the old days he would have been much more an Economy Candy guy.  Now he buys his trick-or-treating candy at Dylan's.  Nothing against Dylan's - in fact, it's a block away from my apartment and I am there once a week, but it's still sad to see Rufus transform.
  • Why does Jenny see no gray area?  If the rule was that the boys could sit wherever, that would be that because she's Queen.  No need to throw away your sewing machine.
  • Does Lily seem to secretly enjoy giving motherly lectures to Jenny?  This blogger thinks she sees it as a way to fix all the mistakes she made with her real daughter.
  • Does anyone else notice that Rufus has exactly 1 outfit?  At least now we know Eric recognizes his penchant for hobo couture ("Rufus asked for my measurements - am I finally getting a flannel?").  Yes, this seems accurate - the gay teenage would be the only one to notice (or at least point it out), natch.
  • Why does KC talk about delivering James Franco's underwear like that's a bad job?  An 18 year old would be thrilled to do that.
  • Why does Serena forget her power as list keeper?  When Nate taunts her for working the door, she should have removed him from the list.  He's not one of KC's celeb clients - no one would have missed him or his bangs.
  • Do we think we'll learn how awful Patrick Roberts is as a boyfriend as soon as the next episode, per KC's warning?  That was some nice foreshadowing, GG writers, kudos.
  • Is anyone else disturbed that some 6 year old is dressed as Lady Gaga?

California Dreaming: In-N-Out

I recently vacationed in San Diego and LA, and while there are many benefits to living in California (beach and sunshine at all times come to mind), one thing outshines the others: In-N-Out Burger.  Below is my review/thoughts:

  • Animal Style: sounds naughty and it certainly is.  The sauce!  Those onions!  I actually just smacked my lips just thinking about it.  Make sure to order your double double this way.
  • The menu is tiny and consists of burger, cheeseburger, fries, and shakes.  I applaud In-N-Out for their simplicity.  There is no need to try to please all people by putting salads on the menu.  They make one thing and they make it well.
  • What's stopping them from bringing this phenomenal establishment to NYC?  Do we think a petition would help?
  • Yes, I realize I just wrote "we" when there is quite possibly no one reading this.
  • My only recommendation: bacon...though that might be too much good on one plate


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