I'm just coming out of the haze of happiness that I lived in for the past few days while celebrating my birthday. Now its all work deadlines, broken dishwashers, bills to pay and blogs to write. No wait, I take that last one back. Let me re-live the weekend by sharing with all of you!
The past few years we've headed up to NYC to celebrate my birthday. Always a fabulous, but exhausting time. This year, we decided to rest our old bones (?) and keep it local. Erin hosted me at her house (complete with a real guest room and surprisingly comfortable air mattress) for the whole weekend and we lived. it. up!
It all started Friday night, when I headed to Erin's with a car full of cooking/baking supplies, doughs, plastic cutlery, way too many clothes, and this:
Eddie only stuck around for the early part of the evening-- a little later his daddy picked him up so that EP and I could get to the business of failing at macarons. Sigh. We had prepared ourselves for this likely outcome but it was still a bummer. We're blaming it on our lack of a convection oven. Despite EP's research, including getting specific guidance from Chef Briony in actual FRANCE, our little disks refused to form a foot, formed cracks, and just generally flopped. We tossed them and drowned our sorrows in champagne and delivery from Kebab Stop (not bad stuff if you are in the Mt. Washington area).
|The "before" may look promising, but the afters got thrown in the trash :(|
Despite the build-up, W&W did not disappoint. At every turn the service was better and better- valet, coat-check, bar-tenders, waiters, etc, etc. The drinks at the bar were as creative and quaff-able as everyone has been telling me (try the Sticky Wicket!). Once we headed to our table (with a view of the open kitchen AND the waterfront, beat that, other tables!) I was thrilled to see a birthday card waiting for me which had been signed by the whole W&W staff. And it just got better from there! Our waiter Paul was perfect in every way, and the only thing more perfect than him was the food. Here it is, in all its splendor:
| | |
anson mills green farro, upland cress
|Rice Porridge with duck tongues, crispy onions, egg|
|Insanely Good Broccoli (not the official name)|
|"Scorched Wheat" fettucine with kale and perfect egg|
|Special Birthday dessert!|
|Red Velvet Goodness|
We finished things off with a couple of gorgeous creations by the pastry chef. At this point I was nearing saturation of both food and alcohol, so memories are especially hazy. We snapped one last picture and got out of there before we could eat or drink anything else.
|Already thinking about tomorrow's brunch...|
- Mimosa Bar (peach puree, strawberry puree, OJ)
- Fruit Plate
- Made from Scratch Bread Basket
- Pomegranate-Clementine Butter
- Honey-Five Spice Butter
- Mixed Berry Cream Cheese
- Sausage Biscuit Babies
- Spinach Gruyere Strata
|We fancy, huh|
|A spread of spreads|
|Call it a strata, call it a bread pudding, just don't call me late for brunch!|
fruit to fill in the corners
I think these pictures tell the tale better than I can with words. My bread-baking hobby is sliding in to the "obsession" territory, thus I insisted on making the baguette, sourdough, muffins and biscuits from scratch. We made the sausage patties as well (and I still think wrapping them in parchment was the cutest touch!). The strata is truly the perfect brunch dish- fully assembled the day before, it baked to perfection while our guests nibbled the other offerings. Most importantly the brunch featured good friends, lots of laughs, and many cocktails.
|Some ladies enjoying some drinks|
After digesting for over 24 hours, I somehow found it possible to eat again. One final meal rounded out this fantastic weekend. Dave offered to cook a special birthday dinner, menu of my choosing. I went classic: raw oysters, NY strip steaks, potatoes, spinach. Dave truly outdid himself with the execution of this meal:
|Something something about the walrus and the carpenter....|
|Steak by candlelight|
The oysters? Amazing. The steak? None other than the premium dry-aged stuff from the new Harris Teeter in our 'hood. We were shocked at how flavorful they were. The taste was very different from non-aged beef. We both were reminded of flavors like parmesan, mushrooms, even fish. Maybe its the umami thing all the kids are talking about. Oh, and of course they were perfectly medium rare (thank you America's Test Kitchen reipe), and sat alongside crispy, cheesy hasselback potatoes and some damn fine creamed spinach (a favorite of mine since I was a toddler). He really knows the way to my heart... I am a lucky lady!
Could a girl ask for a more fabulous or delicious birthday?? I think not. Thank you to everyone who made it so special <3 <3 <3