On a roll
Friday was one of the more self-indulgent days I've had in a while. After a morning of working from home, I took the afternoon off to have a long late lunch with T. We met at the ice-skating rink by the sparkling sky-scraping Christmas tree in Union Square. Between that and the tell-tale wreathes in every window at Macy's -- there is no denying it, Christmas is right around the corner.
We sat for two hours at Metropol, eating, sipping wine and chatting. Eventually, we moved the gossip and discussion of changes in the legal industry and what it could mean for our careers, long-term, to the salon, where we relaxed, sipping tea and coffee and watching the world walk by in Union Square from the windows while I got my hair done (if I'm only going to get it done once or twice a year, best to make one of those times before all the photographic preservation of the holidays, that's my motto!).
From there, we did a super-quick dress shopping run to Macy's, which thankfully had tons of reasonably priced dresses in stock (yay for shopping with an expert -- 1 party dress and 1 work dress in less than 1 hour, thanks T!).
And finally, I picked up E, and we checked into our hotel for our date night. After a drink at the hotel bar (complete with traveling singers in tuxes stopping in with an accordian to sing some Holiday Carols) we -- all dressed up, so proud -- took a cab in the rain to one of our all-time favorite restaurants -- Acquerello.
I cannot say enough about this 16-table restaurant. It is, without doubt, the best high-end Italian food I've had in the U.S., both on our last visit 2 1/2 years ago, and this one. Every morsel is phenomenal, and at least half bring back memories I've forgotten of my time spent in Italy (anchovy-stuffed deep-fried olive amuse bouche? Right. Not only can you stuff olives, you can bread them and fry them. Brilliant. How did I forget that?), the service is amazing, and the Italian accents of half the staff just add to the I-swear-I'm-in-another-country feeling of the experience.
Additionally, Acquerello always has a special imported ingredient that tries to steal the show. Last time, it was the burata. This time? WHITE TRUFFLES!!! (Okay, so the cheese cart was absolutely amazing, as well, and I savored every bite. But for me, the truffles won. E probably prefers the soft cow's cheese in walnut leaf he swooned over.)
But the truffles? Did I mention I love truffles? The tagliolini with butter, egg yolks and Parmesan cheese was one of the best dishes I've ever had in my life (not just best pasta dishes, mind you, best dishes ever). I need to learn how to make the butter, egg yolks and parmesan sauce even if I don't have truffles.
And tagliolini? How did I forget about this awesome pasta? I'll leave the making of it to the pros, but I plan to be buying some for simple liquid sauces.
Light pastas. That is one of the things that America makes it easy to forget about Italy. I shall try to remember...
Yes, Acquerello is an expensive restaurant, but it's probably less than most bay area 1-star Michelin restaurants, and, the food is absolutely worth it. Not to mention that it's much cheaper and easier than going to Italy if you'd like to feel as if you traveled.
In true Italian style, E and I slowly enjoyed all of our food and wine 'til after midnight (I didn't fall asleep or even threaten to do so), and then, upon arrival at our hotel, we fell, completely relaxed, into bed.
Saturday, I managed to get up and hit the gym for my first run since the awesome big-sur half marathon experience, and then we came home to enjoy lunch with sister and brother before I knocked out many of the chores that I often don't have time to finish before the end of the weekend (hello, all laundry is DONE!). Today, after an early bedtime, I woke to do 40 minutes of yoga before the day began in earnest.
In short -- a decadent Friday followed by a productive weekend? And I've still got half of Sunday ahead of me? I feel on top of the world.