Good morning afternoon! Thank God it's Friday :) sleeping in was wonderful. A little anecdote for you on this lovely day: last night, as I was walking with my friend and her dad, he was telling me about his two years in London. Although he admitted that he doesn't think he could ever truly leave home, he absolutely loved living abroad (he was teaching). K then added that he was on this new kick of saying he was "dying" so he had to take these opportunities, and people had to be nice to him ;). Ignoring the second part for a second, I was taken aback by his reasoning. "No, you're not dying," I said, "you're living, just really living."Hold that thought. Yesterday I hit up Whole Foods (Union Square) before work, spent $40, and treated myself to a new snack. Wow. Siggi's has created the yogurt of the Gods--thick, protein-rich, and delicious. I need to visit Iceland, and I also need to stumble upon hundreds of dollars some day soon so that I can stock up on this Icelandic-style yogurt. Go out and try it now, you can thank me later :).
K and her dad are visiting for the weekend so I met them for last night for Dinner #1 (yes, number one) at Celeste, an amazingly authentic Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side. The crusty Italian bread and flavorful olive oil were incredible, by the way.
The restaurant is small and quaint with communal tables and faithful customers. There menu evolves with the seasons, the staff is either Italian or speaks the language, and they only accept cash. According to a friend, the owner is almost always around to offer suggestions and add final touches to the meal too.
I began with an Insalata Misto, a plate of fresh greens brushed with a homemade vinaigrette. It was, dare I say it, perfect, and featured quite a few endive hearts that I've been missing so. The glass of wine, a Pinot Nero, was superb as well.
While the others enjoyed their spectacular entrées, I stuck to an equally as fantastic yet smaller in portion appetizer. I enjoyed the Involtini Di Melanzane: eggplant rolls stuffed with prosciutto (yes, I had meat again, and I think I liked it) and pecorino, and baked with tomato sauce.
Then, around 9, I headed downtown to Chelsea for dinner #2 at Westville's newest location. It was so freshly opened that they weren't accepting credit cards yet.
But wait, who was I with now? None other than one of my favorite blogging duos, Leslie and Sofia. Another two people I'm so lucky to know. It took the three of us about 30 seconds before deciding to order a bottle of wine. Go figure ;).
The hard part came later, when deciding what to order. Can you please just look at this list of market sides?! I wanted everything, I think all of us did. But if you could only pick four from the glorious selection, which ones would you choose?Leslie and Sofia make amazing selections including: Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese, Brussel Sprouts with Honey Dijon, Sweet Potato Mash, Pesto Mashed Potatoes, Sauteéd Kale with Shallots, Asian Style Bok Choy (my favorite!), and one other that I can't recognize nor recall. I, on the other hand, simply ordered the soup of the day, a Gazpacho with avocado. Oh and I had tastings from my generous friend's plates too. Obviously.
Afterwards, just when I thought the entire dining experience couldn't have gotten any better, Sofia whipped out these. She had stopped by a vegan Brooklyn bakery earlier that day and walked out with three peanut butter & chocolate cupcakes. Each one was just sweet enough, just small enough, and oh so scrumptious. Thank you again, lady!
They were not, however, a mark of a happy ending because I continued the night by reuniting with K and enjoying a self-induced late night of beer tasting. Some of them were free, and it was nice :). So fun. I also must add that I did not walk away empty-handed. One of her friend's that were with us works for Peanut Butter & Co. and had conveniently brought a few of the magical products with him. I was lucky enough to be given their Dark Chocolate Dreams variety, and let me just say that it is fabulous (I tried a few fingerfuls on the train ride home).Now rewind your mind back to the beginning. Life is pretty unpredictable, and I suppose it's unnerving to think about the day that it will be over, but there's a reason there are phrases like, "live like you're dying" or "live each day like it's you're last." Like I said in my last post: if not now, when? Then again, I have issues with the belief that because we are living life so completely each day, we shouldn't worry about taking care of ourselves. Life is good, great even, and I'd like to enjoy it for as long as I possibly can. There ya go. I'm off to the Hamptons later tonight for the first of many weekends to come. Have a good one!
P.S. I wish I could be in South Africa right now for the World Cup. Go France! Mexico! Chile! and maybe the U.S.A. Who are you rooting for?