Thursday, June 23, 2011

tree bistro & garden

Today I learned thatandriko (orανδρικο)means "men" in Greek. It also the term used to specify black coffee. There's significance to that--an assumption that real men drink their coffee black because it is manly to take your coffee without any milk or sugar--and I love it. I love that understanding one word can reveal such a characteristic of a culture. Even if it's a negative one (not that the Greeks are the only ones guilty of "machismo"). It excites and fascinates me, and makes me want to travel the world and continue learning languages for the rest of my life. Though I suppose I should enjoy New York and focus on mastering the two other than my native English first, huh? Oh, Spanish and French.
Speaking of "French," this past Tuesday I finally, finally, finally made it to tree for dinner. (Note: It's not quite a French restaurant, but there is a strong French influence.) I probably read something about it, heard a few good reviews, walked by and fell in love with how adorable the interior and how pretty the typeface is on it's sign. Whatever the reason, I have been wanting to go here for months.
My date and I started off with wine. I enjoyed a sparking mint cocktail which literally was just a sparkling wine with crushed mint in an iced glass. It may have went un-photographed as we got lost in conversation upon seating, but it was perfect, especially in the calm humidity. We also shared le fromage board served with walnut-raisin bread and homemade fig compote.=
For my entrée, I chose the seared salmon with lemon dill aioli, red onion, and red pepper daikon slaw. He opted for the oven roasted icelandic cod with seasonal vegetables in a tomato-bacon vinaigrette. We had some extra French bread on the side and another glass of wine as well. Everything was absolutely delectable. Then we shared the créme brulée for dessert. It was the best I've ever tasted. A French bistro one night and a Spanish wine tasting the next. (Click the link for Sofia's lovely recap of vino and yoga). Told you it was a good week.
I'll admit that my ears perk up to eavesdrop when I hear Spanish or French. I'll admit that I purposefully avoid the English instructions on most labels so that I can read them in Spanish or French. I'll even admit that a menu in Spanish or French will positively influence my decision to dine at a particular restaurant. Yet, I also must say that even if my comprehension abilities are right up to par, my skills in speaking are anything but. And since I can't run away to a Spanish- or French-speaking country any time soon, I need to figure out a way to practice. Conversation group, anyone?


  1. I know exactly what you mean about certain words or phrases in other languages that have so many connotations. Language is so much more than verbs, adjectives, and nouns -- it's a culture. I just wish I had stuck to learning more French in high school instead of retreating to Latin class. I'd love to have a real, live language to use.

  2. oooh so glad you made it to tree! i love the dreamy quality of this post :) that restaurant is so romantical, that must be it! oh and thanks for the shout out!

  3. oooooh this post just reminded me of how much i love linguistics. languages are truly magical :)

  4. lookthroughmyspecs: You get it! That's amazing that you practiced Latin. Even if you can't verbally use it, I'm sure that knowledge would help you take to romantic languages more quickly.

    sofia: Me too! Any time :)

    Mackenzie: That they are, my friend, that they are.


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