Band of Cheeseballs

cheese

You guys! Last night was epic, and not because I went out and got crazy. It actually started out pretty classy with a selection of fine cheeses and nibblies like quicos (fried corn kernels covered in dark chocolate and cocoa… my new favorite thing!) and Sangiovese salame. And yes, enough wine to make it a non-classy night, cuz what else would I do with some of my closest friends in the whole wide world?

What is it about people who get you? Like, really really get you? They allow you to relax and be yourself. Your weird ass wonderful self! I hope you know that feeling. If you don’t… I’ll have you over for cheese and wine someday to help you find it. You may end up wandering the streets with no pants and only one shoe, but hey! That’s life, baby.

Some things that still have me laughing today (through the hangover haze and cleaning jag):

When I brought out the heart-shaped napkins we’d gotten on a girl trip to Iceland (best bachelorette party ever!) and we all unfolded them and put them on our heads as pretty flower petal hats. And then bullied the one who didn’t until she gave in. And then pointed at her and laughed that she gave in. (Oh. Maybe we’re mean girls. Oops.)

Calling the wedge of Tomme Krayuse (a delightful raw cow’s milk cheese with soft, chewy texture and lovely full, yet mild flavor), Tom Cruise all night. And laughing that it was short.

Remembering the set of tiny forks and spoons that Mama Channypants gave me, and getting to eat while pretending we were giants.

Getting slapped away when I try to put my awesome massage vest on people.

The impromptu intervention about my Fab shopping habit when I show off my collection of gourmet salts (rosemary, lavender, and truffle, you guys!!). The abrupt ending to the intervention when I serve up a trio of popcorn made with the different flavored salts.

The ill-advised showing of my Tinder dating app, which leads to their drunken gleeful rejection of many, many guys who probably deserved better. Many. Umm. Seriously, ladies, do I get to date any of them??

I have to admit: it was scary when all three of the other girls (women? gals?) got married. In. The. Same. Year. (Maid of honor for all. Only in charge of bachelorette parties and first dance choreography. They know me so well.) Through most of our 20s, I was the one in a long-term relationship. That was MY thing. Yet, there I was: single, drinking champagne like a champ, and wondering if I’d be left out of “married people only” things.

Yeah, turns out there aren’t any married people only things. Just really amazing friends who didn’t change personalities (or drinking habits) just because they had super fun amazing weddings. (Oh, you didn’t get the invite? …this is awkward.) They’re still the ones who can turn a busy, stressful week into something wonderful, just by being there. I’m not religious, but I can recognize when I’m blessed beyond belief to have friends like these. And hey, maybe someday they’ll help me find that man who’ll wait patiently for me to come home at 3am after a night out with them!

Advertisements

A Day of Overindulgence

Oh dear. When I said I’d go out less, I guess I meant less days but somehow the same amount of actual out-ness. I managed to pack 15 hours of partying into Saturday this weekend. I swear I didn’t mean to.

It began with brunch and unlimited mimosas at 121 Fulton. Look at this gorgeous plate! I ordered the brunch sampler, which included a mini steak & egg (with the most adorable fried quail egg on top), bacon & hash, and baked eggs with tomatoes, spinach & bacon. Obviously, I had to toast my genius designer friend repeatedly over our delicious meal. Down the hatch, mon petit mimosa. Oh and there was a second reason for us to gulp down cocktails. We needed help to ignore the strange couple sitting next to us and making out noisily. At one point, I said loudly, “We are trying. To. Eat.” However, this statement seemed to turn them on because the kissing became even slurpier. Eeeeeeeww.

I took a break from the retoxing to meet another friend visiting from Londontown. We strolled along the Highline in the oddly springlike weather, sipped cappuccinos at a place so French that the service took forever (that’s how you know it’s authentic), and then played dress-up in the Anthropologie shop in Chelsea Market. Feeling virtuous (and super girly), we headed over to Basta Pasta for dinner.

It’s going to take me a while to wrap my brain around the amazing meal we had. When I do, I fully intend to do a complete write-up. For now, just feast your eyes on how gorgeous the plates are. Basta Pasta is an Italian restaurant with a strong Japanese influence. The food is comforting in that deep soul-satisfying way that pasta is, while the service and decor are so calm and clean that it felt like the world had come to a stop. In a good way. Dinner was a pocket of quiet enjoyment with some very good friends.

Well. Until we’d had a couple bottles of wine, that is. Then I think the staff gave up hope of maintaining a calm ambience in our presence. At the very end, they figured out how to quiet us down. This is a delightful slice of ricotta cheesecake getting sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan. We watched in awe as the waitress covered the plate in what looked like fluffy snow. It may sound odd, but it was an utterly delicious combination. The saltiness of the cheese offset the light crumbly sweetness of the cake perfectly.

Glowing from that amazing meal (and eagerly making plans for our next visit back), we traipsed across Union Square and ended up at Pierre Loti for a nightcap. Or five. One by one, the ladies made their escape. Laura, draped in shiny Marc Jacobs accessories galore, was off to a party in the exclusive Soho House. We fawned over her until she told us firmly that she could not bring us with her (pout). Then Rits said something about not wanting to be hungover while skiing the next day. Wimp!

It was up to me, Little Miss Hussy, and the Brit to keep the night going. Luckily, our friendly waiter was headed off duty and brought us along on his afterhours party crawl. At this point, the Brit threw in the towel. (To be fair, I think it was 5am in London-time at that point, so she was a trooper.) Not sure why this always happens when I go out with the Hussy, but we found ourselves dancing in the secret back room of a bar for a private party where bartenders were winning trips to Disney World (??). I know how surreal that last sentence sounds, but for once I am not hyperbolating (real word) for humor’s sake. We really were in a secret bartender party. I hope they don’t kill me for telling.

I’m realizing that it’s not realistic for me to stop going out. I mean, it’s just too damn fun and there’s always something amazing to be discovered in this great city. However, this week is most certainly devoted to eating veggies and cooking some homemade soup to recover. Cheers!

My Year of Weddings

It’s been over a year since I last posted. I miss writing with no agenda! One major reason was the plethora of weddings keeping me busy. Little Miss Hussy, Rits and Ctina all got married, and they all made me their Maid of Honor. It really was an amazing honor. Each wedding was different and added something new to my life, just like these ladies. Below, a small taste of those celebrations.

Little Miss Hussy kicked things off last December with a dinner at Frankies in Brooklyn and a cupcake reception dance party at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. The food at Frankies was scrumptious. Platters of puffy pillowy gnocchi, meatballs in sauce so good that it made you drool while eating it, and many other dishes covered the tables. Afterwards, we headed to the reception to dance the dinner off. Most of our friends are in publishing, so it was fitting that we were surrounded by laden bookshelves and tomes of literatures. The middle of the room had been cleared to make space for dancing, a cocktail bar, a table full of gorgeous cupcakes, and a classic photobooth. Once all the guests had arrived, the couple took the floor for their first dance to Kat Edmonson’s version of Just Like Heaven. I choreographed and taught them the dance, so I felt like a majorly proud mama watching them!

Next up was Rits’ wedding. We traveled to Iceland for her bachelorette party because we wanted an adventure! There, we had an amazing, multi-course, wine-paired meal at Fiskfelagid, got addicted to lamb hot dogs, partied all over Reykjavik, rode Icelandic ponies (my pony started a minor stampede but I managed to stay on!), and relaxed in the geothermal spa at Blue Lagoon. Un. Real. Her wedding day was just as special, at a cozy penthouse in the heart of SoHo. The ceremony was held on the rooftop beneath perfect blue skies, and then the party spread out into 2 floors for a dinner and dance party. Rits is lucky enough to have a talented chef as a brother, and he orchestrated a meal that transitioned seamlessly from a salmon tartare amuse to fish and meat courses that melted in our mouths. After we reluctantly stopped eating (because it was that or burst), we waddled upstairs to the dance floor to watch the couple’s first dance and then jumped right in to boogie down all night long.

Not to be outdone, Ctina decided to have two receptions, in New York and Ohio so that no friends or family members would be left out. The New York party was way outside the box. They took over a nightclub with a stage so that the groom could perform with his jazz-punk-rock band and filled long tables with 30 different kinds of empanadas and a cool deconstructed cake from Milk Bar. As we stuffed our faces, the groom played saxo-ma-phone and serenaded the bride. Hello, romance! The party danced the night away. A few weeks later, I flew to Ohio for part deux of Ctina’s celebrations. The ceremony was held in this lovely white church with polished dark wood beams and pews. After lots of tearing up and picture taking, we went on to the reception where we had to force the way-too-polite couple to sit and eat, instead of greeting guests. Needless to say, we all danced up a storm after dinner. Whee!