So for The Chef's birthday a little bit of time ago, we spent a few days in New York City, which is one of my most favorite places, which surprises me more than it does you.**
But I fall in love with it a little more each time.
For the Great Birthday Weekend, we saw Book of Mormon (front row!) and Jersey Boys (third row!).
And we ate at Babbo, which I enjoyed much more this time than the first time we went.*** And if you go, which you totally should, you'd darned well better get the Tasting Menu, otherwise, you're not getting the most for your time and money. You should trust me. I know lots about food. But I'll tell you about Babbo another time.
And I'll tell you about Eataly another time too--which is one of our favorite places in the whole wide world.
But the biggest and bestest birthday dinner (which was, in fact, lunch) of all time was at Del Posto, the only 4-star Italian restaurant in NYC and one of only 7 four-stars in the city.
We got the tasting menu, which if you don't know, is when you get forty thousand small courses brought to you over a couple of hours. It included the best salad ever made: Bitter HERBS & LETTUCES with Truffle Dressing. Salad isn't a thing that I love, but I could eat this every single solitary day. For the rest of my life. But I digress, because that's how I roll.
Anyway, the reason why you should always get the Tasting Menu is because you'll receive a variety of dishes you probably never would have chosen for yourself, which expands your experience and makes it unique. Plus it's at the whim of the chef so each visit is a surprise. And it means you don't have to choose one thing and regret your choice. <--I hate when that happens.
And speaking of surprise, when we got there and were chatting with the maitre d', one of the owners popped in and we chatted with him for a bit. You may know of him--Joe Bastianich from MasterChef fame. We asked him to have lunch with us, but he was running in and out. And you'd think, well, that's the end of the story.
Except that would be 1. boring and 2. not the way our lives work.
So in our chat with Joe, The Chef may have mentioned we were there for his birthday. A throw-away comment in a longer discussion. And yet not, because at the end of our meal, when they were bringing us FOUR dessert courses, one of them happened to be a super-rich chocolate birthday cake, complete with candle and well wishes written on the plate in chocolate, all accompanied with an olive oil gelato that made us weep with delight.****
I could go on for a thousand years, but I will spare you, and instead will go write, in order to make more money, because The Chef has another birthday coming up in nine months and I suspect I know where we're going for dinner.*****
* For some reason, Blogger is being an asshat and won't let me add pictures. Sorry! Check out the links!!
** You know--on account of I don't like noise or crowds or weirdness.
***I was DYING on that trip two years ago--I felt kind of lousy the whole time and then on our way home, I asked if we could, you know, stop at the hospital cause I felt that crappy. So, 8 days later, when I finally left the hospital... Yeah, I didn't really enjoy Babbo's $300 dinner price tag as I probably should have. (By the way, I still can't eat prosciutto, which was one of the last things I had on that trip. ::shudders just thinking about it::)
****The Chef says I have to tell you about my most favorite parts, which includes a member of our team of servers and buspeople bringing an embroidered (by Italian vestal virgins) footstool upon which to lay my purse, lest it rest on the immaculate carpet. And we shan't forget the table covered with linens woven that morning by saints, which rested upon a plethora of batting, made of angel wings and unicorn manes, much softer and more plush than any bed on which I shall ever lay my head.
*****And this lunch was $350.00, so I can only imagine the cost of dinner. Gotta go!