It was neighborhood joint night, so I met up with two friends at Bistro 27 and, somehow we outlasted every one else in the place.
But it wasn't just another night at 27, because the menu was recently updated and now there were all kinds of new things on the menu to taste.
Regulars like me love to see things get shaken up and, let's face it, Carlos does everything so well...except my name (on purpose - tonight I was Clara).
In my continuing quest to eat like a lumberjack, I had already decided to go the entree route rather than my usual apps/salad/soup, which was a shame because there were so many tempting new appetizers: crevettes Mediterranees, rillettes of duck, duck and pork pate, baba ganoush and hummus plate, duck and lentil salad and one of my favorites, sweetbreads.
In a perfect world, I would have gotten a couple bites of each, but instead shared the baba ganoush and Hummus Plate with olives.
We all agreed that both spreads were outstanding and sure to be ordered again. The rillettes of duck was another big hit taste-wise.
I ordered the rib-eye, only to be told that the delivery guy hadn't been in, so they were substituting a N.Y. Strip.
Since my goal was meat and potatoes, the substitution filled the bill, along with mashed potatoes and veggies crisply cooked to perfection.
I also tasted my friend's short ribs since they were new to the menu (as was the stuffed quail) and undoubtedly what I would have ordered had I not just had them last night.
They were succulent; I'll be back for my own plate of those.
My music buddy there, Dave, hadn't been working the last few times I'd been in, so we needed to catch up.
He was disappointed not to have scored tickets to Vampire Weekend, which mattered not to me, since they hold no appeal whatsoever in my world (although the Chromeo remix of their "Kids Don't Stand a Chance" I can't resist, but that's thanks to Chromeo, not V.W.).
I'd even go so far as to suggest they rename their latest album from "Contra" to "Contrived," but then I suspect I'm in the minority there.
I'd just read the NY Times review of their show earlier in the week and clearly they don't have much unscripted or loose live.
And is it just me, or don't they seem like well-educated, entitled tight-asses?
But I didn't force my opinion on Dave, instead making empathetic noises about him missing out on the show.
He told me about his upcoming comedy show, which I'll want to see. The comedian I'd seen at his last show, who did the hilarious haikus, will be headlining and I loved his smart humor last time.
Come on, comedic haikus?!
And now I'm starting the rest of the evening, as per my instructions, with a glass of red (the amazing Raquillet 2007 Mercurey Rouge Viellies Vignes and a personal favorite) and listening to my newest mix tape gift, "From a Hundred Miles Away."
I was told its starting point was reconnection followed by a week and a half of 4 a.m. bed-sitting with a laptop, wanting to connect from a distance.
I'm only a few songs in and it's already beginning to put me under its spell.
Ah, music, one of the two essentials of life.