Friday, August 24, 2012

Out with the Most Beautiful Girl from Pennsylvania

Only a true friend takes pictures of you sucking bones.

Her husband was going camping so we were free to debauch any way we saw fit, so we began at Lemaire.

Somehow, despite decades in this city, she'd never been.

And not only never been, but never heard about the live alligators that used to live there.

Over Michael Shaps Wineworks Cabernet Franc, we talked about Calvin Trillin, abstract expressionists and NYC in the fifties.

Moving on to Acacia, we bellied up to the bar and ordered two glasses of Tocco Prosecco to celebrate our girls' night out.

Then we began to eat in earnest.

There were golden figs with bleu cheese and local honey. Honestly, at this time of year, I could eat figs every day of the week.

Next up was flounder ceviche Peruvian style over avocado puree, a creamy combination punctuated with chili oil for heat.

Risking a swollen tongue, we went on to house-made burrata with local peaches (my allergy), basil, olive oil and aged balsamic.

The creamy burrata was like butter with the ripe peaches.

With so much fortification, we took on weightier topics like former boyfriends, the respect of the community and the beauty of a truly southern name.

Moving on, we got Belle Glos "Meiomi" Pinot Noir, a food-friendly wine that was bound to loosen our tongues.

For dinner, we shared pan-roasted Polyface chicken breast with smoked Gouda polenta, local green beans and a country mustard sauce.

The rustic dish satisfied on all levels - the crispy seasoned skin, the freshness of the bright green beans and the beautifully creamy polenta.

And somehow, when I got busy getting the last of the meat off the bones, out came her phone to document it.

"You're so oblivious to technology, it's easy," she laughed.

By then we'd analyzed who was superficial, who was overly outspoken and who was oblivious.

I got major bonus points from her when I told her my latest realization.

"You wouldn't have said that a year ago," she marveled.

And who knows what I'll say in another year?

It's amazing how much two friends can accomplish with a little time and a little more wine.

Our bartender was unobtrusive until my friend inquired abut a whiskey, at which point he explained away his whiskey expertise by saying that he was Irish Catholic.

I countered by telling him I was the same and yet had no whiskey knowledge whatsoever.

"She drinks tequila," my friend piped up, causing a slight raise in his eyebrow.

Don't judge, I say.

Choosing to partake of neither whiskey nor tequila, we decided to move on for dessert.

It was a no-brainer to end up at Garnett's because we knew we'd have a fine selection of sweets from which to choose.

Hers was a peanut butter pie and mine was the black and white cake with both chocolate and white icing.

It was a decadent ending to our marathon meal.

We finished, as we always do, with conversation in the car before I dropped her off.

I'm sure it says something that we'd been together five plus hours and were still talking right up until she got out of my car.

What it says is we don't get together often enough, but maybe her husband will go camping more frequently when he sees how relaxed and happy she is after a girls' night out.

I could have gone home, I could have ended it right there, but naturally I didn't.

Instead, I went to Balliceaux to hear a Brooklyn band, Madam Macadam, billed as "angry rock and roll with an emphasis on fun."

The band featured members of Lake Street Dive, another band I'd previously heard at Balliceaux.

As soon as I saw them, I recognized one guy's distinctive pale blue guitar. Funny the things that stick in your head.

I got a warm greeting from Chris, who books the shows, saying, "Always my favorite person to see."

A friend came over, saying, "Long time, no see" only to admit that he'd been in the Bahamas for 75 days (75!) for a photo shoot for the tourism board there.

Nice work if you can get it.

He did say that he'd been depressed ever since he got back, trying to make the adjustment to real life.

Meanwhile, there was music. "Thank you for coming," the lead singer said. "Who are you people?"

We were the ones who wanted to see an up and coming band and not just Black Girls.

I found a relatively safe spot near the side wall where I could see and not get knocked into too much.

These guys rocked in a Chuck Berry meets New York Dolls kind of way and eventually a friend walked by, saying, "These guys are good."

Not only good, but determined.

They'd made the eight plus hour drive down for the show, sitting in Washington traffic for two and a half hours to get here.

And yet they thanked us for being there.

Favorite song: "The Most Beautiful Girl in Pennsylvania," coincidentally, the home state of the friend I'd just dropped off.

Their set was short, maybe 35 minutes and my photographer friend was taking bets on how late Black Girls would begin (answer: just before midnight).

I saw a favorite bartender singing along to their songs and the crowd began to shimmy as Black Girls got rolling with their "snuff rock," ostensibly celebrating the guitarist's birthday.

But with Black Girls, it's always any excuse for a party.

By the time I left, I'd had a full eight hours of fun.

Walking to my car, a couple in running attire jogged by.

Who exercises at this hour when they could be listening to angry rock and roll with an emphasis on fun?

Clearly nobody I know.


  1. this was too much fun - still salivating from your description

  2. If there is such a thing as too much fun, it was!