Friday, May 24, 2013

Eccentric's Birthday

We'll call it a good birthday because I'm just now getting around to blogging it.

Holmes and his honey invited me over for a bottle of Mumm Brut Prestige to kick off the night.

Mid-sips, the couple presented me with a well-chosen birthday postcard done by a German artist.

The scene of cave people having a cocktail party while guests admired the cave paintings on the walls was hysterical to the art historians in the room.

And we outnumbered the non-art historians two to one.

From there it was a hop, skip and a jump to the VMFA and Amuse.

When I insisted on going in my favorite entrance, the Boulevard doors, Holmes accommodated me, but later grumbled, "Why do I surround myself with eccentrics?"

Um, because we're more fun than non-eccentrics?

Upstairs at Amuse, we began in the mod green chairs in front of the windows so we could watch the dramatic clouds rolling in, but soon moved to the bar.

Holmes never misses an opportunity to commandeer his stool.

Since the staff knows my taste, almost immediately I was offered an absinthe drip, but even I knew enough not to begin with the green fairy.

Instead we went the Sauivignon Blanc route while watching the magnificent sunset in the mirror behind the bar.

As the navy blue clouds gave way to the last of the sunset behind the Pauley Center, we talked about birthday wisdom.

My favorite, a brilliant nugget from the manager, went like this, "You're only as old as people treat you."

I feel really good about that, knowing how people treat me.

We noshed on curry-fried oysters and a cheese plate, eventually getting to the absinthe that is the inevitable end of every visit there.

How better to feel like van Gogh while admiring the view in the bar mirror, so much like a Manet?

Already pleasantly loopy, we left the museum for nearby Amour.

Because it was my birthday, we began with something pink and pretty, a sumptuous cocktail of fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice and Rose.

As we discussed with the pourer, the grapefruits are over-ripe and at the end of their season, and the Roses are young and just arriving, making for the perfect blend of old and young.

I'm sure there's a birthday metaphor in there somewhere, but damned if I can find it, right now anyway.

There were only two other people at the bar, both men, one at each end.

Plopped in the middle of them and wrapped around the corner of the bar, we were an interruption to their evenings, any way you looked at it.

The pompous-looking one ignored us entirely while the other one eventually joined in, wishing me a happy birthday.

Heimberger Riesling, crisp and earthy, accompanied a first course of French onion soup while Django Reinhardt played softly in the background.

Holmes went with pork and duck rillettes, the curly-haired one had a tarte and I went straight for the veal sweetbreads in a sherried cream sauce in puff pastry.

"That's the best choice!" our server whispered to me, making his way to the kitchen.

Holmes' phone rang and I was handed the phone so a long-distance chum could wish me all the best.

My guilt was huge, since I have no use for cell phones in a restaurant setting.

That led to a discussion with the owner about another Carytown business owner who'd come in recently and talked non-stop on his phone throughout the meal.

First the owner asked him to go outside and when he continued talking, his server had gone over and reminded him what the owner had said.

When he got miffed and left, the remaining customers applauded.

That's the world I want to live in.

We sat there eating and talking until it was dessert time, requiring a festive changeover to Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace.

Since I was the birthday girl, I had both chocolate caramel sea salt creme brulee and raspberry lambic sorbet.

For that matter, the three of us finished with one perfect madeleine each, while "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" played.

I'd say I was being treated exactly like the age I am.

I'm going to go with ageless and call it a birthday.

1 comment:

  1. Happy

    cheering, confetti, horn blasts, clinking of champagne glasses.