Saturday, March 16, 2019

With Apologies to Great Grandma

I should have enough of my Great Grandmother O'Donnell's blood in my veins to sense it a mile away.

Instead, a row of cars parked along Leigh Street with yellow "RMC parking" passes was my first clue. Next came a thumping bass and beer trucks. And cops, so many cops and I'm talking bike cops, motorcycle cops and cops with boots on the ground.

Holy mother of bad ideas, why had I walked west today instead of my usual river walk?

By the time I'd started up Meyers Street, parallel to the Boulevard, the music had morphed to smooth jazz and I saw my first cotton candy vendor. It was barely noon so things were just getting cranked up and the cops looked bored.

Meanwhile, people in green attire gravitated to the Boulevard with purpose. They meant to get their green beer on sooner rather than later.

Once I reached CVS, I could see the main stage and hear the emcee welcoming the early arrivals. "Hey, there! You guys ready to shamrock the block?" The band behind him kicked into Cee Lo Green's "Crazy," which struck me as an ideal song with which to launch a drinking festival.

St. Patrick, give me strength.

Walking east on Broad Street, a guy on bike pulled up next to me to question why I had on pink and black rather than green. Um, because it's not St. Patrick's Day yet? After digesting that bit of intel, he suggested we meet up in the same place tomorrow, except with me in green. When I declined, he asked if I was married. I clarified.

"Oh, okay, well tell him he needs to see you in a green dress tomorrow," he instructed, pedaling off and waving back at me.

So now I'm taking wardrobe instructions from a stranger?

He had seen me in a black dress last night when we landed at Secco to celebrate us both being in the same city two nights in a row for what feels like the first time since February, an occasion that called for the fresh minerality of Raventos i Blanc Brut Rosat de Nit to start.

But good as it was, dinner was every bit as stellar. Housemade pita drizzled in olive oil showed up with spinach falafel and pickled vegetables, simple but winning. Chapitre Touraine Sauvignon Blanc replaced pink bubbles to whet my whistle.

In what can best be described as a salad for salad lovers, a bowl of farro, lentils, wild rice, pepitas, smoked almonds and petite greens with a killer cranberry vinaigrette revealed a smorgasbord of textures and tastes.

We'll just call it as close to my salad ideal as I've come and leave it at that.

And I might have ordered another except that the Spanish octopus with housemade fettuccine, olives and chili oil in a decadent Bolognese sauce arrived and completely distracted me. If everyone's first octopus experience included octopus this tender and meaty red sauce this deeply flavorful, everyone would be an octopus fan.

Well, except for the part that they're smart and feel pain, but besides that.

We closed out with a chocolate chestnut torte set atop a pool of orange marmalade and festooned with preserved kumquat, a dessert with as high a percentage of dark chocolate - it was only barely sweet - as I've had. It was the marmalade's job to bring the sugar.

Apparently tomorrow, it's my job to bring the green dress. I know, I know.

No great granddaughter of Mrs. O'Donnell (as my grandmother always called her) would make that rookie mistake.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently the ‘Fashion Police’ were hot on your trail and willing to take bribes! You still got it gurl!