I have had a very successful week of eating since last weekend in NYC, most of which I unfortunately scarfed down before remembering to record on film. My trip to NYC started off with Ollie's pan fried noodles for lunch (as per usual).
Later that day was dinner at A.O.C for Nicole's b-day, where we did the usual: lardons, french onion soups, cheese plates, etc. for hours while sober Abby froze at the outside table we forced her to agree to. Randomly, Efrat and Adam Kline were there.
The next night I spent over 5 hours at Flatbush Farms, which was shockingly expensive (seriously Brooklyn - what are you trying to prove?) although delicious. Randomly, Helen Hsu was there.
I finished off the weekend with one last pre-airplane lunch at Ollie's, and brought my stinky left-overs on the plane all the way back to Chicago.
Friday I had Clare, Teresa, Persis and Linsay over for b-day planning dinner - Persis brought over her amazing experimental flatbread pizzas and Clare brought meats from Fox & Obel (that apparently has a new and very disappointing salumi guy who "did not enjoy her selection process"). Nine episodes of Sex and the City, many bottles of wine and a short nap later it was off to the airport to pick up Otilia and Emma!
Saturday we spent shopping, mostly at the Spice Store on Wells, then downed wings all evening to relieve the semi-boredom of sports at Mother Hubbard's. Randomly, Libby was there - and she wasn't even the only person from our college there, some girl from the class below us happened to have chosen that particular frat-boy spot to watch to Bulls/Celtics game. After an amazing set of blues at Kingston Mines and a burger and fries that appeared out of nowhere we were in bed by 1am like good girls.
The next day started with bloody mary and creamed breakfast potato brunch at Dunley's on Clark and turned into a cupcake tour of Chicago. First we stopped at Molly's, then took the bus all the way to Sugar Bliss to compare. Otilia says they are just two different cakes altogether, but I consider yesterday the day Sugar Bliss won out for good. True to form, Otilia bought one mini of each flavor, ate the frosting and tops off all of them, and chucked the rest.
To digest we watched Bolt (Emma's new favorite movie, she actually wanted to stay home instead of going to dinner to watch it again - that would have been the THIRD time this weekend), then headed out for a final dinner at Avec.
Luckily we had to wait a good 45 min outside with only wine for sustenance so we could work up some stomach space next to the cupcakes.
With 5 of us greedy piglets scrambling to try every shared dish this was the only thing that we stopped long enough to get a picture of, but we had some of everything: shaved brussel sprouts with parm, my fave chorizo-stuffed dates (so I remember for next time and do not make us over-order even more severely, I can only eat 3 of them), my next-fave truffled-and-cheesed foccacia, a cheese plate that put a sock in my snobby comments, handmade pasta bits with cumin-seasoned lamb (it was like being in Shanghai again - or Ed's Potstickers!), warm octopus salad, and freshly-made chocolate crisps. We ate so much that Otilia and Emma fell asleep during the 10-minute car ride home and we were all in bed by ELEVEN pm, like geriatrics. (Meanwhile Teresa, apparently the youngster of the group, went home and edited an entire music video.)
Things have seriously changed. I used to want to go out hard at least two nights every time I went home to NYC, and never woke up before noon. My parents were shocked to see me up and about by 9am every single morning this time. And when Otilia and Emma came here with Nicole and Jihan just a year and a half ago we never came home before 4am. This time, instead of sleeping through driving Nicole to her 8am flight, I was actually dressed and lively at 5:30am in time to drive Otilia and Emma to O'Hare. Who have I become??