Monday, December 19, 2005

Oh, and

The Favorite Day started out as not such a favorite day, but it steadily improved until the bitter-sweet end, around 1:30 a.m. Lunch from Gastronomique was kind of mixed. It was fascinating to see whose interest, among my officemates, was piqued by the food and who was totally turned off by the turkey sandwich (aka turkey cheesecake). Some people clearly want a turkey sandwich to be some sliced turkey, some lettuce, some mayo, maybe some cheese and mustard and a tomato on a white roll. Others seemed rather taken with the notion that it can instead be some giant chunks of dark-meat turkey slathered in french goat cheese topped with whole cranberries and honey-dijon sauce. My favorite butternut squash soup got mixed reviews, too. I happen to like it because it tastes like melted butternut squash ice cream; others seemed repulsed. But whatever. As long as my boss liked it, I'm happy. And others liked it too. Seemingly.

The party at the Beinecke was also a bit of a letdown. Not as many folks showed up as I thought or hoped would; the wine was seriously dreadful; the mood was less than festive. I left the swanky digs feeling a little bit overdressed and overhopeful.

But then I arrived at the Union League and had a jewel-toned Kir Royale set in front of me no sooner than I had admired Lisa's. Everyone from Andy's firm (and various hangers-on, like me and Sonya and the other spousal-equivalents) showed up looking sparkly and cold and excited and breathless and grateful for an occasion to get dressed up. The giant, ornate room may as well have been all ours. We ate oysters, we drank lots of wine, we ordered our own desserts, we got cheeses for the table. My entree was a gorgeous, meaty and rich piece of haddock that had been lightly smoked at the restaurant, set atop a snappy but lush little bit of cassoulet. Heavenly. It sopped up enough alcohol that I could even have a Poire Williams with my chestnut dessert crepe. We were all giddy and tipsy and the night never had to end.

And then, just when it seemed like it might actually end, after saying our good-byes and thank-yous, we young 'uns conspired to hie to the Firehouse for nightcaps, including our collective first taste of the G.O.A. -- a cocktail named with pursed-lipped affection by the owners of the bar for the firm that designed it. It was actually delicious and surprising and nuanced and subtle and bold all at once. And grossly overpriced. At last we all went out into the cold cold night and said goodbye, and Andy and I drove home to our little house with cute Christmas lights and everything felt cozy. It didn't turn out to be my favorite day, but it was a pretty damn lovely December night.


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