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The Recap

While you're all still voting (I'll keep the poll open until midnight, Eastern Standard time, this Friday), I figured I should (finally) give a recap of New Year's Eve festivities and the aftermath.  I had a few party invitations which were all, unfortunately, way too far apart for comfortable party hopping, so I did the logical thing -- brought the party to me.  I ended up having a fairly last-minute small dinner party for six: me, John B., the Lovely Miss Katie, Mark, and his two friends who were in from out of town, Holly and Jenny.  I wanted to be slightly decadent for the occasion, but without making myself too nuts in the kitchen -- the menu ended up being seafood-based:  shrimp cocktail with zingy, spicy cocktail sauce from Whole Foods, seared scallops with chives and basil oil, steamed lobsters, green beans with caramelized onions, truffled mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, an arugula and radicchio salad with toasted pine nuts and pomegranate that we skipped entirely, so as to leave room for our poached pears with pear-chocolate sauce.  All in all, an elegant, yet completely sloppy meal (lobster shells were a-flyin'.  Most of us stayed around until midnight, then people went their separate ways.  I ended up at Cru, meeting Augie, Lauren, Alvin, and their crew, who generously shared a glass of '86 Penfolds Grange Hermitage and a few sips each of '86 and '75 d'Yquem.  Not a bad way to round out the evening. 

The next day was Lauren and Augie's second annual New Year's Day gathering to eat mac and cheese, watch the Big Leibowski and drink white Russians.  All was fine and good until the white Russians caught up with me (they were small, but potent as hell), and forced me to take a nap.  I had an hour in mind -- my body decided it would be three.  I woke up around 10:45 pm and couldn't fall asleep until about 3 am.  I spent a great deal of that time watching "Talk Sex with Sue," a call-in sex show on Oxygen featuring a Canadian grandmotherly woman in her sixties.  If you haven't watched it, you should, if only to admire her no-nonsense, yet healthy and sex-positive approach to her callers questions, which are all over the map.

To top off the three-day weekend, Tamara and I went to dinner at Babbo to say hello to Ken, one of the bartenders there, who we had met out at Bar Carrera last week (and then joined for karaoke at Sing Sing).  We dined at the bar, befriended a lovely couple from Malibu who invited us to come out to drink wine and go biking with them sometime (woo hoo!), and had the pleasure of sitting next to Elvis Mitchell and Quentin Tarantino for a while (they were talking about the Simpsons episodes that included Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs references).  We also ate and drank fabulously -- the highlight for me was definitely the goose liver ravioli with brown butter and balsamic.  Sheer heaven.  After that, I was ready to face the work week.

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