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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Catching Up

I've gotten a little behind on my blogging, and some of these could have been separate posts, but here's a roundup of late...

During the holidays, I tried making mushroom and barley soup. I put some leftover sausage in it. I also caramelized some onions and used some leftover red wine. It was tasty but really rich, so I ended up freezing half of it.
Last Saturday was gloriously warm and sunny. My childhood friend Carolyn connected me with a friend of hers named Kathleen, who moved here from Savannah. We met for brunch at the Little Owl. Fun fact: it's in the bottom of the building that was used for the Friends exteriors. This is a photo of Grove Street near the restaurant.
I had the burger, which was what my friend Ginger ordered the first time I went there. It was amazing! I had really psyched myself up for it, and it did not disappoint.
After brunch, Kathleen introduced me to C. Wonder in SoHo. It's owned by Tory Burch's ex-husband, and it sells all sorts of trendy but (relatively) affordable clothing, bags, jewelry and home goods. Then I walked up 6th Avenue toward the library...stopping to take a few photos along the way. This fountain faces an awesome gelato place called Grom, where I recently enjoyed an absolutely perfect cup of pear sorbet.
You can't see it well since it's under renovation, but this is the Jefferson Market library on Sixth Avenue. They had a copy of Remains of the Day on hold for me. (I've been suffering from Downton Abbey addiction and thus on a British reading kick.) I also checked out the DVD of Never Let Me Go while I was there.  
The inside of the library is so cool and reminds me a bit of Perkins Library at Duke... Unfortunately, the library lost a few points when I was informed out there is no public restroom. I understand the logic (assuming it has something to do with detering the homeless from camping out), but really? No restroom in a library?? (Just FYI, there are in fact some very nice restrooms in the big library on Fifth Avenue, so this is not a systemwide policy, but still.)
Travis and I met on the Upper East Side. We'd planned to go to the Met to see the Islamic galleries, but we both agreed it was too gorgeous to be inside. So, we strolled around the park a bit and had a beer at the Boathouse. Then we went to a French place, Restaurant Julien, to use a Groupon Travis had purchased for two dozen oysters and two cocktails.

Very tasty. I also had some onion soup, Travis had a croque monsieur, and we split the profitteroles for dessert. The bizarre thing to both of us was that oysters aren't even on their regular menu, and apparently the going rate for oysters in NYC is $50 a dozen. What?? Beam me back to Apalachicola, STAT!

This Saturday, my friend Melissa was in town. We met at an outlet so she could do some shopping. Since I am still on clothing restrictions given my tiny space, I looked around a bit and then read my Time magazine in the conveniently located "husband lounge." Afterwards, I gave Melissa a little tour of my neighborhood.

We had dinner at a Syrian/Moroccan restaurant called Salam. I'd passed by it several times and thought it looked appealing. We split what they called the maza (mezze in Lebanon) -- a sampler of hot and cold appetizers. It was quite a feast! Hummus, tabbouleh, fattoush, sausage, grilled chicken, spinach pastries, baba ghanoush, yogurt with cucumber and mint, zucchini fritters, samosas, stuffed grape leavees, etc. They kept bringing us more dishes, and we were so stuffed that we canceled our main course (lamb stew with tomato and okra).
It was $19 a person for the small plates, and their speciality drinks were only $5 (wine glasses of punch-like cocktails like sangria, but still). Forget Groupon, that's my idea of a daily deal!

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