Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Not-So-Short update on the weekend

Friday evening: Dinner at L's place. L is old friend from college / B-School. Her hubby Ro was also with us at Joka. They recently had a baby girl who was one of the prettiest newborns I have ever seen (I like babies but seriously don't you think that usually babies get cuter only as they grow a face after about a month or so - first couple of weeks, not so much - na?). Food - yum, the company even better...

Saturday: After a really nice lunch at home, Ma and I headed for SF for some shopping. I decided not to drive and that was a great idea. After some showers in the morning, it became a beautiful, sunny, white fluffy clouds in a blue sky kind of a day. We took the free Emeryville city bus to the BART station and then the train to Powell. Unfortunately for my wallet the San Francisco mall had quite a few stores with great sales. Collected my birthday month gift from The Body Shop, bought cashmere sweaters for a steal at Ann Taylor (yes, more than one and no I am not ashamed) and various other stuff. No, Ma refused to buy anything or let me buy anything for her. Since she also practically physically restrained me from going near any shoe stores, we ended up eating a Godiva truffle each, having some coffee and heading home.
On the way back the bus driver decided to wax eloquent in admiring mother and daughter. A co-passenger asked if Ma was indeed my mother (duh) and said something along the lines of "Obviously, true beauty does not fall far from the tree". LOL, I think it was just Ma's sari that overwhelmed him. We got home to eat dinner and watch Amadeus on DVD, which I have had sitting on the TV since November courtesy of Netflix. I must be one of Netflix' most profitable customers, gah.
Post dinner, I hung out at the Albatross Pub in Berkeley with RW (yet another friend with the initial R) and some of his friends and played darts, which I suck at. Phew - long day!

Sunday: Beautiful day - warm, sunny and all around perfect. So what can a Californian do but barbeque in January. Not me but my friend A, who grilled the yummiest pomfrets stuffed with shrimps / olives/ ginger and who knows what else. It was a smashing success though he confesses proudly that the recipe was not replicable as he was not quite sure exactly what else had gone into it! Wine on the deck in the greenery of the Los Altos Hills. Hmmm, nice. We watched the entire 2nd season of the hilarious BBC series Coupling as it got dark and then I had to get home.

Monday: Dinner with the ex at a super-expensive Italian restaurant. Hmmm. And the answer to your question is that the food is to die for. And yes it is possible to be friends with an ex, especially when they treat you to such dinners.

[Edited to add on special instructions, the pomfret was way cooler than the Oliveto dinner. Ok - you can stop choking me now, arghh.]


Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Oliveto's food looks fantastic. But what's the deal with fancy restaurants spelling out every ingredient that goes into making a dish. Lamb chops with port wine reduction flavoured with rosemary........Menus end up looking like grocery lists.

What did you end up eating?

Aah pomfret. My Ma makes the most divine, amazing pomfret jhal-deya, and guess what, she doesn't even eat any sea fish.

January 24, 2006 3:51 PM  
Blogger Arthur Quiller Couch said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 24, 2006 11:05 PM  
Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Med food ... aaahh. Good bread and some extra virgin olive oil are enough. Sun-dried tomatoes, pickled aubergines, boiled eggs and feta are bonuses.

Except that every good meal has an after-taste of guilt, like post-coital depression. How I wish I could bestir myself to sweat off the fat nodules!

Pomfret? You're not a lobster fan? Or 'gator tails?


January 24, 2006 11:09 PM  
Blogger Urmea said...

Swati - I think thats the whole Chez Panisse / California cooking concept where the ingredients are given loads of importance. They even specified the particular source/ age of an olive oil used in some dish. The food though is totally worth it. I think they describe it as traditional Italian dishes using local, seasonal products. I'm trying to find someone who wants to go eat their special menus with me!

JAP-da, I am a fish / seafood fan - maybe not gator tails though :) And as for guilt, hmmmm, not so much!

January 25, 2006 11:40 AM  
Blogger Urmea said...

Oh and I forgot to say, I had the Bitter greens with Fuji Apple, Roasted Hen and pine nuts (very yum); the braised pork belly with potatoes (drool - soft, fatty - like very young panthar mangsho - oh lord!); pistachio and frangipane tart with ricotta ice cream. We had a half bottle of a barbaresco. Oh and I loved their coffee!

January 25, 2006 4:23 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Sounds very drool-worth indeed! I've wanted to try pork belly forever, even want to make it at home because I have a good recipe. I just haven't been able to find it at any grocery store. And now that you've likened it to pathar mangsho, oh I just have to have it.

Thanks for enlightening me. Yes it seems to be an Alice Waters thing. I've read that some restaurants even specify the ranches their steaks come from. Well, well.

January 26, 2006 12:51 PM  
Blogger Urmea said...

Yeah they do specify all the sources for meat especially - Niman Ranch steak , Liberty Duck and Hoffman Farms Hen and so on!
Do try pork belly but make sure its from a good source - because apparently most US mass-produced pork has been bred lean now - you know 'the other white meat'. That is why most pork in restaurants is so bland and dry.
Better still, come up here and we'll go to Oliveto and Chez Panisse Cafe :D

January 26, 2006 5:37 PM  
Blogger Rimi said...

heyyy, you're posting again! this is lovely. i do NOT like pomfret, but oh, chingrir malaikari!

this is just a random comment, by the way, to show taht i noticed you're blogging again and that i'm much delighted.

January 29, 2006 10:26 PM  
Blogger Priya said...

The gloating glutton at her best;) Don't I hate u with a passion!

January 29, 2006 11:01 PM  
Blogger Urmea said...

Rimi dahling, welcome back to my humble blog :) [kiki] Don't forget to wipe your teeth and brush your feet [/kiki]
Priya my love, how I adore your tender words. Now why don't you go blog some?

January 30, 2006 10:40 AM  

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