While I feel badly about not keeping up I’ve read all the participants' entries
I truly admire Mikey for running this thing. Good job, you. But really, I don’t take instruction well anymore. So I'll post when I'm damn good and ready. My reasons why I’ll save for tomorrow’s post (brag about something). For today, I will offer up a smattering of an absolutely brilliant meme that has arisen from the fiery postings of the past few days.
My Favorite All-Time, Hall of Fame, But Not Last Meals*
(*That I’ve Actually Paid For)
A preface: Since December, my family has lost 40% of our income. 40 fucking percent. Take a quick moment to calculate what impact that would have on you and yours. There are as many memorable meals that I’ve been privileged to take part in that I have not been responsible for. The fact that we’re finding ourselves able to survive this is a testament to my entire family (more on that tomorrow, for anyone who cares). So I’ve discarded any meal that we were not directly involved with funding in some part.
Oh, one more thing: Leah and I came up with a lot more than just these. She’s going to post her portion of the list. Her #1 is by far, the best and most unbelievable meal imaginable.
You will need very badly to read about it.
Washington Square Tavern, Brookline - the first bar where the bartender knew my name. Well, maybe not my name, but every time I walked in the doors, by the time I reached the bar, a half Sapphire - half Belvedere martini was already in process. MMmmmmmmmm. I seem to remember the food being really good as well.
Mistral, Boston -Back in our free-living Boston days, Leah and I decided that we were going to become opera aficionados. Our introduction to opera on the social scene was a production of The Magic Flute by Mozart and dinner at this restaurant. When we walked in the door, we were transported to a world in which we clearly did not belong. The wine list included bottles that were over $2,000. The host offered to have a limo take us to the theatre, as we were running a little late. The seared tuna was to die for, as was the view from the twelve foot arched windows.
Bay Tower Room, Boston - Shortly after my mother died in 1998, my family decided that we were going to get together every 3-4 months and celebrate life. The Bay Tower Room was our first foray into this territory. The restaurant, which sadly has closed in the time since, was on the 33rd floor of a building overlooking Boston harbor (see above photo). The seating was dispersed over two levels, and the glass facade was open to both the harbor and the stars above. My mother looked down (I hope) and watched my family drink bottle upon bottle of champagne, wine, port, and whiskey. We ate some of the best food we've ever had, but it was all lost. As was the beginning of our grief over her loss.Wolfgang's/Smith & Wollensky's/Peter Luger's - NYC - Every year for the last 5 my father, brothers, and I have met in New York City in April to attend the annual Auto Show at the Javit Center. We have a tradition of having lunch at Carmine's in Times Square. We also have a tradition of seeking out the best steak dinner in the city that we can find. Dad pays for lunch. We pay for dinner. And let me tell you, we do it in style. At Wolfgang's, we enjoyed a three-tiered appetizer of raw sea-food. At Smith and Wollensky's, we became such good friends with the waiter that he bought us our dessert drinks (20 year old port - yum!). This never-ending quest has led us to a number of unforgettable meals, which I choose to lump together here at #3. I have eaten the best steak in the entire world during these outings. And the chance to spend time with my father and brothers is not something that I will readily give up. We are forced to downgrade to pizza and beer this year, but we will someday rise again from the ashes to continue our search for the perfect slice of cow.
Le Petit Zinc, Paris - On Valentine's Day 1998, I surprised Leah with a long weekend in Paris, France. Our favorite story from this trip is how Leah lost her passport in the taxi ride from the airport to our hotel, but there are some other wonderful experiences that we don't readily share. Truly, I don't remember how I stumbled across this place. I am not your average world traveler. I do not stick to the well-trodden path. However it came to be, when we walked in, the reservations we had were non-existent (ant? Mikey?) But Leah, bless her French at heart soul, pulled out her college French and spoke to the maitre de and smiled. He actually told us that he was seating us only because she was cute. It was worth every bit of the flirtation.
Breakfast - 90 Kilsyth Rd, Brighton, MA - More than the location, more than the food, more than the atmosphere. A meal shared with true friends is the one that leaves me wishing we could share the experience just one more time. Jesse, Michelle, Colleen, Suzanne, Mark, Ryan, Debbie, Ken, Leah, Gina, Brian & Dena (you get half credit for making the cross-country trek as often as you did) and whoever else we could fit into our little one-bedroom apartment. The ones that I remember best are the New Year's Day mornings after our night's out at Northeast Brewing Company's all inclusive (glasses too!) celebrations. We would crash wherever we landed. But whenever we woke up, Leah would aleady be awake and cooking in our tiny little kitchen with the weird, glass, floor level cabinets. Blueberry muffins, pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh orange juice, and exquisitely painful hangovers were the menu. It was here that Suzanne taught me that every guest got to eat first, no matter how hungry I was! It was here that we laughed endlessly at Ryan's biting sarcasm. We sang silly songs (except Suzanne). We hung out around the tiny kitchen table. We watched hours upon hours of horrible movies. We ate our food and then didn't move for half a day, until we regretfully returned to our regular lives. Still friends. Still happy. Still fearless of what the world had to throw at us.
I sorely miss these days. I sorely miss my friends. Friends through thick and thin. Friends who wouldn't hesitate to tell you when you were acting like an idiot, and would actually make fun of you for doing such. Friends who, when you called them on a Thursday evening, would scream at you, "NO ONE I KNOW WOULD CALL DURING FRIENDS!!" and promptly hang up. Friends who after feuding with for years you can call up and say "My God we've been stupid" and pick right up where you left off. Friends who you can call after months of not communicating at just have a simple conversation as though you still lived down the street. Friends who, if you ever truly needed help, would be at your side in the time that it took to get in their car and drive. Friends who don't judge you, but will not hold back their opinions. I love you all.
How about breakfast in Buffalo?