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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend: Friday

Friday morning was another perfect day to be outside. Our initial plan was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, as the parents haven't yet experienced this New York tradition. However, someone was too hungry and needed food sooner than later. Not pointing any fingers (except for the one straight at me). So, on this gorgeous day, we hopped a cab over to Vinegar Hill, which is right outside Dumbo. 












We spent the remainder of the morning walking through Dumbo and along the water down past the new carousal, River Cafe and Brooklyn Bridge Park. 























 We followed the hill up to Brooklyn Heights and walked through the fruit streets, along the Promenade and down into Cobble Hill. At this point, I was on a mission for food. Not many restaurants were open for brunch, as it was Friday and not a Saturday or Sunday. Being smart, I called ahead to make sure the place I was headed was open. Thankfully, they were!

Closer to noon that I would have liked, we were seated at a large booth in the middle section of Char No. 4. The inspiration for the choice of the days brunch, was my Mom and her love of pancakes. If you remember, earlier this summer, the girls and I stopped for brunch at Char No. 4. As delicious as I remember brunch being, the one thing that truly stands out in my food loving mind is the amazing stack of pancakes placed in front of Emma. 

Mom went for the Buttermilk Pancakes with Vanilla-Blueberry Jam & Honey-Almond Butter. Of course she was generous enough to share a couple bites. 


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Last time, I practically licked the bowl of grits and couldn't think of anything better than grits with poached eggs on top, thus leading me to order the Poached Eggs with Bacon Cheddar Grits.


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Dad ordered the House made Gravlax over crispy Potato Cake with an Egg Sunnyside Up & Egg Remoulade. Half way through he mentioned he could order a second it was that good.


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Brunch was a huge success. Everyone was full and happy and we were ready to walk it all off. We headed down Smith Street towards Red Hook and walked until the shops ended, turned back around and walked down the other side of the street. Of course we made little pit stops in all the cute little shops. 

We decided to head back to Manhattan, via the Brooklyn Bridge, since the first time didn't happen. Unfortunately, someones feet hurt too much and we hopped in a cab instead. Sorry Dad! Next time, I promise. This time, thankfully, those hurting feet weren't mine. 

We headed back to grab Oliver and meet Emma and her brother at Pinkberry!







After Pinkberry, it was nap time. All of us were exhausted post our big Brooklyn adventure. It's a good thing we napped because none of us had any idea what we were getting ourselves into later that evening. Until then, I dreamed of pretty pictures....









After my nap, I was ready to party! Tonight was the night my parents were taking all my friends out to dinner. Emma and I agreed there was no better spot than Rubirosa. They were happy to accommodate our party of 11. Dinner couldn't have been more perfect. The food was delicious, the wine was amazing (I would know) and the company was hilarious. The Tratturi Primitivo, which is their house red, is my all time favorite wine. Why? Because, it is easy to drink. Too easy!



For parties over eight, Rubirosa serves family style. They sent a sample of the menu which Emma and I both agreed was what we would have ordered if we were going just the two of us. The portion sizes were perfect for the amount of people. 

The starters included my favorite Rice Balls, Meatballs, Mozzarella Sticks, Calamari Fritti, and a large Rubirosa Insalata. 

 

For the second course, we had two pasta dishes which were amazing. Emma and I had never had pasta at Rubirosa, which was apparently a mistake because, we were missing out! I can't even tell you what we had, although surprisingly I remember exactly what it looks like. I'm assuming from looking at the menu, one of the dishes was the Ricotta filled Butternut Squash, Brown Butter and Sage ravioli. The other dish could possibly have been the Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Tomato Basil and Parmigiano.




We also had two pizzas for the table which I believe to have been the Classic and Pepperoni. I did have a slice of the Classic, which is always one of my favorites!





Apparently, everyone had so much fun at dinner, it was decided we needed to move the party to another location. That we did...


...and we ended up here...


Oh yes, that is proof I actually sang karaoke. Unfortunately, there is too much video to ever forget this night happened. Fortunately, none of said video is of me, as I was the one doing said videoing. It is however, of my crazy awesome friends, singing their little hearts out. If I didn't like them as much as I do, I'd post the video. But for now, these three photos will have to do!



The evening ended and morning started with sake, sushi and singing. 
I think we can all agree it was one epic evening. 
Let's just say, we were all looking a little rough the next morning. 
There is no doubt in my mind that it was all worth it. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend: Thursday


I know I have said this before, but I'm going to say it again with more meaning 
than I can express, this past weekend was epic. I am in serious need of a vacation 
from my long weekend. I've never napped more in my life and I'm still craving sleep. 

I guess the best place to start would be at the beginning. My parents arrived at 
their amazing hotel, three blocks from my apartment, before I was ready to walk 
out the door. Apparently Thanksgiving morning traffic coming into Manhattan was nonexistent. Oliver and I ran down the street and around the corner to meet 
them. I've never seen the little one more excited. I guess he missed them. 

Once they were unpacked and settled into their room, we went on a coffee hunt. 
The first place I brought them was NoLita Mart on Mott Street. It was about time 
my Dad tried Stumptown coffee. We spent the rest of the morning walking 
around SoHo until it was time to make the trek up to Harlem for our 
Thanksgiving feast.

After an interesting cab ride, where we ended up in the Bronx for a split 
second, we arrived, stomachs grumbling, and ready to eat some comfort soul 
food. Red Rooster was beautiful. The interior and furnishings were a great 
mix of contemporary and mid century pieces. Not to mention the amazing 
smells wafting from the kitchen. Immediately, we knew we I picked a winner. 


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I absolutely loved the dark contrast on the back wall surrounding the kitchen. 
The industrial light pendants throughout the restaurant is also a nice touch. 



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It was decided we should take our time and really dine. This meant, order in courses. 
We started with wine. But of course! 



The first course was easy, how about one of everything? Sounded good to all 
of us!The Friend Chicken Caesar wasn't on the starter menu, so that we did 
not have. Everything else, you bet!


The corn bread was melt in your mouth amazing. It was served with a sweet 
honey butter and tomato jam. The two flavors together were perfect. 
However, the corn bread didn't need anything. it was that good. 


To this day, this Spinach Potato Salad, is my new favorite salad of all time. 
It was so amazing, I ate more of it than anything else during the meal. 


Sara had the Spiced Pumpkin, Turnip Soup, which she graciously shared with the 
table. It was so tasty, it could have been dessert. 


By the time we finished our starters, we were full. But, since it was Thanksgiving 
and all, we couldn't stop there. On to the main course we go. Everything sounded unbelievable. We went back and forth multiple times before deciding. 
It turned out we did a pretty fantastic job ordering, since everything we 
chose was exactly what the server recommended as their signature dishes. 


Helga's Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Lingonberries caught my eye 
during my first glance. I couldn't let it go. It had to be done, so I did it. Each 
bit took me back to Sweden. 


Sara ordered the Mac & Greens. It's a good thing she had or else there would 
have been a fifth order for the table. The Skib family and mac and cheese 
go together like well, mac and cheese go together. Everyone agreed, this 
was some of the best mac and cheese we had ever had. 


Mom went a little cajun in her decision making and went for the Shrimp & 
Dirty Rice. As I am not a huge seafood eater, this wasn't my dish of choice. 
However, the rice was great!


Leave it up to Dad to get the fried chicken! This fall off the bone chicken was 
seasoned in some of the most interesting flavors I've had on a fried chicken. 
It was definitively finger lickin good!


You would think after that meal, we wouldn't have room for anything else. At this 
point, I had stopped eating, with four meatballs still on my plate. I'm no dummy.
 I knew dessert was coming and you better believe when I say I already knew 
what I was getting. The dessert menu is always the first menu I check out first.


My mom made the mistake of using the ladies room after ordering dessert. I'm 
pretty sure she didn't make it back in time for my amazing, Thanksgiving Day 
special, Spiced Pumpkin Cake. To this day, I still believe she thinks we only 
ordered two desserts. It was that good. 


Sara's dessert of choice was the Whiskey Fudge. I wouldn't know how it was, after 
my last bite, the most intense food coma I'd ever had hit. The next thing I remember 
was waking up from a nap with Sara and Oliver watching Speed. 


Don't feel too bad for my Mom, she did order a dessert too. She had the
 Sweet Potato Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar. Obviously, I was on cloud nine 
at this time and didn't have a taste. I did hear the mmm's and ahhh's thought. 
It sounded pretty promising. 


The day was beautiful, the food was fantastic, and the company was perfect. 
Thanksgiving was a huge success. The only thing missing, was actually quite 
a big thing, the kid. Andy you were truly missed. We did eat enough for 
you so don't worry! You were there in spirit! Love you bro! 

After our three hour nap, we headed back out to meet some old 
friends from Michigan, who were also in town. Oliver even got to hang 
with us! It was the perfect end to the perfect Thanksgiving. 


 


I hope everyone had a safe, healthy and fabulous Thanksgiving! 
I have a lot to be thankful for.