I suppose I do some kind of writeup of the events of this weekend, since it was my birthday and all. The festivities (mostly food related, of course) started on Friday with a Chinese New Year's dinner with my coworkers at Great Eastern. Tiffany and I introduced Amie, Marina and Wanda to the pleasures of Peking duck. We also had crab two ways (salt and pepper, and steamed), snow pea sprouts and hot and sour soup. I would've liked to also have spot prawns, steamed whole fish, sauteed conch and braised green beans as well, but we already had problems finishing what we had.
The next morning, while Zack recuperated from the excesses of Mike's bachelor party (Me: "You stink." Zack: "What do I stink like?" Me: "Like you've hanging out in a strip bar, drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes all night." Zack: "That makes sense."), I headed out to do my Berkeley rounds - the farmer's market, the Cheese Board and Acme Bread. I got a little overzealous in the bread buying department, though. I bought pain au levain, pain epis, pain de mie, sweet batard and a rustic baguette. I guess I got excited about my new Global knife (which I discovered was from Justin). I've managed to cut whole slices of bread an eighth of an inch thick so far. I'm working on making them a sixteenth of an inch thick. I love my Globals. I would sleep with them if I could. (No, not that way. Ew. What do you take me for?) Have I mentioned that before? Zack, however, is not loving them right now - he just cut himself. He wasn't awake when I got back home, so I went down to the nail salon, and indulged myself in a manicure and pedicure.
Zack was just waking up when I returned, so we had some lunch, and I took a nap. When I woke up, it was time to get ready for dinner at RNM. It's supposed be the new "hot spot." Apparently, the executive chef, Justine Miner, is just 29 years old! Kind of depressing, really. But I won't focus on that bit. Anyways, the Mapquest directions were completely wrong (they still used the Fell Street offramp - wasn't that dismantled like, a year ago?) and the restaurant's directions weren?t much good either. But once we were there, we were joined by Carla, Joey, Lily, Lee, Jen (who also had a birthday), Anne, Ryan, Jane and Jesse. It was actually really nice to see everyone assembled together. The decor was achingly hip, and not necessarily in a good way. I felt like I ought to be wearing black Helmut Lang or something Belgian (instead of Marc Jacobs and Moschino - too much color!). It reminded me of the San Francisco W Hotel, to tell the truth. The food was pretty good, and prices for it weren't bad. There's a $25 prix fixe if you order by 7:00, or there's a $30 Dine About Town special. You get quite a lot of food, which was surprising, considering the decor. Alcohol prices, however, were another story. Then again, almost everybody had at least two cocktails, plus we ordered two bottles of wine. And parking was impossible, so we were forced to valet it for 10 bucks. Needless to say, we left the restaurant quite buzzed, and a whole lot poorer. But as Anne cheerfully put it, "Nothing fazes me after seeing the French Laundry bill." Jesse and Jane had other engagements to attend, and Lily and Lee headed to Citizen Cake, while the rest of us hobbits moved on to the Metreon to watch Return of the King. I must admit, after fourth viewing, it was a little difficult to remain focused, especially after all the booze and food. It was like, (copping a Monty Python accent) "Get on wit it!" But I still found the battle scenes eyepopping, and Legolas was still cute.
The day of my birthday was also the same day as Mike and Wamm's wedding, and it took place on a boat. It pretty nice - the weather was gorgeous, if a bit chilly. There were tons of rugrats running about, and they were all pretty much adorable. We sat with Lucas, Eric's three-year old for a while. Lucas has a mop of curly brown hair, and big brown eyes. When his dad brought a handful of olives over, I witnessed something I'd never seen before. Lucas began jumping up and down, and begging "Pleeeeeeease may I have some oliiiiives???" The boy's got a thing for olives. I asked him if olives were his favorite food - he nodded (his mouth was full with kalamatas). "What about candy?" "Olives." I don't know if it's just me, but I could swear that olives were one of those things that kids generally don't like. Huh. Guess I was wrong. Oh, and I had several boys flirting with me. Yup. Seven-year olds. Maybe they got into the liquor or something, but around the time of the best man's speech, they kept popping out from under the table, grabbing my foot, and telling me, "You're purty," "You're precious," "You smell nice," or "You're bee-yoo-tee-full." I told them if they kept that up (except for the hiding under the table and grabbing feet part), they'd be a hit with the ladies when they grew up. So I had a pretty good time. I suspect though, that the exposure to the elements, and being around the kids may have contributed to my malaise the days afterwards. But I'm feeling a lot better now. So that was my weekend. In case anyone cares.