A new music venue has been open for almost a year, so my friend and I checked it out recently. City Winery is a national chain so I was expecting it to be kind of “meh.” But I liked the vibe there. The place has a large bar and restaurant area outside of the music venue, which is a small-ish low-lit room filled mainly with long tables with chairs.
My friend and I sat in the back because the seats were cheaper, but we enjoyed the experience more because we were sitting at a two-person hightop and had a nice view of the stage (where the blue light is in the photo).
We saw Brazilian musician Seu Jorge. He arrived on my radar when I saw Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. He performed Bowie songs in Portuguese in the film.
He has an amazing deep voice and seems like a charmer. He invited his daughter on stage to perform a Nina Simone song, which was a crowd pleaser.
We ordered special wine (which was made from grapes from the Finger Lakes, near my hometown), so that was fun, and we both enjoyed our meals.
Next time I might splurge on seats closer to the stage, because since we were in the back, we kept being blinded by people taking photos and videos with their smartphones every few minutes. Grr.
I tried two new-to-me restaurants in one day recently. Some friends and I met for brunch at Cafe Luna. I had never heard of it, and after eating there, I was shocked that I had never heard of it. Not only was the food delicious, but the waitstaff were so friendly that we felt like we were on vacation in another city!
I had Nutella and banana French toast. I need to eat French toast occasionally; it’s a need and it is real.
Boyfriend and I ate dinner that evening at Brewers Coalition. The ambiance was nice, like an upscale townie bar. We ordered beer flights, because we love to try new beers. I had a pasta and vegetables dish, which was very good (except they could have skipped the black beans, in my opinion).
That day proved a good reminder to explore restaurants outside of your own neighborhood.
A Japanese teahouse opened up in my neighborhood recently. I saw nitro green tea on the menu (a la nitro coffee) and thought that would be interesting to try for the birthday list.
Well, they were out of the nitro green tea the day that I went. I had been eyeing the pastries as I waited in line to order, so when denied the green tea, I said, “I’ll have a houjicha cookie then. What exactly is that?”
The cashier said it was a cookie made with tea leaves. “OK, sure,” I said. Since I love tea, how bad could it be?
Happy to report that it wasn’t bad. I would even order it again. But this is definitely a cookie for people who like tea. It’s basically like eating tea leaves but in a soft and slightly sweet form.
I also had an iced oolong tea, which was very good. I’ll keep trying for the nitro green tea and will also be trying a sweet bun that is in the shape of a turtle.
My birthday is a couple of days away and I’m a little more than halfway through the birthday list. I gave myself an extension until the end of the summer to finish the list this year, since I’ve been busy trying to keep my shit together after my father died suddenly in December. Almost six months later, I’m feeling like one loses the ability to entirely keep one’s shit together after a parent dies. Maybe I’ll feel differently in another six months…
I went to Atwood’s Tavern for the first time the other night to grab dinner and see Wreckless Eric perform. Allen and I arrived about an hour and half before the show started and nabbed a table near the stage. I really liked the vibe there = low lighting, beautiful wood bar and paneling on the walls.
The food was very good. We shared mussels and I had a chicken sandwich and Allen had a crab cake sandwich. The potato salad side had a lot of herbs going on, which was shocking at first but then I learned to embrace it.
Allen has been listening to Wreckless Eric for decades but I didn’t know of him until Allen introduced me to his music months ago. Be warned, one of his biggest hits from the late ’70s, “The Whole Wide World,” has earworm potential.
Eric played a great set. He’s a very talented musician, and he entertains the crowd with funny stories and quips. And he’s English so he had me at hello just because of that. After his show ended, he personally sold his CDs and signed records and memorabilia for the fans lined up to meet him. What a cool bloke.
I’ve heard about Table Talk pies over the years, and I finally had the chance to try some…five, in fact.
I read in a neighborhood newsletter that a local high school’s band members would be selling Table Talk pies for a National Pi(e) Day fundraiser on March 14 near my office. Because of an ill-timed snowstorm, I had to wait for a rescheduled sale. Good for me but sad for the kids, they were selling the snack pies for $.50 each instead of $1.00 each because of the delayed sale.
I bought all five flavors on offer: apple, blueberry, cherry, lemon, and pineapple. They were damn fine pies, as Twin Peaks‘s Agent Cooper would say. And the snack pie is the perfect size for, well, a snack.
Pie is not my go-to dessert, but I would buy these again when the pie mood strikes.