I had requested a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon, thinking that if I kept it simple the chances of a messy kitchen would be minimized. The family came through with an enormous bagel from the Uncommon Grounds topped with scallion cream cheese, tomato and tender Alaskan smoked salmon. And the kitchen was really in excellent shape when I finally made it downstairs to get myself and the boys ready for lunch. Yes, lunch.
Lunch was in Chatham, at Godmother Amy's house, and she put out quite a spread. For the second time (but not the last time) of the day, I ate despite not really feeling hungry. Amy made a pile of asparagus wrapped in turkey bacon and these little tidbits were irresistible, especially when you factor in that the asparagus were from her very own asparagus patch. An aside - I tried to read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle , by Barbara Kingsolver last year, and couldn't get past her tone of superiority, however I did become fascinated by the concept of an asparagus patch - and Amy's asparagus were lovely. Accompanying the asparagus were a vegetable frittata, creamy mac n cheese, home fry style potatoes and fruit salad - yummy, yummy.
The boys & I headed back to Albany and I managed a solid 45 minute catnap before Tom finally made it home from brunch at Dale Miller. By the time Tom & I headed to the Wine Bar & Bistro on Lark I was a little hungry - almost. We settled into the make-out booth and perused the menu. We decided to start with the arugula salad and an order of escargot. The salad was a beautiful mound of mild, small leaf arugula and large enough for us to share. The escargot were fantastic - butter, garlic and spinach simply can't be wrong together and we thoroughly enjoyed them. Although I love the hangar steak at the Wine Bar, I decided to try something new based on Steve Barnes' suggestion - the wagyu flatiron steak, and I was not disappointed. The beef was perfectly prepared and delicious. I had prematurely requested some coarse salt to flavor the beef, but the salt remained untouched - the seasoning was perfect and needed no adjustment. On the side were some nicely sauteed vegetables and a layered potato and cheese gratin which was perfectly satisfying. Tom had the tuna and was raving over the fish as well as the accompanying garlic mashed potatoes.
To take advantage of their evening's special (25% off all European bottles), I left my domestic comfort zone and selected a terrific Chateauneuf du Pape, 2006 GRENACHE/SYRAH, CLOS DE BRUSQUIERES. I seriously don't know that much about Old World wines, (which is probably why I gravitate to New World selections), but I really appreciate the organization of the WB&B's wine list and the inclusion of the varietal, because it made me feel confident that I was selecting a wine I was going to enjoy. And enjoy, I did. Our delightful, dinner with hot food (mothers, you know what I'm talking about here), and romantic candlelit ambiance was a bargain at $125 pre-tip, post wine discount. An exhausting (food-filled) day, but isn't that what being a mother is all about?