Sunday, January 27, 2013

January Family Birthdays

"There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get an un-birthday present,
and only one for birthday presents, you know."
(Lewis Carroll)

Why do weekends go by much too quickly? I stayed in all day yesterday because the past week was pretty exhausting with 2 events, and I have 4 more coming up. Today, at least the weather was sunny and a little less frigid than of late, and it was a good day for Sunday barbecue for my brother's birthday; please see below for more, after details and photos from my husband's birthday.

The Husband's Birthday

Earlier this month, I took Sam to Ai Fiori to celebrate his birthday. From Chef Michael White and the Altamarea Group, Ai Fiori is a refined Italian restaurant at the Setai Hotel Fifth Avenue, where Sam proclaimed he had the best pasta of his life. The food and service were excellent.

I don't remember what they called this, but it was absolutely delicious; a puréed vegetable soup (celery root?) with a sweet surprise at the end (date?).
{Per Cominciare}
Insalata di Astice: Nova Scotia lobster salad, porcini mushrooms, baby leeks, black truffle.
Uovo in Brodo: Slow-poached egg, black truffle, Parmesan, focaccia.

Trofie Nero: Ligurian crustacean ragu, seppia, scallops, spiced mollica.
Spaghetti: Blue crab, lemon, bottarga, chilies.

Pan-roasted Australian venison chop with black trumpets, gnocchi, apple and red port jus.

Capesante: Pan-seared sea scallops, chanterelle, porcini, puntarelle, sugo do funghi.

Torta di Olio: Ligurian olive oil cake, concord grape, huckleberry, almond gelato.
Crostata di Cioccolato: Dark chocolate, spiced pear, pistachio, ricotta, pear sorbetto.
{Chocolate and candy confections}
{Take-home biscotti}

The next night, his actual birthday, we ate much more simply: Sam's brother Daniel brought his Wii gaming system and a few of his pals trekked to Brooklyn for a low-key pizza and wine night.

Wine, pizza, and garlic knots from Antonio's, and buffalo wings from Candlelight Inn.

Chocolates, cookies and chips, cream puffs from Choux Factory, and mixed berry shortcake from Cousin John's Cafe & Bakery.

The Brother's Birthday

Today, my family went to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Harlem for a slightly early birthday dinner for my brother, David. I hadn't been there since before it moved to 125th Street; I like the new location and it's easier to get to from the subway. We ordered lots of appetizers -- 2 kinds of chicken wings, fried green tomatoes, deviled eggs -- I got a platter of jerked and pulled smoked chicken on Cuban bread with curried succotash and creamed cauliflower and beets, Sam got a pulled pork and sliced brisket plate with mac and cheese and BBQ beans, and we ordered 5 different desserts to share.

Happy birthday to all the January babies! I'm currently watching The Screen Actors Guild Awards -- Sam and I just remarked that we've never seen so many awards shows -- but I want to sleep early tonight, especially if it helps ward off the cold or flu that I've felt coming on. Stay warm and dry this week, friends!


  1. Best - pasta - of - my - life.

  2. oooo--- that wii night sounds like tons of fun!

    1. It was like an extension of hanging out with you all over Christmas in Chicago!

  3. Everything looks and sounds absolutely delicious!

  4. All that food looks delicious!! I wouldn't mind some Candlelight wings!! !:)
    --jee young

  5. I eat with my eyes so naturally after looking at these delicacies I'm starved!

    oxoxoxo from San Francisco


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