NYE 2007 small plate extravaganza
NYE 2007 small plate extravaganza
The night before the wedding The Little Red Haired Girl and I decided we wanted to have a rehearsal dinner, we wanted it to be a Chinese banquet, and we wanted invite everyone. Never people to disappoint ourselves, we did what we wanted. Back in June, The Little Red Haired Girl, Lady Ebony, and I went on a tour of Chinese banquet facilities in the Boston area, trying one menu item at each restaurant. Even though we thought something in Chinatown would be fun, the obvious choice ended up being Royal East in Cambridge, right between Central and Kendall. The manager, Otto, was really nice, and the soft shell crab app that we tried was amazing.
So, after some deliberation about the menu, here’s what we ended up with:
1. Cold Platter
2. Seafood with yellow chive soup
3. Double lobsters (in the picture there’s also a tofu dish that was for non-seafood eating folks)
4. Crispy double squabs (note the look on our faces)
5. Steamed whole fish
6. Hong Kong steak
7. Sauteed pea tendrils w/ crabmeat sauce
8. Longevity noodles
Plus fresh fruit for dessert.
Somehow no one (that I know of) managed to get pictures of the last 3. Too full and lazy by then, I guess. All the food was fantastic, and exactly what I had imagined and been telling The Little Red Haired Girl about for years. Otto and his crew at Royal East also did a great job. We didn’t have to ask for much, they handled vegetarians and fish allergies easily, and service was efficient and professional. We were so impressed and grateful, if we lived there we’d be regulars at that restaurant. So freaking good.
Well, The Little Red Haired Girl finally did it. She finished her master’s thesis, which means that we spent the last week up in Boston attending Commencement activities (and spending some time with wedding planning while we were up there).
Highlights of commencement:
Last Thursday night The Little Red Haired Girl and I flew to Boston to do some wedding planning. We had 3 and a half days to see as many venues and caterers as we could, and we definitely packed them in. Well, it was worth it because we found a venue and nailed down a date! The place we chose is a historic house in the suburbs on a gorgeous piece of land. If the weather cooperates we’ll have an outdoor ceremony, then cocktails/apps in the house and on the porch, and dinner under an attached tent. I’m most excited about the apps and dinner. We haven’t picked a caterer yet, but they all seem like they can make some deliciousness for us, and their sample menus all look great. It’s weird that this thing is still a year off, because we are already so excited for it.
The weekend was a whirlwind of catching up with old friends, eating good food, and spending quality time with Lady E. Fanclub Girl’s wedding was beautiful and a ton of fun. It was on a gazebo in Gloucester overlooking the water, and the weather was perfect for it. After a nice service during which The Little Red Haired Girl cried, we headed down the street for a lobster reception. We had all our seafood cravings satisfied there. Fried calamari, clam chowder, steamers, and lobster. Freakin’ delicious. After which we danced the night away.
Saturday was a busy day. I was recovering from many beers and glasses of champagne at the wedding, but we had 5 or 6 restaurant/bars to hit. The Little Red Haired Girl and I had made a list of all our favorite foods and places in Boston, and we were planning to get to as many as possible. On Friday afternoon before the wedding we managed to get to the Corner Mall for Jamaican Beef Patties and McDonald’s apple pies. They are fried there. Yes. We had fried apple pies. Anyway, Saturday started with dim sum. It was just me and The Little Red Haired Girl, which is a tough situation for dim sum. You want to have as many people as possible there so that you can order a ton of different things. We restrained ourselves though, and only ordered our very favorite items.
The rest of Saturday afternoon was spent in Allston, where I lived for the first two years after college. A lot has changed over there, but my favorite bars and restaurants still survive, thank goodness. We started with potato skins and sweet potato fries at Sunset Grill & Tap. At Big City we were too full so we just had beer and played pool. After that we were running out of time, so we skipped Great Scott but had a bottle of wine, some fried calamari, caesar salad, and bruschetta at Carlo’s Cucina. We finished off the night with a drink at Club Cafe. Not in Allston, but close to Lady E’s home.
By Sunday we were exhausted. Lady E. made us pancakes and bacon, which was nice. Then we shopped around for a while, and sampled some oysters and fried clams at Legal. Met up for drinks with Party Girl Doctor, then off to The Burren for dinner with Fanclub Girl. and her new bride. We finished the night at Top of the Hub, Lady E. and The Little Red Haired Girl and I, discussing what The Little Red Haired Girl’s and my wedding will be like. After which we headed home and played Karaoke Revolution until we couldn’t stay awake any longer.
The next morning we got up early to walk around just a little more. I got my spinach and cheese filled croissant at ABP, and The Little Red Haired Girl and I walked from Harvard Square to Central, just remembering. We took my picture in front of City Hall where, one rainy summer afternoon in 2005, The Little Red Haired Girl and I signed for our Qualified Domestic Partnership. Very Romantic.
So, there were a couple of things that we did not get to do while in Boston, but we accomplished a heck of a lot, so I ain’t complainin’. Plus, now that there is a possibility that our wedding will be up there (that story is for another day), we may be back real soon!
The Little Red Haired Girl and I arrived in Boston right on time Thursday afternoon. The whole trip went essentially without a hitch, which is a nice change from my usual bad flying karma. There was a moment after we got off the plane when our checked bag was missing, but we found it stashed around a corner. Phew. We took the T out of the airport after getting a Charlie Card from a staff guy. The Charlie Card is shadily 30 cents cheaper than the Charlie Ticket, for no apparent reason. Lady E tipped us off on that.
We spent the afternoon looking for a jacket for my wedding outfit at Downtown Crossing. The sad news is that the original Filene’s Basement is closing. Lucky for us we got to shop there one last time, and managed to find two nice jackets for me to wear at some point in my life. The highlight of the day was our trip out to Watertown to hit our favorite sushi place, New Ginza. The place has not changed much, although there are new decorations in the main room. At least two of the servers that we remember from 2 years ago still work there, and the sushi is delicious as always. We had the agedashi tofu, sashimi entree, an extra order of cherrystone clams, and a roll with eel, tuna, cucumber, and avo. Freaking delicious. Fully satisfied, we headed out to Jamaica Plain to see the old bar, Midway Cafe. It was packed when we got ther at 9:15. Clearly Ange is doing a helluva job over there. Being too old to party, The Little Red Haired Girl and I went home around 11:30 to find Lady E home from school and already in bed. After some quick chatting and planning for the next day, we ended the day happy and glad that our visit had only just begun.
Friday is Fanclub Girl’s wedding! Which means The Little Red Haired Girl and I are heading home to Boston. We gave ourselves plenty of time to enjoy our friends, the food, the public transportation, and the gay-friendliness. We’ve already got about 9 restaurants where we want to have at least a bite during our 4.5 days there. We also have plans with people that we haven’t seen in a long time, which is good. Others are out of town, but it’s a mixed blessing, since 4.5 days is not very many. Lucky we can kill many birds with just the wedding. Anyway, I am freaking excited. Lots to do today before we’re off, but it’s all worth it.
Yesterday afternoon Lady E. and I went to visit with a couple friends of mine from my first teaching job right out of college. They were (and still are) a huge part of my life, and I would be a completely different person right now had I not met them. They helped me get through learning to become a teacher and an independent adult. Since leaving that teaching job I have been in and out of contact with them, but whenever possible we try and get together, and it’s always just as comfortable as before. We have different things to talk about now, and have to catch up on major events in each other’s lives, but still somehow there is this feeling of familiarity, and of knowing each other really well and trusting that it’s still the same even though it’s different. There are few people in my life that are like that, and I feel very lucky to have these two.
Me and K and the munchkin:
Saturday morning we got up ass-early to head out to the H-Y tailgate. Lady E. and The Doctor managed to secure official class alumni funds for 0Y1 and 0Y0, so we were the official class tailgates. It was a load of work organizing, but it was definitely a successful day. It absolutely flew by. I played with friends from undergrad and friends from my master’s program, one of whom is a professional tailgater and donated his truck, his grill, and a lot of other tailgating equipment.
Representing 0Y2, 0Y1, and 0Y0:
Peaches, by the way, created that hot banner. A good time was had by all.
Had an amazing weekend. Despite my flights being all botched up, I arrived at Logan safely and only 2 hours late on Friday afternoon. My checked baggage, of course, didn’t make it until a few hours later, but I was able to pick it up later without too much hassle (although I still think Delta should pay our tolls for having to drive out there again, bastards). Anyway, I had a great time hanging out with Fanclub Girl and her lady friend, then later dinner with them and Fierce n’ Fiery. The Club was sort of a weird experience. It was totally the same, but at the same time not at all. In a year and a half all the regulars are totally different. I recognized maybe 4 people the whole night. I thought I would be sad about it, that this space that used to feel like mine has totally moved on without me. I’m not though. I’m not sure what that means.
Mr. OGT grubs on a cinnamon spice rimmed dixie cup while Peaches feigns interest in Lady E’s story: