I’m writing this from the apartment I rented in Paris, snuggled into a blanket and listening to the football scores update as my fantasy teams kick butt.
Life is good.
For several years now, I’ve been choosing a theme for each birthday. 30 was Michelin stars – I visited a total of 6 Michelin stars in the month of October. 31 was a lost year for many reasons I won’t describe, and 32 had me celebrate with Thomas Keller on the left coast and Daniel Boulud on the east coast. 33 was the year of sushi… But what was this year?
Knowing I’d be spending the actual day in Paris alone, celebrating my birthday for almost an entire week alone in a completely foreign place and making my own journey, creating and finding new favorites, I decided that it should be, with my friends and family, about old favorites. There are so many places I enjoy so thoroughly in NYC that I never return to (and some I return to a bit too much), that I made a list and shared it for those people to choose where we should dine to celebrate my 34th year on this earth.
I introduced my sister and mother to Wafas, a local place in Forest Hills that my BFF and I may go to a bit too often (though not nearly often enough in recent memory). A small family owned place that gets very crowded and the service suffers from that a they only have one server – the head chef’s son – this place has some of the best Lebanese food I’ve had. It’s one of my favorite cuisines and this place does it really well. The falafel we ordered to start came piping hot (and 6 in the order, but never get in the way of a hungry Sin woman and her food), and per usual was awesome. I ordered my usual kofta and it was delicious, along with my tomato bulgur and hummus. Mom had shish tawook and sis had the chicken schwarma. They both enjoyed it greatly and, dare I think, might even want to return at some point?
Thanks for dinner, darling sister! (She prefers I not use her name.)
Dessert Zombie chose, funny enough, a place that I’ve visited now a record three times. That’s high for me for this level of high end dining, as I always find more and other places to visit for the first time instead of returning. Actually I had a drinks date here a few months ago, then returned for snacks with a girlfriend. When I went for a full dinner with DZ, we had some service oddities but overall another wonderful experience at Betony. Delicious food, delicious cocktails, fabulous night.
Thanks for dinner, DZ!
Last but not least, BFF chose a place that I’d thoroughly enjoyed but a different location. It’s always a little nerve wracking, not knowing if the place will hold up to memories or if the same dishes are available. Sadly, the one dish that I’d been thrilled with at the other location – fried chicken and long time readers know how much I love fried chicken – wasn’t quite the same. However! Just about every other dish was fabulous and I still really enjoyed my meal. I think this may be removed from favorite status? Or perhaps another visit to pick a new main dish to pledge allegiance to… Ah well, we’ll see, since Bar Americain is so close to my office, as it turns out.
And now, I’m off to find new favorites in Paris! Hope you’re all enjoying NYC and the fall season… When I’m back stateside, I’ll update this post with links and pertinent location info. Until then…