If you stuck around with me for the last few weeks, you know I’ve been feeling trepidatious about my big birthday, which was last weekend. Well, let me tell you, the beginning of this year it not looking too bad at all and the day itself was spectacularly fun (two days really…*sheepish*).
Saturday day was all about Smorgasburging and seafood shopping (you’ll see why) and hanging up a lovely gift my mum sent.
Four albums covers, near and dear to our hearts, beautifully framed. I really liked them before, but now that they’re hanging, I’m completely obsessed. I told you she’s a genius at these sorts of things. Thanks, mum!
Also, a really sweet man brought me some really beautiful flowers.
Later, we went for dinner to a place I’ve been wanting to try in the neighborhood, The Saint Austere. Small plates, wonderful wine. We had meatballs, butternut squash, mussels with chorizo and fingerling potatoes (cooked in the broth with the mussels – WHY have I never thought of this?). And polenta. We went crazy for the polenta! I’m told I must go back for the brunch, and I intend to, but it’s certainly recommended for a light pre-soiree dinner.
Then we hot-footed it over to one of my favorite bars in the neighborhood, Burnside, for drinks, shenanigans, fried cheese curds, shuffleboard, Dorothy Parker cocktails, friends, and an entirely-surprising birthday cake at midnight.
Tom was wearing a really cool earring. Thumbs up!
I was SO surprised. And happy, quite clearly. The cake was delicious and from one of the most charming bakeries ever, Fortunato Brothers.
The big winners of the final shuffleshowdown.
I have an affinity for Burnside from the name alone and its Auntie Mame associations (Beauregard Jackson Pickett…), which was only solidified by the discovery of the Dorothy Parker cocktail on the menu (rye and pineapple and lime…spiritual home) but really this is a Wisconsin-themed bar that’s amazing and they were apparently very sweet about setting up the cake and everything, so basically everyone should go here all the time. It’s delightful.
The next day – oh yes, there’s more! – was The Day Itself. I invited a few very close buddies over for an insanely self-indulgent lunch (read: all the weird/decadent stuff I’ve been wanting to try but thought others would find too odd/extravagant/fattening/preposterous) and then we went for a boat ride!
On the lunch menu…
- Baked Blueberry Cheddar Dip
- Hot & Melty Baked Camembert
- Contess’s Lobster & Shells
- Roasted asparagus with crispy prosciutto AND gorgonzola sauce, because why not?
- Bubbles of all kinds
Everything turned out pretty well…
There was nothing I wouldn’t make again. Everyone (except our resident fruitophobe) loved the blueberry dip, but the big winner was the lobster & shells. It’s a stunner of a recipe, not cheap, but easy and impressive for a special occasion.
Then – huzzah! – we went on a boat. I’m not sure I’ve addressed this on this blog before, but I really love boats. (Also, all things nautical.) I just feel plainly exhilarated with the wind whipping through my hair on a boat, and I just knew I wanted to feel that way on my birthday. And so we went.
Great minds dress alike for boat rides.
We went on the Manhattan, which is part of the Classic Harbor Line. It’s a 20s style yacht with tons of character. When I lived on the west side, my boyfriend and I used to take walks past the boats docked at Chelsea Piers and the Manhattan always caught my eye. I was so excited to finally be on it! They do a bunch of different cruises - we just did the little 90 minute jaunt around New York Harbor, which was fantastic.
This maybe be the most ridiculous hair pictures I have ever taken. I always think I look like this.
Obviously it was a little windy (and cold) so it was nice to have this sweet little area indoors.
Flat Stanley got into the nautical spirit.
Bests. It was awesome. I’m so grateful for all of these sweethearts!
Then the festivities ended how they began, with a sweet little dinner, this time post-boat in the West Village at the incomparable Bouvette, with my favorite person.
If this is 30, I’ll take it.
P.S. Oh springtime in New York. How you slay me.