Saturday, August 18, 2007

Le Weekend

Vivian and Chris, from work, and I had our weekly power lunch (hahahaha) at Schiller's on Friday. It's a very good opportunity for bitching, bonding and blowing off steam. Sometimes we even solve problems. See how possessively Chris is holding his Stella. Someone may take it away...

A martini in the middle of the workday you ask (actually, it depends who you are. Some of you - like one of the six people who read this blog [an elite group, though, yes?]! - may ask, what, only one?). Yes, I wanted a martini. It was happy, celebratory martini. It's a nice word, which is why I repeat it...It was a very, very good martini, shaken by the cute bartender with the dreads. He said it was shaken with love... yeah, right. Grey Goose, no vermouth, and the olives. It was shaken so that not too much ice got into the drink. Really, it was one of the best I've had. I can't do gin martinis anymore. They burn my mouth and they smell a little like my Chanel No. 19, which is disconcerting. My father still does the gin version, very proper and old-school. For a man who drinks very little, he has been known to order a couple at The Cellars for Sunday lunch. It is a beautiful, evocative, romance-laden drink, a throwback from another time.

The sizzling shrimp. It's a very small cast iron dish that is put in front of you, bubbling furiously, and dangerously hot. In it are medium size shrimp, molten olive oil, thinly sliced garlic, hot chile flakes and lemon. It's fantastic. With some bread, it's perfect. I have favourite things to eat everywhere: the lemon chicken on fennel salad at my favourite, best-loved restaurant, Al di La; the chicken liver and foie gras mousse with bitter frisee at Balthazar; the Croque Madame at Robin des Bois; the burger at Prune; the rabbit and noodles at Lucien...I better stop. And this shrimp. It's so simple.

And on to Saturday morning and a late breakfast on the terrace under a blessing of cool blue sky. I've just started Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell for the second time, after reading it in 2004. I'm looking forward to getting into it again: magic, secret pathways, old England, the Raven King. It's very well written. I took it out because I was going to lend it to Mimi, but then I made the mistake of opening it, so maybe I'll have to buy one for her.

And this for Vince:

My free-seeded grass and the purple basil. Signs of the season. What will it look like in a month? In a month...I have always wanted to look forward to September. From the inside, I mean, not just because of feeling the relief of the outside: lovely weather and clear edges. It is the month of remembering, and wanting, and thinking you hear voices and music but not sure whose or where. Possibly from dreams. The one who lives there and occasionally shows himself, but isn't recognized in any of the ones in the waking world.


  1. Then September shall be a month to remember forever! The sleeper must awaken. :-)

  2. Let it be known that Marie basically posed me for that photo with the "huge, manly beer". Now if I had gotten a Grey Goose martini, as madam red did, I would have been gripping that whole-heartedly! :-)

  3. Don't accuse me of not gripping my martini!


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