Thursday, May 31, 2007

Still Celebrating

The party hasn’t stopped quite yet. It really should. I need to get back to work. Buuuut I think I will blow off one more evening. And then the next one… and then… next thing I knew, I gasp took an entire weekend off! What next? Vacation?! Unheard of.

That’s right, I took a weekend off. The whole entire weekend. I didn’t go into lab, not even once, not even for 10 minutes. I honestly cannot remember the last time I had two full days off. It was bliss. Is this what it’s like to have a normal job, with normal hours, to live like a normal person? You mean at the end of the day, normal people just go… home? And they do things? That aren’t work things? I had almost forgotten.

My parents were in Boston for Memorial Day (I hear that most people don’t work on this day. Curious). I skipped out of lab for almost sigh three full days. Much eating took place over the weekend (not to mention shopping and, umm, drinking). There was lunch at Eastern Standard, dinner at The Tavern, and a late lunch at Bouchee.

The recently opened Bouchee is on ritzy-ditzy Newbury Street, the paradoxical home of both Chanel and Condom World (at opposite ends of the strip, of course – there is a gradation of poshness on Newbury, starting with Hermes and Burberry at one tip and ending with the above-mentioned Condom World and, gag, Urban Outfitters at the other).

Bouchee is a fairly large, two story restaurant with a patio below street level, red leather booths and big, round light fixtures, much like Eastern Standard (this seems to be the trendy restaurant decor these days). The theme is French Bistro, and is adhered to with dish towels serving as napkins and menus printed on paper, wrapped around each towel.

I struggled to decide what I wanted to eat (not being entirely sober for close to a week does funny things to one’s taste perception) and finally settled on the quiche of the day with caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, and bacon. This was easily the best quiche I have had. The custard was super light, almost like panna cotta, with no eggy taste or scrambled egg texture in sight. The pastry crust was flaky, toasted and perfect, neither too greasy nor too dry. The quiche flavorings weren't terribly pronounced but I didn't mind - the quiche itself was just that good.

Mom had duxelle-stuffed crepes with buttered lobster, asparagus and tomatoes. The crisp, fried crepes were wrapped around a minced mushroom filling –
the dark mushrooms were so concentrated in flavor that I could smell the them from across the table once the crepes were busted open. The crepes were laying atop creamy and tender lobster chunks and asparagus. [Having lived in Boston for six years, I have been spoiled rotten: I can no longer eat seafood anywhere else. It tastes aging and awful.]

And then came dessert. Yes, dessert. What? You think that a bottle of wine, appetizers, entrees, and espressos with dessert is excessive for lunch? Ha. We had sweet crepes filled with a Grand Marnier tinted mascarpone cream, topped with fresh berries. This was good. Really good. Just sweet enough, with the slightest hint of orange from the liquor and enough filling to wet the crepes without squirting out under pressure from the fork.

And that's how we do lunch. My family is full of good eaters.

I have to leave la-la land and start working again. I gave my celebration my all. I cut no corners, skipped no bottles of wine, neglected no quiche, and went out almost every night. Six years of work had to be celebrated… or commiserated. Not sure which. I am, however, pretty sure I don't need to eat (or drink) for a good long while. Or at least until next weekend.


JC said...

I'm glad you got to celebrate so much - you deserve it!

Yeah, that "normal life" thing is the main reason I hated my last job.

OMG that dish your mom had sounds really amazing. Dessert sounds pretty good too!

JC said...

Holy hell that must be one awesome celebration. :D

Anna said...

I need to stop. Seriously. I started drinking at 2PM today and stopped at 7. I only stopped because I had to go back to lab. I may be developing a problem here.

Why did you hate being a normal person? What don't I know?

JC said...

No, it kept me from having a normal life - that's why I hated it. I should have said "the lack of that normal life thing". Funky hours, long hours, always on call - never again! No amount of money would be worth that to me anymore.

Aside from my work schedule though, there's not much that is normal in my world!