Thursday, July 21, 2005

Butterfish and The Recovery Blues: A Birthday to Remember...if only I could.

My special day was a celebration from the minute I left my apartment in the morning. We did a communal daycare drop off, with Frederick driving the Screaming Yellow Zonker of a Scion, Jed up front and me keeping Adie company in the back seat. He was apparently not in the greatest mood that morning but was all smiles and happy baby by the time I arrived. Adrian gave me my birthday gift—-he was so sweet to make sure The Daddies bought me the new Harry Potter book! After the drop off, we hit Starbucks and Taco Shack, where Freddy had ordered a gazillion tacos for my (surprise!) birthday breakfast at the office.

I was showered with affection all day long. Darla gave me a most fitting birthday card and tucked inside, a Central Market gift certificate. She knows me so well already! Leslie spoiled me with yummy smelling bath products and the coolest refrigerator magnets…made from lesbian pulp fiction book covers. (Frank laughed when I put them up next to the naked man/bondage magnet he gave me earlier in the week). Diverse is the word in my house! Stacie’s box of chocolates were to die for. Let me repeat: To.Die.For. And birthday lunch out at Opal Devine’s with all of the above mentioned folks plus Valerie, Caley and Sarah was fun times indeed. I wore the office birthday tiara as much as possible, considering it is sized for a four year old. And thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate cake handmade by Darla….mmmm it was delicious! I left work feeling completely loved and pampered.

My birthday evening out was fun. I overindulged and paid for it the next day, but it was still a good time. I’m not so sure I’ll be drinking much at happy hour on Friday. The thought of adult beverages is not a good one right now. ::::shudder::::

After a long commute home thanks to bad traffic snarls, I was treated to champagne upon arrival at my apartment. I love champagne! Frank made mimosas as I quickly showered and changed, looking longingly at HP6 and promising myself that I’d get to read it soon. Frank surprised me with dinner at 7 (as in the seven seas), the fairly new restaurant venture of Will Packwood formerly of Emilia’s and Sam Dickey of Granite Café fame. The food was delicious, although I think we were both disappointed in the portion size and the general layout of the restaurant. For those who haven’t heard of 7’s “choose your portion” philosophy, the menu boasts a seafood selection of at least a half dozen different fresh fish starting out at 3 oz portions. That is roughly half the size of a deck of playing cards, for those of you who don’t normally try to envision portion sizes. You choose a fish, choose whether to have it grilled or sautéed, and choose a sauce to accompany it either on the side or already on your plate.

We started off with cocktails and ordered crayfish cakes (in Louisiana we never said crayfish…they were plain and simple crawfish) and the jumbo shrimp scampi & grilled polenta appetizers. The crayfish (snicker) cakes were sublime, slightly spicy thick rounds that were grilled to crunchy perfection. They came with a shredded cole slaw with a vinegary tang to it. Mmmmm. The scampi was ideal, not swimming in oil like some establishments, and the grilled polenta had a wonderful smoky flavor. Frank chose the grilled Ahi tuna with a ginger soy sauce and I decided to try escolar, which the waitress said was also called butterfish, because of its sweet and rich flavor. I chose the lemon thyme beurre blanc, which went perfectly with the fish. We shared a serving of blue cheese baked potatoes, which the waitress assured us would serve two (for the record, it was one potato but since a serving of fish is smaller than your palm, I should have been forewarned). Our food was extremely good, though. And dessert was delightful as well. Gotta love homemade whipped cream.

This morning I did some research on the escolar, since I loved the flavor. I found out that it was once a banned fish by the FDA due to its oils, which the human body cannot process and so will flush from the body, often very quickly. Apparently escolar can prompt violent attacks of diarrhea. Too bad it can’t flush alcohol from your system, that would’ve been a welcomed side effect. Add to my info the fact that escolar is not the same as butterfish, which is also known as Dollarfish, pomfret, Pacific Pompano and skipjack. At any rate, I enjoyed my escolar even if it wasn’t butterfish. We enjoyed the meal but probably won’t go back to 7 anytime soon. The general atmosphere was more café than upscale and if we’re going to spend that amount of money we’d rather do so at Austin Land & Cattle, home of the famous "black and blue" steak.

I enjoyed my evening, doing a jolly good impersonation of a lush and a bumper car all to Frank’s amusement. I had a full-on recovery day and now am back at work. Fun times!


Juliabohemian said...

I forgot about screaming yellow zonkers...

Estelle said...

SO have you finished HBP yet? Well, have ya, punk?
Glad your birthday would have been memorable. Happy birthday again!