I have a confession to make. I'm a bit of a loner. Not the scary, plotting-to-murder-my-neighbor type. I just like hanging out with...well, myself. I've been this way my whole life. Don't get me wrong, though. I have a few very good friends with whom I've had great times with (and will continue to have them), but since I've been living in New York my "alone time" is pretty much a daily occurrence. I shop alone, go to the movies and ballet alone and I dine alone. And no, it's not sad or pathetic, but it's okay if you think it is. The way I see it is if you can't hang out with yourself, who will want to?
With my husband frequently traveling for business, I find I have a lot of free time. For example, two nights ago, one of my oldest friends in the world was in New York for work. We met up at night and had a couple of cocktails (and tons of laughs) at Death and Co., a cool bar in the East Village. That was a night I didn't feel like spending alone.
Last night, I left work around 6:30, 7:00 and had no desire to go home to a fridge filled with a few leftovers (actually just one little drumstick from my baked chicken and Swiss chard recipe). I decided to head over to a small restaurant not too far from my apartment. Northern Spy Food Co., named after a New York state heirloom apple, has a small menu with comforting dishes. The place was crowded so I grabbed a seat at the counter. I ordered a glass of red wine and pored over the menu. Did I want the roast pork or the polenta and baked eggs?
Instead, I started off with the special of the evening, a small plate of freshly made winter squash ravioli topped with shitake mushrooms. The hint of mint in the creamy squash added a freshness to the dish. I then ordered heirloom pork meatballs, three perfectly shaped balls in a rich tomato sauce with a little pecorino. I couldn't get enough. And I ended my meal with dessert, because I always have room for dessert. I chose the classic apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream, though next time I think I'll go for the milk chocolate sesame mousse.
And as I was savoring every bite, I thought to myself "Maybe I should ditch my plans of eating better in 2011." After all, there's just too many delicious things I have yet to taste. I'll let you know how that goes.
P.P.S. Here are some other articles that I worked on this week.