Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Day In The Life Of...

Ah, Bar Man would like to think he is in charge of his own life. Wouldn't we all? So I am sitting around in my usual state of, well, confusion. Do I pack for my trip, do I play WOW, just for a lttle bit, you know, Feed The Eagles and knock of one more quest, call it a day. But then, I am told that the Mysterious Chinese Woman's magical assistant is not working today and she, the Mysterious Chinese Woman, must go through a metamorphism alone, and in our apartment. And I must leave. Well, not really wanting to be around when an exoskeleton is being shed, I left.

First I stopped at Pete's Waterfront Ale House for a couple of beers with a friend. That is when the concept of the exoskeletons first came up. We started talking about old movies, then old horror movies (Night Of The Living Dead being the scariest I have ever seen), then the whole Married To A Zombie thing, then the question of what, exactly women do after they ask you to leave and, from there, it was just a small step to the shedding of the exoskeleton thing. You understand how men's minds work, especially after a few beers.

My friend left so I headed to Atlantic Chip Shop where, in my concern about what await me at home I decided to chroncle the demise of whatever I decided to drink. Somehow, I thought, it might foreshadow my own..., demise.

I walked in and the saucy Diana looked me in the eye and said, in a suggestive voice, what will it be, Big Boy.

Diana, The Huntress

Stammering, and a bit hesitant, although God knows, this wasn't my first time, I said one of those.

A Belhaven

It was like spotting a friend in an unexpected place. I knew it would be smooth, a bit malty, and a splendidly slow quenching of the thirst Diana had ignited (can you ignite a thirst?).

At the first pull I knew I was in for about as much as I could handle.

Everyting In Good Time

And then, like a slow seduction...

You Wait

And Wait

And Wait

Until finally you have that...

Perfect Moment

Ah, the anticipation and then the delicious shuddering satisfaction when finally you first press your lips to the dark seductive sweetness conveyed to your tongue by the creamy foam and then, then you are flooded by the liquid ecstasy...

Savoring The Moment, Shuddering With Excitement

Alas, too soon, the romance fades...

Fading Romance

Until, nothing but delicately woven faded memories are left...

Like Lace Curtains, Clouding The Mind

I headed back home and got there just in time to see the Mysterious Chinese Woman devoring the last of her shedded exoskeleton, pushing what looked like the remnants of an arm into her mouth while giving me a somewhat sheepish look. And, yet, she emerged, somehow, more radiant and gorgeous than when I left. Kind of like a snake when it first squirms out of its shedded skin. Or, when you think about it, a spider.

Women, I will never understand them.

Chip Shop on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Roberto's By Arthur

After a delightful barbecue at my Mysterious Sister-In-Law's house on Sunday I had to schlep back into the city to take care of some business. Everyone else had a play-date at the Bronx Zoo. It has become a bit of a tradition that when we go to the Bronx Zoo we head over to Arthur Avenue to eat at one of the fine Italian restaurants in that neighborhood. Of course I couldn't miss that so I took a subway up there and hooked up with everyone as they were leaving the zoo.

We decided to try a new place this time around. Jim thought Roberto's on nearby Crescent Street looked interesting, so that is where we headed.


We didn't have reservations and there were six of us. It was an adults only gathering, the three neices who had been to the zoo headed off with one of the aunts for a sleep-over. Kind of nice to have an adults only dinner once in awhile, and this was a nice place to have it. Small and nicely decorated. We did have a bit of a wait, but we passed the time at the bar. After a Moretti beer we decided to try a grappa. Jim had never had it before and they did have a fairly large selection.

Coming To Grips With Grappa

Jim Was Becoming A Bit Blurry

Just One Of The Boys

They had all kinds of interesting stuff on the menu and after a couple of orders of grilled octopus to start we got serious with the main course.

Jim Had Lamb Shank

We got to talking too much for me to remember to take pictures, or evern notes, of what everyone else had. I am sure there was some chicken and a seafood something in the mix. I had a rib steak that was covered in an excellent sauce with hot cherry peppers and gorgonzola cheese. Quite delicious. The steak was nice and tender and just the way I like it, medium-rare. It was a large portion and I couldn't eat it all. Jim, after polishing off his lamb shank finished off what I couldn't eat. Everything thought their meal was deicious.

The Whole Crowd

We finished up with a variety of deserts and coffees and one more grappa and then headed off into the night.

The service here was very friendly and efficient and the bartender was also a very friendly fellow. The only jarring note, and it was kind of funny, was that they blared some kind of an Italian birthday song when anyone announced it was someone's birthday. Given the fairly small and intimate setting, it was quite amazing how many people seemed to be having a birthday. Also, it is a very loud place. It doesn't look as though it should be, but the acoustics are such that it is a bit difficult to carry on a conversation. But those are minor complaints and I would certainly go back for the food, service, and ambience. And, of course, a few more grappas.

Roberto's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tomorrow the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I are heading north for a week or so. Flying into Minneapolis and spending the first night at Black Bear Casino. Maybe I will get lucky. Then up to Ely and on to International Falls, visiting friends along the way. I will end up back in Minneapolis to visit with more friends and watch the Vikings with Brett Favre take on the Browns.

That should be quite an experience and I will be interested in seeing how all of my Minnesota friends react. I have some who I know think Brett will bring the Vikings to the next level and others who have sworn they will not watch a Vikings game while Brett is playing. Unlike in New York where most thought getting Brett was a good idea and you only had a few who were really vocal about stating an alternate opinion. And they were mostly like me, someone who had a history with Brett. In Minnesota, everyone has a history with Brett.