This past Saturday was Allison's birthday and we all know how much I looooove birthdays. This year has been particularly difficult in a few areas for Allison so I decided to figure out something that would surprise her, big time. What better way to do that than to have mom fly up to celebrate?! I knew it would be such a special gift for Allison. Also, the fact that mom could join us for our annual birthday dinner tradition was just so fun.
My original plan was to have Allison over for some wine and cheese on the evening mom arrived but silly me never checked to see if Allison was free! She actually had a work dinner the night mom got in, ooops. So, I had to keep mom a secret until I could do a proper "reveal" the next day. Camille and I schemed and came up with a plan to take Allison for drinks somewhere very unusual where she'd find mom sitting there.
We decided on Raines Law Room which couldn't have been a more perfectly confusing spot for Allison. :) It's this great speakeasy that had the most amazing drink concoctions, even though one of Camille's did taste like beef jerky. When you sit down, there's actually a chain that you pull on the wall which is how you call your server over. It really was so unique and different. How fun are these drinks:
The real treat was Allison's birthday dinner. Holy crapola, in all my time living in New York, I've never had a dinner so good. Um, I've eaten at a LOT of places so I don't say that lightly. I took a friend's suggestion and booked a reservation at Po on Cornelia Street. I love Mario Batali and will take any chance to eat at one of his restaurants so I was probably more excited than Allison! When we got there, I loved every single thing about it - the simple decor, the small, intimate space, the music (Batali is serious about the music in his restaurants) - I loved it all before even sitting down. Though I could go into detail for days about each thing we ate, I will simply say that my white bean ravioli with balsamic brown butter blew my mind. I took a bite of it and actually had to stop chewing for a second because I was taken aback. It was so delicious, it would honestly be hard to describe. Mom had the linguine with clams and Allison had the spinach tagliatelle with ragu bolognese, both of which were amazing as well. It's been nearly a week and we are still talking about that meal. I actually made a reservation there yesterday for when Brant comes back to visit at the end of the month. Can I really wait that long?!
Overall, it was a wonderful birthday weekend for Allison. I was so happy to celebrate her and to do what I could to make her feel special. She deserved it and I can only hope she'll remember how great the weekend was for a long time. :)
New-fashioned Oatmeal Pancakes
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