A Side Tracked Weekend

Wrapping up a 3-day weekend which I’d planned to spend cooking and crossing things off my to-do list, you know like filing my taxes… well let’s just say I got side tracked.

After Friday’s insanity of a long day at work and an interesting cab ride home, I slept in. Though I did manage to get to the gym in anticipation of a rich Saturday night since I had two parties to attend…

First stop: my friend Rob’s birthday party dinner.
Like me Rob is a fan of fun nights spent eating and drinking and when we hang out we tend to play the “have you been to” game. Due to double booking, I’d warned him that I’d miss the after party but I’d promised to make it to dinner since not only had I recommended the place he picked but more importantly because I love a birthday party! [I make a big deal about mine – which my friends a kind enough to indulge – so its only fair I celebrate theirs to similar levels.]

Dinner was at The Toucan & the Lion. It’s a great little restaurant in the East Village with a modern Thai influence (no classic Thai dishes but the spices are there).
The food: With about a dozen small plate appetizers and a few mains on the menu, it’s a great place for a smallish group (there were 10 of us) to eat really well while sharing a bunch of stuff and not spending a huge amount of money. Overall, the fish tacos were a table-favorite and though many opted for the burger, my rum braised pork belly with samba glaze definitely got some envious stares.
The cocktails:  I opted for their Thai Fall (Kirby cucumber & Thai chili infused gin, Dolin vermouth) while others enjoyed The Lion (Kaffir ginger infused Gosling’s black rum, lime, simple syrup, Sriracha). Both were delicious. small.potent.

After dinner I headed off to the subway back to Brooklyn to get to my second stop: Sarah & David”s Gløgg Party.
This was my first time attending their annual gløgg-fest and though I missed out on the gløgg, I arrived in time to indulge in her amazing baked goods and the impromptu Aquavit cocktail experiments such as the development of  the “Spineless Pickle” (my working title, fellow guest Trey’s recipe):  whiskey (2oz), aquavit (1/2oz), pickle juice (1-2 tsp), add ice and stir.

It was a great evening spent talking about everything and anything from cats to favorite travel destinations, dancing without audible music, laughing in the wee hours and finally heading home with three vikings.

Viking Snowglobes

The new men in my life: viking snow globes

As you can imagine, Sunday morning was again lost to sleep. The afternoon was spent mostly with Daniel Craig (yay, Sky Fall is available on Amazon!) before rallying to make dinner.

If I may say so, when I rally, I really rally.

Sunday dinner made from scratch: garlic-peppercorn crusted pork loin, red wine sauce, sautéed leeks and mushrooms over soft polenta paired with a couple of glasses of a 2010 Mark West Pinot Noir with dinner (and one went into that sauce!). Bon Appetit!

Garlic-peppercorn pork loin over mushrooms, leeks and polenta

Garlic-peppercorn pork loin over mushrooms, leeks and polenta

I find the Mark West Pinot to be a really enjoyable simple everyday drinking wine with a medium body, red fruit aromas and slight notes of spice it’s easy to enjoy by itself or with food.

Last but not least Monday, though it really felt like Sunday…  there was brunch with Rebecca at Sunshine Co. where another type of Viking kicked off the festivities, their Viking Culture. Followed by a salted cod hash and a Michelada.  Then we took a break to get a little work done and enjoyed an end-of-day reward of a 5pm Bloody Mary at Alchemy.

Sunshine Co. Michelada (image credit: Rebecca G.)

Sunshine Co. Michelada (image credit: Rebecca G.)

All in all, not a bad side tracked weekend and I did get some items crossed off my to-do list, just not my taxes.

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