Monday, October 21, 2013

A Birthday

Now we are 34.

When I decided that I didn't want to spend my birthday riding to Alamosa and back on a school bus, I emailed some of my favorite people in the Denver metro area to see if they wanted to celebrate my birthday with me.  My invitation ran along the lines of "Please come eat good food and watch British men and help alleviate the guilt I feel for not wanting to ride to Alamosa and back on a school bus!"

To my delight, they all quite cheerfully accepted!  This may or may not be because I attached this video to the invitation to tempt them away from their families:

(Dear Makers of the Temple Movie,

Please cast Tom Hiddleston as Satan in the next version.  Benedict Cumberbatch would be fine as well.  Basically, British baritones with good cheekbones = many happy viewings.

Swooningly yours,

So after a lovely day spent doing delightfully mundane things (Sleeping in!  Working out!  Grocery shopping!  Oil painting!), my four favorite local ladies joined me at Vesta's Dipping Grill for dinner at the ridiculous hour of 5:00 because now I am old.  (I pause for a moment to think about the reaction Spaniards would have to our eating dinner at 5:00, but then I imagine they would just assume it's lunchtime and shrug it off.)

Vesta is one of my favorite places to go to splurge on a dinner in Denver - delicious food, hipster vibe, and they take reservations.  Awesome.

Here are mah peeps:

Tammy, Fara, Chuck, Rachel, myself, and Lisa

(Pro tip:  The advantage to eating at a hipster restaurant is when you ask your waiter-with-a-curly-mustache to take a group photo on your iPhone, he will announce that he's taking one without a flash and one with a flash and then proceed to do so WITHOUT NEEDING INSTRUCTIONS!) (Framing, naturally, will remain an issue.)

And here's the food:

A vegetarian chili amuse-bouche

Bread with roasted garlic

Roasted beet salad with pine nuts and camembert brulee 

Flatbread with assorted sauces selected by our waiter

Tagliatelle with mushrooms, shallots, and butternut squash

Venison kielbasa with assorted mustards
(which we dove into because I remembered to take a photo)

Not pictured:  Watercress and spinach salad with pear jam en croute.
It looked delicious, trust me.

My fondness for these ladies was confirmed when they
1) ordered appetizers and
2) immediately passed their appetizers around for everyone else to try.

We did not share our main courses because...

... we all ordered the exact same thing.

Ribeye steak with asparagus, spring peas, house-made bacon, cherry tomato risotto, and sweet corn soubise.
Cherry tomato risotto!  How could any one of us pass that up?

We did each order a variety of sauces and were quick to pass them around the table for all to try.

My selection: Pineapple peddy marmalade, basil emulsion, and miso buerre blanc

Great company, good conversation, and delicious food - it was everything I hoped it would be.  In fact, the ladies went above and beyond and, to my surprise, brought gifts.  Fara's is perfectly literary; Lisa's is delicious; Rachel's, in proper sisterly fashion, references a joke from our high school days; and Tammy's... well, Tammy's is the one that makes me giggle every time I look at it.

See, Tammy and I both indulge in watching the glamorous and ridiculous (xoxo) Gossip Girl.  Upon discovering our mutual lamentable taste, we bonded over the bad acting, the appalling writing, the fabulous clothes, and the villain who has perfected the art of smoldering - Chuck Bass.  Ed Westwick really does a remarkable job at being such a deplorable hottie, and Tammy and I both want to see the new version of Romeo and Juliet 20% because we're Shakespeare fans and 80% because Chuck Bass is Tybalt.

Hence her gift:

Seriously.  Giggles.  Every time.  Chuck Bass now smolders at me (while quoting Shakespeare!) from my desk at school.

From dinner we headed to Rachel's house for Phase II of the evening.  In her cushy movie theater basement we enjoyed fruit tart, gelato, and an evening of Stephen Fry.

Rachel pointed out that when I promised British men, Stephen Fry is not who came to mind.  I argued that, age and sexual preferences aside, Stephen Fry is a sexy British man.  I mean, have you heard him talk about language?  How does his pronunciation of "enjoy" not make your knees melt?

Rachel retaliated with this:

Okay, she has a point.  Still, we all very much enjoyed watching one of the latest episodes of QI, a few scenes from the version of Twelfth Night that's now in New York, and an episode of Jeeves and Wooster.

All in all, it was a perfect way to herald my start of another year on the earth.

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