happy early birthday to me

co-worker's (let's call her rezzie dezzie) birthday was a few weeks ago. mine is coming up in a few weeks. we usually take each other out to lunch on each others' birthdays, but it's just been too crazy. we missed celebrating hers. we have a big installation that will take both of us all day the day before mine.

rezzie dezzie had a horrible time at the city trying to pull a permit on her birthday, during which her car got stolen. she dropped her keys somewhere between her car and the door of the building & planning department's doors, and someone picked them up and made away with her car. on her way back from a rental car place to which she walked, she miraculously spotted her unharmed car parked on a busy street, randomly had her spare valet key in her purse, and so she stole it right back. the whole story is pretty unbelievable, but i can't tell it as well as she does.

as you all know from my incessant whining here, the last couple of weeks have been tough. especially last week. we figured we really owed each other birthday lunches and also deserved a lunch not spent at our desks juggling phone, keyboard, and food. we splurged and went to the penthouse so we could enjoy the view (and more moderate A/C...our office is an icebox...nope, i'm never satisfied) on such a pretty day. plus we both love the signature smell of their lobby. so noticeable yet not overpowering. go sniff around sometime.

the menu had changed a little since our last time there, and it was exciting to try new and fun stuff. we shared a "small plate" of mac 'n' cheese to start. it was quite soupy (too much bechamel, not enough cheese, perhaps?), but it tasted great. then straight onto the entrees as i was about to gnaw my own arm off.

rezzie dezzie's halibut in morel sauce and asparagus.
she said it felt light and healthy while still tasting very delicious.

my caprese pasta.
a hot caprese of sorts.
fresh mini sheets of pasta rolled up on itself.
a slightly spicy and tasty tomato sauce.
roasted strawberry tomatoes.
pine nuts and watercress.
something-infused olive oil.

i tried burrata once before without knowing what it was. i just felt like pasta today, and the one i chose happened to have burrata on it, whose praises i've heard all over the internets but never connected to that mysterious and delicious cheese i had before. if you haven't tried it, please do so at least once before you die. how can you go wrong with fresh mozzarella stuffed with more cheese and cream? the whole dish was delish, and the pine nuts and watercress provided a nice gohsohhan (means something like savory, but not quite. it's a specific type of savory and implies as much about scent as it does about flavor. my dang dictionary and google translator provided useless. boo.) and bitter counterpoints to the rich, acidic sauce.

oh carbs and cheese, how i love both of you.

happy belated birthday to rezzie dezzie and happy early birthday to me indeed!


  1. happy birthday to both of you!

    i love that she "stole" her car back. that. is. awesome.

  2. what a great way to start your bday. Happy bday!

    that's some crazy ass story about rezzie dezzie. thank goodness she 'stole' her car back.

  3. You can't make that stuff up.

    Hooray for splurges!

  4. crazy story, indeed!

    and happy early birthday;)

  5. that stolen car story is cah-raaaazy! i heart the huntley hotel, but have yet to dine at the penthouse. your "hot caprese" looks fabbbulous. xoxo

  6. There must be no greater feeling than stealing back your own car.

    Except for maybe eating burrata. Hurrata for burrata!

  7. Happy early birthday!!

    Stealing back your stolen car is just too freakin awesome for words. I mean, Jay Leno would talk about that shit!

  8. that car story is crazy!

    i'm drooling over your pasta. looks so good!

  9. Oh my I NEED burrata in the worst way. I'm going to have to go ask my cheese guy if he can get me some.

  10. I pink puffy heart burrata! But then justJENN told me about a recent burrata recall so I've been staying away from it. *tear*

  11. Happy early birthday!

    Must try burrata...

  12. Happy almost Birthday!! (unless I'm late and your bday has already happened.

    I can't believe that story about your friend. Too crazy!!

  13. I love how your co-worker stole her car back. That's just awesome.

    Happy happy early birthday to you both!

  14. She stole her car back!! I love this. F U to the person who stole it in the first place! ;)

    Your pasta looks delish and I think I have to try this place.

  15. ooooo happy belated bday. By the way, let me just say that that second pasta dish made my mouth water...

  16. Happy Birthday! My tummy just grumbled, looking at the carby, cheesy goodness.


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