Even on Saturdays, I wake up during the six-o’clock hour. I think I’m officially a grown-up. Gone are the days of sleeping past noon, missing half of the day’s light in favor of snuggling up with my blanket. This particular Saturday, I started my day with a delicious cup of jasmine tea made with leaves purchased at a cute little tea shop in Boulder, Colorado.
The mug was a gift from a friend who traveled through Spain, and my coffee table is covered with photographs under glass – a neat idea I inherited from my roommate.
This sweetened cup of tea is order after a late night out. And by late night I mean I was out past 10:00pm, even if it was only by five minutes. See? I’m officially old, despite the fact that I’m still in my twenties. To be more specific, my twenty-seventh birthday passed at the beginning of the month. I spent the weekend in lovely Cape May, New Jersey at a friend’s house. Sunshine, lounging on the beach, catching up with friends and meeting some new ones, sipping on wine and beer, munching on fresh fruit, grilled veggies, chips and salsa… I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing time. Now that I’m back in the city, I celebrated with a small gathering at an East Village restaurant last night. It’s the first time since my twenty-first birthday that I orchestrated any kind of get-together. I’m not someone who avoids attention, so the lack of a birthday bash has never been about trying to fly under the radar. It has more to do with (a) not wanting to be a bother to anyone and (b) not wanting to celebrate something that I don’t think requires much celebration. I think it may be another sign of growing old.
After attending many birthday drink-ups, dinners out, and full blown parties over the past few years for others, I decided why not give it a try. Still clinging to the notion that any sort of get together on my behalf could be an imposition, I avoided the mass invite to people who probably don’t want to attend anyway. Basically it was just a dinner out, with “my birthday” tagged onto the name.
I chose Lil’ Frankie’s, which is a fabulous spot for a casual Italian dinner near Houston Street. Their menu is filled with wholesome Italian foods that are both delicious and soul nourishing, and I’m always super excited to go. Fruits and veg are incredibly fresh, pastas are homemade paired with sauce I want to drink with a straw, and the pizzas are delicate bites of heaven. The owner of Lil’ Frankie’s has two other restaurants as well named Supper and Frank’s. I’ve been to Supper more than ten times, but I have not yet visited Frank’s. I keep going back to Supper because of their white beans in spicy oil that are served before your meal. They are addicting.
For this dinner, I picked Frankie’s due to the better location and inclusion of specialty rustic pizzas on the menu. I was quite happy with the decision. Antipasto, bruschetta, arugula salad with thick slices of parmigiano reggiano, and a thin crust Pizza Ortolana featuring eggplant, zucchini, radicchio, and mozzerella… Paired with half a bottle of crisp Pinot Grigio, it was fabulous.
I split the pizza with a friend who had to catch a train back to Westchester, so I scored the leftovers. I already have plans to try out a local juice bar for lunch, so all I have to do is throw together some greens with vinegar & oil and dinner will be covered. Mmm, vegetables. It feels good to be back.