In short: I likes me a nice meal at a swanky restaurant every now and again, price be damned. You know: just the chance to go out and indulge in this particular type of art form/theater.
So a couple of weekends ago when a bunch of mommy friends and I were at Mz. Ruby Jane's 4th Birthday/Pinata Bashing Fiesta, I let it be known that for my 39th birthday (which is looming EVER larger), all I really wanted to do was to get all the girls dressed up (like we used to do) and go out to eat at a nice/swanky scene-worthy restaurant (also, like we used to do) and go enjoy each others' buzzed company (yes, like we used to).
But last weekend, I got to spend several blissful hours out at just such a place having a WONDERFUL dinner shored up by flutes of Prosecco. Ant then tonight, I took my mom out for her birthday (62, Jan. 27) and then next weekend, BH and I are going out with his mother and her husband for her birthday (65...her b-day is the same date as mine, btw). So when should I do this "Fancy Girls' Dinner"? Any time after the 2nd seems, you know, meh. So fuck it. Who the hell cares about the fact that I'm entering into the swan song of my thirties anyway.
Not me. I mean, not really.
But next year, this time? You can fully expect that I'm going to be planning one of those "HOLYSHITI'MTURNING40" trips/events that I am going to NEED my girls for.
But enough about me and birthdays. Overrated all around. What I REALLY wanted to tell you about is that-gasp-the last TWO WEEKENDS I've gone out to dinner at the types of swanky places I described in paragraph #1. Last Saturday, it was Starlite with Jaye (for the helluvit). And then tonight it was Imperia with Dah (for her birthday).
Me and Dah, all gussied up for her birthday dinner.
So, Starlite. What a happy accident this was. I say "accident" because Jaye and I had actually planned on going to Uchi. That's what we'd been craving, and so we decided to early like old people to avoid too brutal of a wait. Hah! We got there at 6:30pm, and there was ALREADY an hour-and-a-half wait. We said screw it and headed downtown without a plan, and that's how we ended up at Starlite--someplace we'd both been wanting to try. We'd both eaten there when it was at its funky original location in a little house on 34th street, but neither of us had tried it since it had moved into its large, elegant downtown digs. The place itself is GORGEOUS, and it has an upscale-but-not-snooty feel. Jaye and I both started out with a couple of their signature cocktails--HIGHLY recommended, and then she had a salad, and I had a velvety soup of perfectly-seasoned white bean puree. We split an oyster appetizer that was to die for, and then we both had seafood entrees--she, sea bass; me, tuna. Day-um, y'all. Both entrees were exquisite, and the service was attentive, but not pushy. I want to go back. Soon. They've apparently got a dynamite brunch on the weekends that I'm dying to try. And trust me dudes--if you want to take your lady out for a romantical evening, this is the place to go.
Now for Imperia. I'd been curious ever since Capitol Brasserie had closed. I'd enjoyed that restaurant with its clean, crisp French feel, and it's most excellent frites. Holy GOD, the frites. And I'd also been a fan way back when of Mezzaluna when it occupied the space where Imperia now resides. I was wondering what kind of transformation had taken place to change the French brasserie to a hip Asian place-to-be-seen restaurant. Wow, y'all. The interior place was utterly unrecognizable from its previous incarnation. The bar, front door, kitchen and restrooms were still in the same place, but that's where the similarities ended. The interior now is sleek, dark, and sexy, with lots of dark wood and golden accents, including an enormous golden Buddah statue lording over the lounge area. The main thing I kept thinking when I walked into this place was, "This does NOT feel like Austin. At all." Whereas Starlite is fancy in its own way, it still feels warm and Austin-y. Imperia, however, did not. It was very L.A./Dallas/Chicago-ish. In other words, I felt too old and woefully unhip to even be allowed in the front door. But the service was good and the food was very tasty--especially the deserts we ordered. But it was SUPER loud and a wee bit over priced (for what you got), so unlike Starlite, I don't know if I'll be wanting to rush back any time soon.
More soon, my loves.
But I'm signing off for now.