Friday, December 23, 2011

work perks

Apart from finding lots of fun extra curricular free events to enjoy this holiday season, I have been having some fun outings at work. (Disclaimer: this post may make you hungry!)

My boss recently took my coworker and me out to lunch with the contractors working on our Upper West Side townhouse. Apparently this was nothing groundbreaking for the rest of the office, but I was super excited when I heard we were going to CraftBar. It is definitely a cut above the cheapie restaurants I frequent. And my boss was game for midday beer and wine! Score!

I guess we weren't spot on with the restaurant choice because our contractors are pretty devoutly Jewish and don't eat pork. It seemed like everything on the menu was ham/pork/bacon laden! On top of that, one of the guys doesn't eat cheese! Talk about limited options! Somehow we worked around it and everyone found a couple suitable dishes.

I had the Winesap Apple Salad (Radicchio, Gorgonzola Cremificato, Candied Pistachio, Aged Balsamic) for a starter and the Ricotta Cavatelli Pasta (Butternut Squash, Smoked Bacon, Sage, Spiced Crème Fraîche, Pepita) for my meal. It was all delicious. Mmmmmm....I've had dreams about that pasta.

Our contractors were a riot. Two beers (from a great beer list) and a few hours later, we all left stuffed. I surely didn't get much done the rest of the day. If someone else is taking you out for a nice dinner and footing the bill, I highly recommend CraftBar. Its fancy without being too snooty.

Another night, we had our annual office holiday party. We stopped work early and one boss brought her ten year old daughter into the office to bartend for us :) Well, not really...but she did serve us ice and Cheez-Its. After a couple makeshift gin and tonics, we walked to dinner at Empellón in the West Village.

We're a small office so we got a nice cozy booth by the window. The place has a million tequilas and mezcals, so I started off with a Bowie Knife (Cava, Siete Leguas Añejo, Buffalo Trace, Agave Nectar, Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters (I'm a sucker for cava...well, sparkling anything actually)). Then we proceeded to order way too much food.

We all shared but I ordered the Baked Pumpkin with Sikil Pak Queso Fundido (with pumpkin seeds, sour orange juice, habañero) for a starter and Hazelnut Fed Pork Loin with Braised Pinenut Tacos (I'm a big pork fan but the dish won me over because it reminded me if this hilarious video) for a meal. I've never pretended to act like I could be a vegetarian, but I am noticing that some if the most delicious dishes I have at restaurants are meat-free. I would go back to Empellón and order that pumpkin dish without even glancing at the menu. It was that delicious. Might have inspired a few dreams of its own.

Several tequila drinks later, we thought it would be a good idea to order every dessert on the menu. It was.  We had Chocolate Flan with Caramel, Cocoa-Masa Streusel and Cinnamon Ice Cream; Tres Leches with Fig and Goat’s Milk Ice Cream; Buñuelos with Cajeta and Warm Honey; and the Pumpkin Tart with Candied Pecans, Mezcal and Toasted Meringue. Phew. I gained a few pounds just typing that.

I didn't even try to glance at the check when my bosses paid. It must have been outrageous! I love the holidays! Thanks, PDA!

If all our decadent eating and drinking was not enough, one of our beyond lovely clients gave those of us on their project (lucky me!) beautiful cashmere scarves (in addition to hand delivering bonus checks to every one of the construction workers on site). They really are saints. Ridiculously wealthy saints :) I've never owned anything cashmere! I do hate winter but having something that luxurious to keep me warm makes it significantly better :)

The holidays are definitely in full swing! I hope you are enjoying them with your loved ones (and a yummy meal once and a while)!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, looks so nice! You were right, this post definitely DID make me hungry :)


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