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BOS: Art Deco, Dinner with Violist, and Ode-Wowchers

BOS: Art Deco, Dinner with Violist, and Ode-Wowchers

Old Jan 12, 05, 12:46 am
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SQL
Programs: SPG Platinum; Hyatt Platinum; UA 1K
Posts: 3,168
BOS: Art Deco, Dinner with Violist, and Ode-Wowchers

TravelKhatt and I wanted to see the Art Deco Exhibit at the BOS mfa (which we could have seen when it was in SFO a little while back, but then there would be no trip report). Also my brother, his daughter, and brand new significant other (hereafter referred to as Bill, Dara, and Joyce) live nearby. So when a cheap T fare popped up for SJC-BOS that allowed us to see the exhibit before it closed, see the family and earn EQM’s in 2005, we jumped on it and scheduled SJC-LAX-BOS-IAD-SJC.

My friend Nikki had gifted us some more Upgrade Certs and we were able to upgrade the return segments, but were waitlisted for the LAX-BOS segment (SJC-LAX is on a UX CRJ, so no joy there).

The plan was to take an evening flight from SJC-LAX, and then catch the red-eye into BOS, and get five or so hours of sleep at the BOS airport Hyatt before hooking up with the family for the trip to the museum. The next day we were going to do lunch with Violist before catching an early afternoon flight into IAD and then on to SJC.

Several days before the trip reality started to diverge from the plan. First Violist had a sudden obligation that was going to prevent him from joining us for lunch on Sunday. Next Bill announced that he and Dara would be able to join us for Lunch on Sunday. So we invited Violist along for dinner on Saturday night, and scheduled a second day with the family on Sunday.

We got to SJC and managed to get across the impressive snaking line leading to the Mexicana counter and waited for the lone UA agent as I wanted to find out how our upgrades for the LAX-BOS segment were looking. The agent was having an animated conversation with the only other UA pax, and occasionally glanced our way but didn't do anything to inspire confidence that she would be speaking to us anytime soon. I left TravelKhatt in line and went over to the sleazy chicken and printed our BP's. The agent was still thoroughly engrossed in conversation, so we left her and moved on to the gate. Here we discovered that our plane was going to be late. We didn't have much time for our connection in LAX so I started looking for alternatives. The only other flight out of SJC on UA that night was to SBA, and assuming that there were not many SBA-BOS flights gave up on that alternative. So I started making phone calls.

On my first try to the 2P line (I still have not received my 1P kit) I spoke to someone who was completely unable to grasp what I was trying to accomplish. I explained that I expected to misconnect and wanted alternatives for getting to BOS as soon as possible. The conversation went something like this:

Me: So what is the best alternative for me getting to BOS as early as possible?
2P line: The next flight from LAX to BOS is at 6.30 tomorrow morning.
Me: OK . . . what about other red-eyes to the East coast.
2P: What city do you wish to travel to?
Me: ORD for example.
2P: The last flight for ORD is at 2357.
Me: OK, Good. Now what other flights leave LAX before 2357 but after 2300.
2P: Going to what city?
2P: I will need a city.
Me: Look I am trying to not get stranded in LA and make it to BOS as early as possible.
2P: OK, let me check . . .The earliest flight to BOS from LAX is at 630 tomorrow morning.
Me: Can you just tell me the list of flights that are leaving LAX after 2300?
2P: I do not have that information. You will need to give me the city that you wish to fly to.
Me: Thanks, I'll just keep my schedule.
2P: Is there anything else that I can help you with?
Me: <fighting hard against the urge to point out that this presumes that he has helped already> No thank you.

By now the Gate Attendant has shown up, and she explains that it is a weather delay (later found to be a lie, it was really an operations issue) - so I am thinking "Great. We are going to spend the night in LA and have to pay for our own hotel."

She did help us look into possible options. She found two different flights to ORD from LAX that were possibilities, both putting us into BOS around 1015. She also offered the alternative of leaving on a direct flight out of SFO that would get us in when we wanted. Despite losing 500 EQM's, this did seem like a good alternative until we realized we would be returning via SJC so we would have our car at one airport and ourselves at a different airport at some point in the trip. Since it was still looking close enough to make the LAX-BOS flight, and we had a fallback plan (the ORD redeye), we decided to wait in SJC.

I then tried calling the 2P number to try to arrange any bit of proactive assistance we could get. The agent did not seem to believe that there was anyway to monitor our progress and protect us if we were landing after the LAX-BOS flight left, but she did tell us that the gate agent could message LAX and request a cart to take us to our departure gate.

The gate agent claimed to send the message (although I saw no cart at our gate). Another quandry with was what to do about my 21" rollaboard. This was a CRJ so taking it into the cabin was not going to fly. If I gate checked it, the delay in unloading could mean that we miss our conenction, but if checked it through there was an excellent chance that it would misconnect and might not see it again until I was back home. So I gate checked it and kept my fingers crossed.

Finally the CRJ arrived and we were allowed to board.


The Skywest crew was pretty quick in getting the plane turned around. Finally we were airborne and heading down south. I took a look at the time and realized making the connection was pretty unlikely. I ordered a Jack and Diet Pepsi, and TravelKhatt an Amstel Light (which was served in a can - something we'd never seen before). An hour later we were descending into LAX.

As soon as we hit the taxiway I called the flight info line to see if the outbound was delayed. I knew it was a bad sign when I was given the departure time for the next day. So I called the 2P line and was told that we were already re-accommodated on one of the ORD flights [perhaps being a 1P did help us here]. I collected my gate checked bag which was waiting for me as soon as I got down the stairs. ^

We made our way to the RCC where I encountered the second slowest RCC concierge in the UA system (the first being the guy in BOS that I've mentioned in previous threads - Despite the two of them being of different races, I am convinced that they are related). As an aside, someone has told me that the RCC concierge used to be the best and brightest ticket agents at UA but that in some round of contract renegotiation, the assignment to the RCC was now based on seniority (hence the smiling faces at ORD that will tell you to the day how long until they retire). My guess is that the aforementioned pair were baggage supervisors, or perhaps they were involved in usability testing for united.com and then one day woke up and said "I want to be an RCC concierge, and sit on my ... until I retire."

Anyway, after getting admitted to the RCC we walked to the ticketing folks and I handed over my 2P card and my PNR. He responded that he needed our BP's because he needed our ticket numbers. Then he slowly starts typing 0...1...6... And so on. Then he looks confused and starts typing some more. He repeats the look of confusion and the typing a couple of more times and then picks up the phone. "Are you still boarding? Can you wait for two more from the RCC? No? Ok." He gets off the phone and explains that the BOS flight is still boarding but there is no way we are going to make it.

"Let me get you boarding passes for the ORD flight. Oh wait. You have not been offloaded of the BOS flight." Type...type...type. "There, now let’s get the other one of you offloaded. Which boarding pass am I looking for now . . . . Ok, let's get you on the ORD flight. Did you say that you were interested in upgrading? Ok...how do you want to support the upgrade...you do not have enough 500 mile e-certs. Oh...Paper certs? Regional or Systemwide? OK . . .Let me see those."

Around this time, the announcement that the RCC was now closed came, but our friendly agent realized it would be unwise and unhealthy to not finish getting us BP's.

Minutes later he announces that upgraded seats are not available after all and he only has middle seats left but cheerfully assigns us in adjoining rows.

We exit the RCC and immediately board.

UA126 7B, 8B A320 LAX-ORD

I get to the row to discover a seemingly nice couple sitting in B and C. They offer me 7A which I graciously accept. They even offered me their extra pretzels as I suck down another drink, hoping sleep will come soon. The only weird part was a short conversation I had early in the flight as the guy in 7C was reading a paper.

She: "It's full of lies. . . I would be embarrassed to hold such a paper. It's all lies." <Then to me> "You know, we didn't buy that paper, we just got it at the RCC."

Me: "OK"

She: "It's full of lies."

Me: "OK" <nodding and smiling>

Gentle reader, perhaps your mind is reeling at the possibilities of what precisely this rag was. Weekly World News? Communist Worker's Illustrated? Anarchist's Monthly? Nope. . . It was the New York Times.

I put my Bose QC2's back on and turned up the volume on channel 9. Thankfully, blissful sleep came quickly.

TravelKhatt has asked me to add the following:
TravelKhatt was cruelly pinned in the middle seat behind you --- that's a phrase I made up, ‘cruelly pinned’....and you should mention the weird guy to my left whose arms kept flying up in his sleep. And neither of them would let me use the armrests, so I got no sleep at all that segment.
I got an hour or two of sleep and soon we were descending into Chicago. We deplaned and made our way to the C concourse RCC. While we were there we improved our seating on the BOS flight to the window row instead of the random seats we had been given at LAX. While regretting the sleep we were missing, I thought that at least we would get some extra miles. Technically I was correct: the difference in mileage due to the stop at ORD was two miles...one mile for me, one mile for TravelKhatt.

We munched on a few things, used the facilities, and after resting for an hour or so drowsily made our way to the gate.

UA524 10AC 733 ORD-BOS

The flight was fairly empty and I did manage to get another hour or so of sleep before landing in BOS. It hardly made up for the sleep I would have gotten had we arrived at 7 am. Well at least it would be easier to get the hotel room at 1030.

BOS was covered in snow and in fact it was snowing as we waited for the shuttle to the hotel. It had been a few years since TravelKhatt or I had dealt with the fluffy white stuff so it was a nice change in scenery. The shuttle was pretty quick and soon we were checking into our room with a view of the harbor and skyline.

The clerk very nicely gave us breakfast vouchers for both days which was useful as I was almost as hungry as I was exhausted. My original plan had been to grab some pizza at Wolfgang Puck's at LAX but that had obviously fallen through. We both ordered the lobster omelets, which was not a bad dish but did not live up to our expectations. I made a quick call to Bill to confirm that they were to pick us up at 1300, and was in bed by 11am. I put in a wake up call for 1230, the same time that the Diamond Amenity (a fruit bowl) was to arrive. The amenity never arrives on time so I should be safe.

About 15 minutes into my much needed slumber Violist calls (as I had requested) and reconfirmed. 15 minutes later, I was soundly asleep until . . . 1229 when the knock on the door came. I rushed to the closet to grab the robe - which wasn't there. So I grab a towel and threw it around myself answering the door for the room service guy. Now I have always heard that these folks have seen everything. Unfortunately, this one must have been new, because he looked rather uncomfortable as he took in the vision of my ample frame clad in the bath towel. TravelKhatt was luckier having had benefit of a bit more time as well as the much larger blanket to cover up. Anyway the waiter nervously set set down the tray and was quickly retreating when I shouted "Wait!", and dove for my pants to get out his tip. By the time I turned around he was still slowly backing himself out of the room, but did pause for the two bucks before running down the hall.

I snacked on a banana and some grapes and was about to step into the shower when my cell phone rang. It was my niece Dara announcing that they were almost to the hotel - nine minutes ahead of schedule.

I quickly took my much needed shower while TravelKhatt convinced them to drive slowly. By 1300 we were heading down the elevator. The trip to the mfa was interesting to say the least. My brother who has always had a wonderful sense of direction has acquired a GPS and unfortunately puts a bit more trust in it than might be prudent for someone that has lived in the area for decades (or even someone new to the area but capable of reading road signs). So within five minutes we are approaching some sort of restricted area requiring special identification before he turns around and manages to find the tunnel into downtown. He continues on until we exit at some point and is forced to get on a bridge across the river into Cambridge. "Oh! The GPS always has me do that." We had never seen Cambridge in the snow so it wasn't a total loss. Soon we are back on Storrow drive heading for the mfa. However, "Are we in Cambridge yet?" became a catch-phrase for the rest of the trip.

We slogged across the street from the parking garage to the museum and I playfully threw a snowball or two at TravelKhatt who was not in a playful mood. Cats hate being cold and wet.

The exhibit was quite enjoyable with a lot of really cool pieces and I even learned a lot (e.g. where the term Art Deco comes from).

TravelKhatt and I were really starting to feel weary so we made an early departure from the museum. Amazingly, we did not end up in Cambridge, but instead quickly found our wat to the North end and had coffee at a nice little place called Cafe Paradiso. Apparently Joyce was familiar with it and highly recommended the cannolis which we decided to sample after dinner. In the meantime we had an infusion of caffeine and managed to wake up a bit before walking the block or so to Monica's.

Last edited by VPescado; Apr 10, 05 at 11:26 pm
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Old Jan 12, 05, 12:47 am
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Location: SQL
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We had chosen Monica's from a list of restaurants that a co-worker of Bills had suggested that we subsequently looked up in Zagat's. I am not going to go into much detail about the dinner as I trust Violist will follow up with a description that would put my attempt to shame. But let me say this: 1) Everything was wonderful. 2) Their house made pasta rocks. 3) It was one of several experiences that has made it a no-brainer to renew my subscription to zagat.com.

During dinner we related our story of our previous evening's misadventure to Violist where he explained that in such situations we should have called the 1P number. "Always call the 1P number, even if you are 1K". "Why" asked TravelKhatt? "Because the people answering the 1K line are idiots!” he replied animatedly.

When I explained that I did not yet have the 1P number he tried to write it on my arm, but relented to merely having me memorize it on the spot.

Also it turned out that Joyce and Violist had an acquaintance in common, unsurprisingly a musician.

The other thing worth noting is a game my brother and I like to play when dining out called credit card lotto. It involves us each placing our credit cards down for the waiter and asking him to select one.

I should pause to mention that Bill for some unfathomable reason almost never wins this game. And yet he is always willing to play - believing somehow that randomness should earn him a few free meals eventually. This has become a source of good natured ribbing within my family.

Now, many waiters find this very awkward - thinking no doubt, that this is insane and suspecting that the wrong choice could negatively impact their tip. This waiter was no exception but after several reassurances that we meant it and he would not be harmed for any choice he made, he selected one. It turned out to be Bill's . . . much to the delight of Dara (who has never in her fifteen and a half years seen her father prevail in this endeavor).

Even though the check included a 19% gratuity, I slipped the waiter another twenty to reward him for his great choice. Bill continues to believe that this was the payout of a bribe.

Violist seemed moderately baffled by the turn of events resulting in he getting his meal for free, and insisted on springing for desert back at Cafe Paradisio. The cannoli (along with some chocolates that Violist had brought) were the perfect ending to the meal, leaving me in a Zen-like state that a former professor of mine in Grad School would refer to as "Fat, Dumb, and Happy." Bear in mind that I went to school in Georgia and the phrase has no pejorative connotations.

After dessert and coffee we walked back across the Big Dig to the garage and Violist followed us most of the way and we discussed some future travel plans. I mentioned that we planned to stop back at the airport to check in for the next day (saving us some time), but he warned that they close down the UA counter around 8pm, although he thought that the sleazy chicken might be awake all night.

Bill still recovering from credit card lotto suggested that I might like to pay for parking which I did deciding that it would be better than whatever unspoken alternative he had in mind.

Once the parking was paid for, it was a quick trip to the airport (the GPS remained ensconced in the glove box) and we were soon dropped off in time to encounter a back of sleazy chickens all turned off for the evening.

We called the Hyatt shuttle, went up to the room and very quickly we were asleep.

The wake-up call had us up at 0630 so we could go and get our BP's before breakfast. I handed over the upgrade certs and we received our BPs for the remaining two segments. We did some quick shopping for souvenirs for friends back home and then caught the shuttle back to the hotel. I went upstairs grabbed the B'fast vouchers and we were soon seated in front of the very nice view of downtown across the harbor (think of an episode of Ally McBeal and then hit the pause button).

I ordered the Lobster Omelet again, while TravelKhatt went for Steak and Eggs.

We finished and had a little bit of time to shower, change, and pack before being picked up by Bill and Dara.

Realizing we would be tight on space we decided to stop by the airport yet again to check our two larger carry-ons. It took me a bit of time as I realized that there were some things that I didn't want to go in the checked luggage (in particular the stash of RCC drink chits). But two orbits of Logan later Bill returned to pick me up.

Finally, we headed into Chinatown to Pho Pasteur, a Viet Namese dive that Violist recommended on an earlier trip. We all had various forms of Pho. By the end of the meal everyone was feeling tired so we decided to just get dropped back at the airport and go wait in the RCC.

Keep in mind that this is not VPescado's favorite RCC. VPescado has had bad things happen to him within and nearby its confines. VPescado is still very irrationally bitter about the lack of a stapler.

Yet VPescado was willing to give it another try.

We approached the bar and encountered the barmaid. I could describe her in detail, but I think that TravelKhatt's description: "Grandma Nana from the Old Country" sums up her presence quite concisely.

She spent the first few moments scowling and trying to wave us away. After a while she came to understand that we actually desired drinks. I chose a Jack and Diet Pepsi which she seemed to disapprove of, but began making. Elizabeth wanted a beer and tried to order an Amstel Light (a bottle of which was proudly displayed on the bar), but was rebuffed with (and please understand I am not making any of this up - and that as of this point neither of us had been drinking): "That is water . . . besides it is for the weekend." She delivered this pearl of wisdom in her vaguely Slavic accent with no detectable irony. Bear in mind this was Sunday. TravelKhatt settled for a draft Heineken poured in a manner peculiar to the BOS RCC with one inch of beer topped with five inches of foam.

I handed her two drink chits and a buck tip (I couldn't bring myself to tip a buck for each drink despite the entertainment value).

We finished these and went up for another round. As I approached the dialog went like this:

Grandma Nana: "Oh No . . . You have Ode Wowchers." (TravelKhatt and I later compared notes and determined that this is the most accurate spelling.)

Me: "Yes, but they are still good."

Nana: "No! You take from other place . . . like . . . She-ca-go . . . and bring here. You use them in other place . . . not here." She said Chicago with considerable venom.

Me: "Uh . . ."

Nana: "Whatchu want now?!?" (Obviously very put out)

We ordered and while the drinks were being prepared, I went to exchange the old style chits for new ones with the concierge. The concierge claimed that they don't have any more chits since the BOS-LHR flight went away and were not supposed to accept any vouchers. Finally I went to my carry-on and retrieved the new style Wowcher just to try to make Grandma Nana a bit happier. She accepted the vouchers with the same look as I would expect had I just minted them out of horse dung.

We finished our drinks near the bar as Nana would every so often tilt her head back so she could make eye contact above her sun glasses, and make clear her disdain for us.

Soon it was time to go to our gate for the ride to IAD.

UA981 2AB 733 BOS-IAD

We settled into our seats and enjoyed our pre-departure drinks. I actually recognized one of the FA's from the LAX-ORD segment on Friday. He was quite amused to be recognized considering it involved completely different stations.

The FA's had readied the cabin for flight when it was announced that we would be delayed for a few minutes before takeoff. Apparently there was some sort of flow issue out of BOS and we got to take a tour of the taxiways before our assigned departure time. The purser was out of her seat fixing us another round before the pilot could finish the announcement. ^

No food or snacks on this segment except for the gourmet pretzel mix. The FA's were however quite pleasant.

It was a short flight and soon we were deplaning in IAD only two minutes later than scheduled.

It was only a few gates and a short wait before boarding our next flight.

UA237 2AB 319 IAD-SJC

The F cabin FA on this flight was a bit on the inattentive side. For example, I was listening to channel 9 during the taxi and following along on the airport map. It was becoming very clear to me that we were about two minutes from take off, and she had not picked up the pre-departure drinks. I kept watching. No sign of her. We actually took off with the drinks still in hand in the F cabin. I saw a few hands grab cups as they started to bounce around, but I don't think any actually spilled.

This struck me a major screw up. I would expect that there would be an FAA regulation concerning leaving cups, etc. unsecured.



Windy City salad with Kalamata olives and Parmesan cheese
Balsamic Dijon vinaigrette or ranch dressing

We have boarded additional servings of vegetables for our customers who are restricting their consumption of carbohydrates. Let your flight attendant know if you would like today's selection of broccoli and red peppers.

Boursin cheese-crusted filet mignon and potatoes with rosemary
Mixture of corn, beans, onions and tomato with shallot herb sauce

Spiced breast of chicken with Thai barbecue sauce
Brown rice and stir-fried shiitake mushrooms with vegetables

Fusilli pasta with puttanesca sauce
Sauteed shrimp and Parmesan cheese


Edy's ice cream with sundae toppings

Your flight attendant will inform you of today's selections.

Vifia Tarapaca Chardonnay 2004 Maipo Valley
Morande Valle Central Chardonnay 2002

Geyser Peak Foxridge Sonoma County Merlot 2001
Crow Canyon San Luis Obispo County Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Being a 1P, I was able to nab the last filet. TravelKhatt (a mere 2P but I love her anyway) was a bit bummed as all that was left for her was the pasta - Having very little tolerance for spicy food (she finds ketchup a bit on the zesty side) as well as very high standards for pasta, she was quite unhappy, and tried to see about substituting for a coach meal. The FA wouldn't entertain the notion and in general was very unsympathetic. I understand that no one in F is guaranteed their meal choice, but an offer of extra veggies, or even some peanuts would have been better than the complete disinterest that she showed.

Anyway, I traded bites of my steak with her, and I think she ultimately had enough to eat.

The FA also had no interest in enforcing the assigned cabin potty rule, resulting in Y pax standing in the F aisle waiting to use the F lav. While not a big deal to me, it fit into the pattern of lack of interest.

We both got some nap time in. Later we woke and discovered that we were essentially abandoned. The FA was nowhere to be found and repeated ringing of the call button got no results. At the point that two of the four F cabin call buttons were lit with no response, I went aft to find her. One of the other FA's tried to cover claiming that they had not heard the chime, but I had already seen that the lights above the aisle were functioning.

She came back up, refreshed drinks as needed and then headed aft informing us that we could find her in back there if we needed her.

In all fairness I was impressed by one thing she did. As all of us deplaned, she made a point of addressing us by name.

All in all it was a fun weekend and we are now 1/16th of the way to being 1K’s.

Last edited by VPescado; Jan 12, 05 at 1:32 pm
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Old Jan 12, 05, 1:19 pm
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Good report! You really should have, however, gotten that spiced breast of chicken. I had it last week on my JFK-SFO segment and it was excellent. Not too spicey though so your companion might have been able to stomuch it.
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Old Jan 13, 05, 7:30 am
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Posts: 7,203
the food

I was told that V and t would defer to me for
descriptions of the food, so here's my contribution.
This is essentially intact from when I jotted it
down last weekend, except I changed Dora to Dara ...

VPescado and travelkhatt were in town, and we'd been
scheduled to have lunch on Sunday, only the lady who
sits third chair in some little orchestra wasn't
going to be playing this concert, and who got called
to sub but moiself. So I wired my regrets, and V+t
said, why not come out Saturday to the North End for a
family Italian dinner instead? This sounded good, so
we arranged to get together at the restaurant at 6,
and I figured I'd leave the apartment at 5:15 and get
there at 5:45, with a cushion for delays on the T.

Despite its having snowed much of the day, and the
freezing drizzle making walking to the station kind
of unpleasant, the train pulled in shortly after I did,
and then, owing to the dearth of customers, took all of
12 minutes to get me to Aquarium (shades of the days,
back in the 1990s, when I could leave my bedroom at
7:05 for a 7:50 flight!). So I wandered around reading
menus and trying to use my ATM card (it's been for some
reason deactivated) and strolled up around a quarter of.

Monica's is a cute little place known for its homemade
pastas; it has the daunting location of right across
the street from Villa Francesca, which, although perhaps
resting on ancient laurels, still has the reputation to
many that it got a quarter century ago when it wrested
the title of most sought-after Italian restaurant from
its erstwhile neighbor Felicia's. A different kind of
food, though - much more delicate and carefully presented
- from that which I recall being served on Richmond St.

I walked in a few minutes early (I thought) to find the
rest of the party already seated at a table right in the
front window - VPescado, travelkhatt, and V's family:
brother Bill, niece Dara, and Bill's sweetie Joyce.

After the greeting of old friends and getting
acquainted with new, we got down to the serious
business of eating. We started off by dithering about
the appetizers: the orders dribbled in from here and
there, with the ever-patient and polite waiter doing
his best to be inconspicuous in the background. We
ended up with a good assortment from the current menu,
which said Menu Estivo on it:

Antipasto of the day: coppa, prosciutto, provolone,
mozzarella di bufala, various olives, and green beans
- exactly as expected, good quality, fresh ingredients

Bruschetta with tomato and parmesan - ditto, the
tomatoes being almost as flavorsome as real ones

Marinated mushrooms - Dara, who is still in her teens,
called these killer or said they rocked, or something;
they were really excellent: buttons, portobellos, and
oysters, marinated in balsamic, salt, and oil, and

Polenta with asparagus - surprisingly, the asparagus
were thin and tender (rather springlike, and it's
spring pretty much nowhere in the world)

Grilled squid - very simple, very tender, barely cooked,

The only issue I might have with the appetizers is that
they were all dressed with balsamic, olive oil, and
garlic. True, the ingredients were all fine (the oil a
little mild), and some might think this a harmonious
course, but for me just a little variety in presentation
might have made things even more enjoyable.

After a couple Morettis and some pleasantly comical
conversation involving a lot of this six-degree stuff
(I discovered that Joyce is friends with a client of
mine), our palates were ready for dinner, which came
out at just the right time.

The other end of the table had main courses that looked
good to my myopic eyes but that were not within sniffing
or sampling distance: trenette alla bolognese, mussels
presumably in white wine, and spinach ravioli. Glowing
reports were heard, though.

Travelkhatt's "napkin" pasta seemed to be a case of
the prep guy's revenge against the cook: One sheet of
pasta, uncut (how to cook it? It must require a big pan
and two burners), served folded amidst a tomato cream
sauce that included the meat of a fair-sized lobster.
Nice dish, really, er, different in presentation. The
pasta and lobster were done just to the right point,
the sauce smooth and tasty (although I would have added
a touch more cream).

V had linguini frutti di mare in bianco: a nice portion
of all sorts of crustaceans in a standard but good white
wine and garlic sauce. I tasted a strand of the pasta,
which was of a perfect texture.

I'd been dissuaded by the freezing rain and slick walks
from ordering my first choice, which was saltimbocca di
pollo served over asparagus (remember, this was the
summer menu, and I hadn't trusted the asparagus, although
after seeing the polenta appetizer, I realized that my
suspicions were misplaced). In honor of the real (as
opposed to on paper) season, I ordered a pork chop in
Port sauce with figs over sauteed broccoli rabe. Asked
for it medium rare, got medium rare plus, which is fine
for pork. Big chop, one bone but with all the meat of the
neighboring bones with it. The sauce was a bit sweet
(again, I'd have fiddled with the sauce, adding more
stock and using less wine) but went very well and
moderated the piquantness of the broccoli rabe. The
waiter tried to upsell me an order of garlic mashed,
but I said no. After tasting V's linguini I considered
asking for a side order of pasta, but I chickened out.

What to get for wine? We saw Vernaccia di San Gimigniano
2003 Vigna di Solatio (Falchini) for a reasonable price,
and that would go with most of the dishes at table, the
meat ones sort of excepted, so that's what we had. It
was an extremely pleasant and deeper than I thought it
would be, with a tang of maturity that I haven't seen in
this appellation before. Also there was a mild sweetness,
so it wasn't totally killed by the pork chop, either.

The hopeful waiter brought dessert menus, but we pled
fullness and the desire for Italian bakery goods, so
instead we went to Caffe Paradiso for an espresso,
or, in my case, glass of cheap Port, and cannoli
(ricotta-stuffed, none of these nouveau custard-filled
or chocolate-flavored things). Also, travelkhatt had a
hazelnut gelato, which was very nice but not at all as
expected - rich, with bits of butterfat, the base
flavor sort of spumoni, with anise and some candied
fruit aspect and maybe rum, but with nice big hazelnut
halves stirred in. Bill and company pumpkinize fairly
early, so we said our goodbyes, and I caught the T
back and was home by nine.

An amusing Pescado family custom is credit card lotto,
where the dueling principals put their cards into the
folder with the request that the waiter choose one only,
that (un)lucky party paying the whole bill. In this case,
Bill won (lost), through mechanisms that appeared from
my vantage to smack of sleight of hand. Dara also noted
that in her presence Uncle VPescado has never been known
to pick up the tab; but then he's the little brother
after all. The innocent third parties, though enriched
by this procedure, might feel slightly embarrassed by
it; I offered to take the dessert bill, a concession to
fairness, given that I've seen Bill only once in my life.
violist is offline  
Old Jan 17, 05, 12:03 am
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Great report VPescado, thanks for the good laughs.. ^
couscous is offline  
Old Jan 17, 05, 4:46 am
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Just too funny VP.

Don't you find it difficult sleeping when you have channel 9 turned on?

dhammer53 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 05, 4:01 am
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Originally Posted by dhammer53
Don't you find it difficult sleeping when you have channel 9 turned on?
Actually not. I am either out cold in which case it makes no difference, or am drifting in and out of sleep in which case I am often curious about how far along we are. Hearing which ATC center is handling us gives me an approximate answer without me waking up too much.

If it helps, I also prefer to fall asleep with the TV on (much to TravelKhatt's chagrin).
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