Guess what? I'm not home yet. I'm spending the night over at my sister's place instead of on the airplane... A lightening storm hit town RIGHT at the hour my flight was supposed to take off, shutting down Lagardia Airport for the night.
I am lucky enough to have a loving sister in town who heard of my troubles and whisked me away from the airport. Less fortunate is a friendly Eric I met while waiting for my sister - he is going to be spending the night in Lagardia at the Delta terminal with gouging vendors selling 1 liter bottles of water for $5 and no food besides frozen yogurt (which is probably the same price as a nice burger dinner in the Bay Area)...
I ended up having an absolutely lovely evening with my sister. The two of us alone haven't had dinner or time like in this in AGES. She's sitting right next to me, doing her thing, with me working on my blog. It's just like when we were kids!
I'll tell you more about my dinner tomorrow, since the DSL wires here are too tricky to hook up to my laptop to upload the pictures. Besides, I'd already planned for the topic of today's post to be my Saturday night epicurean debauchery in Manhattan!
On Saturday, my sister and her husband, David, rescued me from the scientific intensity that was the Conference and we had dinner at Rosa Mexicano in Manhattan. Billed as 'upscale, authentic Mexican cuisine', it was definitely interesting and different. I'm really trying to learn more about Mexican food and how to enjoy it, but I get easily overwhelmed by all the melted cheese and the richness in the sauces...
What hit the spot for me was our second dessert locale. After a somewhat disappointing flan at Los Mexicano (it just wasn't the flan I've come to love - Natalia, a technical staff who used to work at my graduate school lab, made the BEST flan - I always order flan in anticipation of one that can match Natalia's...), the Uchipu took me to just the right place for an evening escape.
Payard has a dining room and a bar/tea section. The tea section is right next to the bar with small tables and metal chairs, and surrounded by pastry cases, it is a slice of Paris in Manhattan - or at least the Japanese girl's vision of Paris.
Since all the small tables were full, the three of us sat at the bar and each of us ordered our second dessert courses. I got a dessert from the dining room - an wonderfully refreshing Citrus-Elderflower Soup with Grapefruit Terrine and Lemon Sorbet. This summer treat totally cooled me off inside and out - all the heat from the scientific intensity of the Conference was dissipated with each bite. The cool, naturally sweet juices melted my stress away. The intriguing grapefruit terrine turned out to be bits of grapefruit held together with thick, juicy jello. No hints of overbearing sweetness or richness was present in this dish.
Miki had a glass of champagne, which would have been my preferred dessert of choice before my Reform. David got a plate of the Payard specialty chocolates. These are a work of art with intricate flavors encapsulated in fine dark chocolate. A few pieces are sufficient to satisfy even the strongest of chocolate cravings - a true test of chocolate, if you ask me!
Although I was looking forward to coming home and waking up to my routine breakfast of the Papa bread and yogurt, my extended night in NY has been a surprise blessing. Spending time with my sister like this is precious, since we are always traveling together when we see each other and rarely in our own relaxed environment together. Thank you, Thunder Storm and Uchipu!