I scored the coveted four day weekend and took full advantage of practically every minute, filling them with friends and food and drink and fun. Just the way it should be.
Friday night included an art opening, then a stunning nighttime view from the Guthrie's famed Endless Bridge, a place I consider to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in the city and do so often, and finally dinner for the first time at Sea Change, Tim McKee's sustainable seafood restaurant inside the Guthrie along the river. While I drank cocktails with odd combinations of ingredients like Sambuca and muddled basil that somehow worked perfectly together, the chef sent out a number of small plates of his choosing. Oysters with roasted jalapeno mignonette, impossibly thin cut albacore tuna with lardo, soffrito crudo and apple cider vinegar, langostines with hot olive oil, chili and rosemary, and my favorite, a sous vide and grilled octopus with a texture that evoked beef rather than the usual octopus mouth feel. It was spectacular. There were lots of other plates and cocktails, but the details are blurry after so much of everything. Suffice it to say it was all some kind of wonderful.
Wonderful seafood continued into Saturday night when I had my gals, The Hags, over for copious amounts of seafood and drinks and music while my friend Doug prepared course after course of glorious, mostly Japanese food for all of us. The menu included oysters on the half shell with a traditional shallot mignonette, soup with Dungeness crab and crab claws, soba noodles with dipping sauce, Kobe beef with smoked sea salt, eel rolls with jewel-like red fish roe, freshly made Korean kimchi, seared tuna with a citrus/pepper/sesame crust, and lots of sashimi - salmon, yellowtail, hamachi, and albacore. I didn't think I appreciated large oysters, but that has all changed and I could have them every day with a simple mignonette and never get sick of them. The same goes for my friends, except not with the mignonette. What a great evening.
Along came Sunday and Joe Henry was singing at the Dakota Jazz Club downtown. I am no Joe Henry expert and have subsisted mostly on his earlier alt-country music, not as much his more current stuff that's closer to jazz and Tom Waits, but I loved almost everything he did last night. He told a funny story about collaborating with his sister-in-law Madonna (yes, that Madonna) on a song that they agreed to each publish their own versions of. Joe said he turned his version into a tango and she turned hers into a hit: Don't Tell Me. His version was beautiful. Just like this weekend.