So I've taken this lemon of a situation and decided to turn it into a sweet little day. After all, I am still celebrating my 100th post and a certain degree of spoiling is in order. To start, I treated myself to a mani-pedi. As I sat up on this giant massaging chair getting my feet rubbed and my toes polished, I read the latest edition of Cook's Illustrated and got some fantastic ideas for future recipe creations. After I was thoroughly relaxed, I hoped over to Williams-Sonoma to let the spoiling continue as I purchased some new kitchen gadgets. I left the store with a new box grater (my old one was starting to show its age), a little whisk (for salad dressings, marinades and sauces), a pastry scraper (every time I make gnocchi I find myself wanting one of these) and a trio of peelers (one of which julieannes vegetables in minutes! It's the little things in life..).
Clearly after all that pampering and shopping, I got hungry and wanted to treat myself to a solo lunch. So I went to one of my absolute favorites in the Back Bay, Piattini (www.piattini.com). This place is just so perfect in so many ways. The food is fantastic, it has that cute little European cafe feel, and they play what I call "old happy music". Artists like Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Etta James, etc. all fall into my category of "old happy music". It is impossible to be in a bad mood and listening to tunes like that. I dare you to try. It's also some of my favorite music to cook to (and eat to!). Anyways, I digress..
So there I sat, with my Cook's Illustrated fanned out in front of me and the most AMAZING (yes, it deserves all caps) bread was plonked down in front of me. Reaching for the olive oil, I happily hummed along to some Billie Holiday while enjoying crusty bread with the most delightfully chewy core. This is the bread for which all breads should be judged by. It was pure bliss.
After my bread came an order of one of my favorites, caprese salad. Oh caprese salad, how I love you. With your perfect little combination of garden fresh tomatoes, soft buttery mozzarella cheese, bail and balsamic, all served atop mixed greens. My favorite part of this salad was the little dollops of fresh pesto sauce that were delicately clinging to the greens. I couldn't stop from helping myself to another piece of bread just to dip in it the salad and soak up all the flavors. I rounded out my perfect little meal with a ice-cold sparkling water and was so in my happy place.
On my way out, I ran into the owner who wished me a good day. Me, being caught up in the Italian goodness of my afternoon, found myself smiling back at her and exclaiming, "Grazie! A presto!" (Thank you, see you soon!) Naturally, she didn't think a blonde haired, blue eyed Pollock like me would speak Italian. She grabbed my arm and almost gave me a giant bear hug. With the whole dining room (well, all of 20 tables or so) watching, she then said something to me in Italian that I wasn't sure of (my beginner's Italian language classes will only get me so far). I just smiled, said "Si! Grazie!" and walked out. I'm not quite sure what I agreed to but I hope it was more bread.