Birthday weekends make me happy!
My many birthday notes, calls, emails and songs made me very happy. The call from my brother in Haiti where he had his friends sing Happy Birthday to me in Creole was extra special!! Thanks guys!!!
As for desserts – Sherry gave me two chocolate cupcakes with amazing orange frosting – and when I say amazing, I mean I think she laced it with some illegal substance – I don’t even like frosting and this orange miracle fluff still haunts my thoughts – where can I get more? Apparently it is as easy as going to the Eden we call Whole Foods.
What did I do on this glorious weekend, mostly eat remarkable food, but Sunday was another adventure all together.
Friday night – a 12 course dinner at Baumé restaurant! Their menu is built with a consideration for digestion and moderation influenced by macrobiotic cooking – French Cuisine Moderne with a Zen Touch they say. The bright orange door greeted me like a beacon directing me home. I entered only to be surrounded by more orange-ness. “Would you like the 8 or 12 course menu?” the fancy waiter asked. Silliness I thought to myself – “12”. The menu only states the ingredients, but not the actual dishes you will be served. I of course asked for a vegetarian tasting.
Main Ingredients Used: Carrot | Asparagus | Goat Cheese | Perigord Truffle | Strawberry | Liquid Nitrogen | Leek | Coconibs | Ginger | Anise | Curry | Rosemary | Green Apple | Vanilla Bean | Citrus | Green Peas
Most surprising dish of the night was a soup that was poured over wasabi greens – while not hot the fumes made me cry – AND I felt its intensity for the next three courses.
The fact that my dessert was smoking made for much happiness. Who doesn’t like liquid nitrogen? A cold strawberry soup with some very frozen happiness thrown in to give that fog machine effect – loved it!
Saturday night – a pre-dinner party with some serious ballers, dinner at Millennium (a-freaking-mazing), and then to a club. Why Millennium? It is dedicated to supporting the essential earthly concepts of organic food production, small farms, sustainable agriculture, recycling and composting. They cook with fresh produce delivered every day! A few of my favorite things…
Wilted Bloomsdale Spinach Salad: Burdock kinpira, tea & anise smoked tofu, seared shiitake mushrooms, red miso-ginger vinaigrette, crisp Korean chili spiced edamame, toasted nori
House made Potato Gnocchi: Seared exotic mushrooms & roasted parsnips in an Aleppo chili-spring onion broth, spigarello kale, crisp chickpeas, toasted almond-herb gremolata
Chocolate Almond Midnight: Almond cashew crust, mocha chocolate filling, raspberry sauce, white chocolate mousse
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding: Roasted banana ice cream, canella anglaisea
…and I must give crazy props to the Serrano Chili Mandarin Sorbet – hells ya! And yes, we almost ordered everything on the menu.
Sunday – the most ridiculous of my adventures – a day at Imperial Spa! The idea for this day started in Seoul – where Sherry and I found ourselves in a traditional Korean spa – it was like no other spa experience either of us had ever had. Open 24 hours a day and for a small entry fee you can roam around all day in relaxing rooms and pools. You are given a bracelet that you can use to buy food, foot massages from a machine and even cupping. Since Sherry was with child at the time, we did not get the super scrub treatment.
Now, Imperial Spa, while very small compared to the spa in Seoul, is a complete Korean-style spa with Super Scrubs (actually known as purification body scrubs)! What is this you ask!? We started the day by disrobing….yes, all the ladies are naked. Shower to hot tub to cold tub to steam room to sauna to clay room – repeat. I purchased a Pineapple Oasis Purification Package. I am now going to walk you through this experience – so if you ever choose to get one you will be prepared!
1. I walked upstairs to find approximately five tables covered in plastic each with a naked woman. Yes fully naked. They each were getting a spa service by a women in a black sports bra and panties (what a ridiculous word).
2. My massage therapist was waiting for me. I laid face down on the plastic table. She poured lukewarm water over me and then started to scrub my skin with great vigor using a small yellow mitten – which I assume was made specifically for this occasion. This event went on for about 45 minutes . More water, more scrubbing, turn over. Several times I almost slipped off the bed onto the floor. This woman actually removed my color – any tan that was left on my skin was erased using her little yellow friend.
3. Next was the massage. She first oiled me up. Is this safe? I am laying on a plastic bed three feet off the ground and she is making me more slippery. She covered me with a towel and got onto the bed on top of me – no I am not joking. This is a common thing with Thai massage, but remember during a Thai massage you are fully clothed. However crazy – it was a great massage – the small woman has the strength of a body builder. What’s next?
4. Now for the mini-facial. She ground up a cucumber and added some special ingredients to it and made a face mask. Fun.
5. Time for pineapples. She covered my body with the Pineapple Oasis Purification serum and then covered me with trash bags (yes white trash bags). She then covered my face with another mask and covered my eyes. I laid there unable to move (I may slide off onto the tile floor) and unable to see.
6. All of the sudden out of nowhere she starts pushing my feet so I slowly start to slide off the bed head first! What is she doing? Once my head was off she stopped. I felt a bit relieved.
7. She washed my hair; Interesting.
8. She removed the facemask, the plastic bags and Pineapple Oasis Purification serum. She then washed me with milk (well a mixture of essential oils, cucumber, yogurt and milk squirted out of a diner-like ketchup bottle). Again, not joking.
9. She handed me a towel.
10. After 120 minutes, we were done.
Why do this craziness? They say that this Korean scrubbing technique exfoliates dead skin cells, invigorates the skin and increases circulation. Then the essential oil milk mixture re-hydrates you so you feel silky and renewed. Honestly my skin was already pretty damn soft – after this – marvelous – better than a baby’s bottom – take that Tatiana and your cuteness ;)!
Happy Orange Suggestion: Absolutely go to a Korean spa! 🙂 Definitely eat at Baumé and Millennium!!