Saturday, June 25, 2016

our first deck dinner

so last night we had a wonderful evening - our first dinner party on the deck- with excellent wines and friends and food - a perfect combo-

Mon & Beth came in and Shari (who lives nearby joined us)

Shari did the appetizers of oysters, scallop ceviche and mussels...all terrific and she also brought a lovely Henriot Champagne 1998! and a very nice Chenin from a California vineyard I didn't know-

Mon brought a wonderful red - a 2012 Cab from Davis Estates

All our guests were extremely generous and left wine as well - a pinot rose and a Chassagne Montrachet- we'll hold those for our next celebration!

here are the photos-

the meal started with a chilled zucchini soup with creme fraiche and cilantro

then we had tenderloin with three side salads - Thai watermelon and radish- sesame sugar snap peas and lentils with tomatoes, mint and feta.  I think from the left overs that the favorite was the watermelon and radish salad made with Thai basil and fish sauce and radishes... I thought it quite good.

we finished with Figs and grapes and four cheese - with an Y'quem from 1981... Parmesan - a Comte- a Saint Angel triple cream and Stilton... all in all a really great inauguration of the new deck- which still needs to be power washed and stained but looks to be just right for us! 

now back to Canada!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

we finally get to do a Chaine dinner

So we missed a number of fabulous Chaine des Rotisseurs dinners this year but we did arrive home in time to do the one at Green River!

and here was the FABULOUS menu- unfortunately my phone which had been dying a slow death picked that evening to go out completely - it was such an obviously mortal situation that I had already ordered a new one and had it in hand but ad no sim card to fit the new phone - boo hoo - because this was a truly magnificent meal and amazingly beautiful as well as incredibly tasty!

The lobster toast never made it fully around - the other canapes were lovely but the meal once it began in earnest was worthy of the highest praise...

 the cocktails and wines also met the highest standards-

all in all a first rate evening and it was added to by the fact that our dining companions were lovely - they live in Chicago in the summer and in Sydney in the winters... so we are on the same schedule if not the same continent LOL.... If I find someone who posts photos on FB or something I will come back and add some! so sorry....

OK found some on line at their website-

next up back further in time - we made the rounds of Asian places with Sun Wah with Barb & John, Orange Garden with Ron & Mary and Royal Thai - just us...we also met Dick & Ali for lunch at Butcher & Burger - had lunch outside there and also at Pat's Pizza on Lincoln ... all since Phil returned from Ireland on the 12th. My next post will be about the Canada trip that I took with TB 6/1-6/8 a short week before coming home to more unpacking!

And good news- I pulled some of the photos of the actual food from the Chaine Chicago FB page - which had the professional photos of the dinner-

thanks to the Chaine Chicago FB for the above - terrific photos of the meal!

where did June go?

OK so I know where it went-  it was a rhetorical question... First I went to Canada with TB my travel buddy of a couple of decades... then I came home and continued unpacking moving boxes and started our social season in Chicago with a Chaine des Rotisseurs dinner  Saw a NTLive play that was a complete farce and full of lots of laughs. We are about to have our first dinner party here at the new place (sans couches which won't arrive until some time next month) - Oh and the kids came for Father's Day to go to a Cubs game with Phil... in two days friends from Germany (Claus & Evi, their son Conrad, his wife Vroni and their baby Constantin) arrive and we will visit Saturday and Sunday--- then we are off to visit CBGB and again see/hear Jackson Browne at Interlochen in Michigan.  So that is June in a nutshell and now I am going backward in time in an attempt to catch up and get ready for a very busy July (three plays and several dinners scheduled already along with at least one more concert.)

so off we go-

We met John & Barb for an early dinner two days ago at El Nandu.  Hadn't been there in years - since a retirement party with my old department back in 2011... it is Argentinean and so we all had meat LOL - my skirt steak was excellent - Barb liked her Milanese and John had a steak, Phil the parrillada.  Then we zipped off to the theater to see an NTLive production of One Man Two Guvnors which was an updating (to 1963) of an old Goldoni farce from the Commedia dell'Arte.

We have loved NT Live in Sarasota which plays in the Historic Asolo theater but this was at a local cinema and not even a very nice one...dirty halls and sticky floors - the seats were comfy though!

The play synopsis - from their website:

Featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from host of the The Late Late Show, James Corden, the uproarious One Man, Two Guvnors was a runaway hit both in London’s West End and on Broadway.

Fired from his skiffle band, Francis Henshall becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a small time East End hood, now in Brighton to collect £6,000 from his fiancĂ©e’s dad. But Roscoe is really his sister Rachel posing as her own dead brother, who’s been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers. 

Holed up at The Cricketers’ Arms, the permanently ravenous Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a second job with one Stanley Stubbers, who is hiding from the police and waiting to be re-united with Rachel. To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his two guvnors apart.  Simple. 

One Man, Two Guvnors is a play by Richard Bean, an English adaptation of Servant of Two Masters (Italian: Il servitore di due padroni), a 1743 Commedia dell'arte style comedy play by the Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni. The play replaces the Italian period setting of the original with Brighton in 1963. The play opened at the National Theatre in 2011. The London production closed in March 2014.

In 1960s Brighton, a socially naive Francis Henshall becomes separately employed by two men – Roscoe Crabbe, a local gangster, and Stanley Stubbers, an upper class criminal. Francis tries to keep the two from meeting, in order to avoid each of them learning that Francis is also working for someone else. However, it turns out that Roscoe is really Rachel Crabbe in disguise, her twin brother Roscoe having been killed by her lover, who is none other than Stanley Stubbers. Mixed in with these chaotic events is Pauline Clench who was originally meant to marry Roscoe but is now set to elope with over-the-top amateur actor Alan Dangle. The play includes two extended passages of improvisation where audience members are recruited into the play.

The play premiered at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre; Nicholas Hytner directed James Corden in the starring role of Francis Henshall, with associate director Cal McCrystal responsible for the physical comedy. The play contains songs written by and performed by "The Craze", in a "skiffle band" style, led by Grant Olding. The music is written and composed by Grant Olding.

Cast: shown in photos below from the website for NTLive

  • James Corden as Francis Henshall
  • Oliver Chris as Stanley Stubbers
  • Tom Edden as Alfie
  • Jemima Rooper as Rachel Crabbe
  • Suzie Toase as Dolly
  • Fred Ridgeway as Charlie Clench
  • Claire Lams as Pauline Clench
  • Daniel Rigby as Alan Dangle
  • Martyn Ellis as Harry Dangle
  • Trevor Laird as Lloyd Boateng
  • David Benson as Gareth
Francis Henshall-

Stanley Stubbers-

Roscoe/Rachel Crabbe

Henshall and Dolly

Pauline Clench and Alan Dangle

Stanley and Rachel -


Lloyd with Henshall-

the band-

Pauline - Rachel - Dolly in a musical interlude-

some of the physical comedy- the pinnacle of which was a fight with himself - literally! LOL

so many many laughs and there is still a chance to see it at the Siskel Theater 7/3 and also the Music Box 6/25 and at Northwestern 8/2....

next up the Chaine dinner from the night before!