More and more I am coming to realize the best gifts are experiences--giving your loved one(s) an experience they couldn't have on their own. Sometimes that means taking someone to an out of the way restaurant, sometimes to your house in the country--providing them with respite from urban life. Sometimes it's taking your friend, a mother of two, out to dinner in the West Village, sans kids, but avec martinis.
Last Sunday, Laurie and I tried to eat at the Little Owl, but were boxed out by an eternal wait. We ended up instead at Blue Ribbon Bakery, where we accommodated her food allergies (though she missed out on their bread basket--a highlight of a meal there), and ate like kings. Marinated artichoke hearts, bone marrow, endive salad and duck confit. Everything was delicious, as it always is, and service was pleasant and generous. If I lived around the corner, I'd eat there a whole lot more.
And now, Laurie owes me an experience. She's got six months to cook something up. Tag, Laur, you're it.