Jacksonville, Funida

It has been nearly three weeks and I never wrote about my trip to Florida. Well, about three weeks ago I went to Florida. For a short week. To celebrate my mothers 60th birthday. This is the first time I had been out there since my mother moved there about a-year-and-a-half ago. It was a great trip that mostly involved tons and tons of beach time. Mostly large wave beach time that was perfect for body surfing and boogie boarding in. We had a great sushi dinner for my mom’s birthday. There was tons of drinking going on all weekend, and plenty of fun was had by all. More fun than I am aloud to talk about on this blog. Which also made things very interesting. Downers included the loss of my wallet and an unexpected overnight stay in a very dumpy hotel in Atlanta. But this is how I roll.

BIG Candle

Old Man And The Sea

Beach

Surfs Up

Star Crossed Lovers

When I made the reservation for eight of us at Cafe Star, it sounded like they might have trouble tabling that many people on a Friday, they took the reservation anyway. When I arrived with only two others they seated us immediately not once asking when the rest of the party will arrive. They quickly took our drink orders and we had full glasses of delicious Cheapskate Cabernet and a bottle of bubbling Vino Verde (not Prosecco) waiting for everyone when they showed. When the other six people arrived, they accommodated our extra arrival without rancor and quickly had another place set before she even reached the table. Our waitress, the dear Andrea, whom I had already fell head over heels for, answered all of our questions patiently and knowledgably. And trust me, we bombarded her with questions about everything on the menu! My wine glass was never empty, nobody attempted to take my plate before I was done (a common occurrence with a slow eater like me), we were rarely bothered during our meals, and wholly taken care of. On top of all that, Andrea didn’t include gratuity in the bill, she knew full well that her performance would do the correct math. Amazing! Was there really this kind of service in a Denver restaurant? How completely refreshing. If this meal were based solely on service it would have been incredible.

Instead, Rebecca Weitzman, made Cafe Star top itself with menu that continues to amaze me. The menu changes to evolve with the season’s freshest produce and meats. Our table started off our meal with three flatbread pizzettas appetizers, all of which were unique and flavorful. We worked the kitchen over by each ordering a unique dish (doubling up on only one plate) and every one of them was delicious. Portions seem small at first glance but are rich and intense with unique flavors. Our buffalo steak was returned because it was a little undercooked, but it came out three minutes later seared to perfection and was promptly devoured. I ordered the lamb which was heaven on a plate and a perfectly sized portion for such a rich cut of meat. There was no problem finding dishes for the vegetarians in our party (and not just pasta with vegetables) though the pressed eggplant was probably the only dish not to my liking. In my opinion the best dish on the table was the lobster-and-rock-shrimp pot pie riddled with tarragon, as comforting as comfort food gets, yet as luxurious as anything. My girlfriend ordered the crisp gnocchi with truffle oil and escargot, which I finished without question. Don’t miss the soft-sweet beets with pistachio-crusted goat cheese or the crab-filled potato ravioli with white truffle sauce. The desserts were good too, though no match for the entrees. You won’t be disappointed with the Chocolate and Chili Pot d’Creme.

Cafe Star is hip, without attitude. Somehow, the entire room feels like both a trendy hot spot and low-key neighborhood hangout. It’s colorful and creative. Flavored and textured.

Now if there were only more restaurants in this town on the same level of excellence as Cafe Star. Have any ideas?

Modernization

It’s been an eventful week. I’ve been up to a lot but don’t really feel like writing about any of it so I’ll just type out some quick highlights. Thursday evening was spent having cocktails in the old neighborhood – it was great for that reminiscing part of my brain. Later we headed over to the Oriental Theater (nice blog, great venue) for this “420” thing that was a bit of a dud, but a decent cause.

Friday was rough but after work I rallied and met friends over at the Funky Buddha for a bit and then went home to watch movies.

Slept in Saturday and did tons of yard work (hmmm I guess that’s not a highlight). I then went off to a birthday party at Ogden Street South. It was a complete blast. Highlights include karaoke and the soon to be infamous “Nobody calls her that you fucking bitch!” episode. I’m beginning to determine that me and karaoke don’t mix well.

Sunday consisted of a 24 hour long headache (not hangover induced), another birthday celebration at the West End Tavern, and some serious couch time.

What It’s all About


G’s Birthday Cake, Denver

Friday was all about holding babies and eating greasy hamburgers from the Candlelight.

Saturday was all about cleaning the house (pre party), seeing my old friend Crazy Dr. Pete on a surprise visit from Seattle, G’s 30th birthday party, and whooping it up.

Sunday was all about cleaning the house (post party), a quick trip to the mall, a meal with new friends (cabbage rolls but they had a funny name) and sleeping on the couch.

The last three sentences were all about this past weekend.

Spilt Milk

Did you know that Frank Black broke up the Pixies via a fax? That’s fucking brilliant. I wish I broke up with my exes via a fax. Why didn’t I think of that. Oh yeah, cause I always the one getting dumped.

The Pixies show last night pretty much kicked ass. Watching a show at Magnus Arena is pretty much like watching a show in a large tin box, thus, it’s like listening to a show in a large tin box. Sound quality left something to be desired. I saw Jane’s Addiction there before and didn’t notice the sound, but it was Jane’s addiction, and it was Halloween, and it was my birthday – I probably didn’t notice much of anything. Despite being inside a giant Altoids container the sound was decent. It was loud. Just like it should be. And they Pixies put on one hell of a rocking show (or rawking is how I think the kids are spelling it these days).

They must have played for about an hour and a half and played 20+ songs. I don’t have a set list but I knew most of the songs they played. Apparently they played everything everybody wanted to hear. But Tony’s Theme. Honestly I wasn’t that familiar with the Pixies before this summer so I feel like I’ve really been invited to sit at the same table as the cool kids now. God I hope I don’t spill my milk.