Tonight, Mike and I had a little bit of a "dinner adventure". Mike went into the city today to go gaming while I stayed home and worked on some website graphics and watched TV. I needed a day to just relax and veggie out. There is a part of me that wants to go and game, but for some reason, there's not much appealing about board gaming in that tiny room at Compleat Strategist. I want to roleplay. Play a one-shot Call of Cthulhu game.. or an In Nomine game. Boardgaming sounds cool, but I want it to be with the right crowd. Like my friends from Chambana (like Jim and Tori... I miss those two so badly). People I can chat with, be friendly with in a friend-sorta way and not in a gamer-sorta way. Does that make sense?
So, he went into the city while I stayed home and worked on web material and slept. I worked on finalizing a design for the new Illumine project. I'm finished with the general look of it and I've found coming up with genuine-appearing marble really difficult. Late this evening, Ginkgo sent me some marble-ish samples and I'm going to try to apply some of them to the design. We'll see how that all goes and I'll make sure to alert you when the site is finally up.
Back to dinner story. Mike and I had to meet in the city sometime between 5 and 6, but I got majorly distracted working on my online projects that I didn't get out of the house until after 6pm. Ugh. I am perennially late and I really dislike it.. but Mike correctly observes that I have a tendancy to forget how long it takes to do something. I assume that some things take no time. Like, travelling to the bank on my way somewhere. It takes 20 or so minutes (without traffic) to drive into the city and I allow that much time to go to the city, forgetting that it will take about 5 to 10 minutes out of my way to go get money from the bank.
Another nasty habit I have to get rid of.
I picked up Mike in front of my work and we drove to a nearby parking lot (Two hours for $8. Totally cheap! The place down the block would have cost me near to $20 for the same two hours). We walked over to Naples 45 and I chatted about the various dishes they had.
It was closed.
I stood there, slack-jawed. How could it be closed?! It's 7pm on a Saturday evening! This is prime dinner time! How could it be closed? I stood there, thinking for a moment. It dawned on me that the streets of Midtown East have been frighteningly empty. No one on the streets. None of the stores were open. No taxis driving around. The traffic was almost non-existant. It didn't feel like Manhattan. I guess Midtown East is a busy workplace area but not much of a tourist attraction. That was reserved for Midtown West and the Broadway district. No workers. No stores open. No business. Thus, no restaurants open. I started biting my nails thinking of where we could go.
Grand Central Station's Oyster Bar! They were probably open and they serve things other than oysters. I dragged Mike to there, making our way into the basement of Grand Central Station.
That was closed too.
I felt like I was in some kind of Twilight Zone episode.
I was about to suggest that we drive down to the village and see if we can get a seat in that cute English teahouse that we visited a few months earlier. Then, the lightbulb went off in my head.
Yes, Domingo's as in Placido Domingo's. It's the restaurant that he opened in the city. The food is spanish and the music they pipe in is constant Placido. I ate there several months ago with my coworkers and it was absolutely delicious. Well, the appetizers were delicious. We kept ordering appetizers instead of each of us ordering a dish. A great way of sampling in a really expensive restaurant. I'm sure it would be open since it doesn't cater to the working crowd (which Naples 45 does). We started walking up 3rd Avenue, since I wasn't exactly sure where it was located, although I knew it was off 3rd Avenue.
46th street. "I'm sure it's a block. Maybe two more up. It's on the corner. Almost."
47th street. "Err.. one more block."
48th street. "Uhhh.. it's around here somewhere." Mike started to look irritated. I'm sure he was hungry: he was prepared to eat around 6:30 and it was 7:30 by this time.
49th street. "Eileene, are you sure you didn't miss it?" "Yes. See that green building. I think it's right there on that street." "I thought you said it was on the corner." "Yeah, almost on the corner." He laughs. "Either it's on the corner or it's not, pumpkin." "I said almost." "Sure. It's on the corner. [almost]" "Yeah!" "I'll give you a million dollars [someday]" "Pththt. Stop making fun of me. It's right there on the corner. Almost."
It was there. [whew!]. Mike took one look at the door, looked down at his jeans and tshirt and commented, "We're going to be underdressed." I dismissed his comment and boldly walked in.
There was hardly a wait and they rushed us to our seats. The table was right by the staircase and was less-than-ideal, but that could be because we really were underdressed. We decided to order appetizers (tapas) instead of ordering dishes, so that we could sample different things. There was one appetizer that cost $65 dollars. Mike actually tried to order it.
"Those baby greens sounds good." "Mike did you read the price on that thing?" I am the one concerned about the price, since I was paying for dinner. "Nope." He scanned down the menu. "Holy cow!" "I figure it's a typo or something." Wishful thinking. "No, I think it is $65. Look, they make it boldfaced just to make sure you know it costs that much." "Oh my. Let's not order that, shall we?" "No need to convince me."
We ended up ordering five appetizers that were all absolutely delicious (except the ravioli stuffed with wild mushrooms and bacon with a mushroom sauce, which was a bit too salty for both our palettes). The bread they had at the restaurant is constantly replenished, warm, and deliciously crusty on the outside but chewy on the inside. They served it with a soft herb butter that I loved, but Mike thought was a bit too vinegary for him. Dessert was fabulous. I had a warm chocolate fondant with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce. Mike got a strawberry filled pastry that wasn't as delicious as mine.
"Chocolate for desserts from now on for me!" he declared. "There tends to be more hits than misses with chocolate desserts over fruit. Chocolate with fruit is always a plus."
I sat back in my chair, completely stuffed and ready to pack it in and go home. I love that, the "I'm full and I can sleep now."-feeling that you get after a hearty meal. Mike walked me, a bit bleary-eyed and deliciously full, to the car and I drove home happy.
If you're ever in New York City, go visit Domingo's. Don't order the entrees. Just get the tapas. Your stomach will love you for it.