Saturday, September 10, 2011

birthday brunch at spqr


while i was finishing up at market this morning, i received a text message from sus that said "i'm up! i'm awake!". i chuckled out loud. we were scheduled to meet up for her bday brunch at spqr in about an hour. i picked spqr for a few reasons, i'd been wanting to try it since matthew accarrino took over, marcia reaffirmed that i should visit especially since it is close to my place, and speaking of close...it is also close to where sus is living as well....which means that she could sleep in and then basically roll out of bed to meet for brunch.

when i arrived at spqr for our brunch reservation, i was in for a surprise. sus was already there talking to someone that also works at the monthly monday night hapa ramen pop ups at bar tartine, it seems that this person also works at spqr.

my gawd, this is such a small teeny tiny world.

i've seen this person quite a bit at the hapa ramen pop ups and do think that they are very good at what they do. they have been the server for many tables i've been at for the hapa ramen pop ups. yes, i'm being deliberately obtuse and vague. the only folks i've named or described in this blog have been folks with a very public presence or because i've directly asked their permission to appear in this blog. it turned out that this person also became the server for our table at spqr.

needless to say, we received excellent service.

i really had no idea when i booked the reservation. i'm extremely glad that it turned out this way though. as it was sus' bday, it definitely helped make the outing lovely and special. we each ordered the prix fixe (2 courses) from the brunch menu in addition to some other things because we wanted to try as much as possible.

we had the chicken liver with strawberry jam and the grilled bread.....


when that arrived to the table, the aroma of the grilled bread was incredibly enticing. i was busily sniffing away when sus reminded me that we were sitting in prime picture taking light. isn't that funny? this kind of thing actually happens a lot....where friends i'm eating with and know that i am "foodie hunter" ask if i wanna take a picture or very strongly suggest that i do so. chortle.

next up was the crispy pig ears....which was one of my favorite tastes of the afternoon.....


i liked them quite a bit. the crispy fattiness coupled with the pickles. i also really loved the aesthetics of the slate. our next dishes included the salt cod croquette....


i should also take a moment to say a couple of things about the beverages..... i was also enjoying my glass of red wine...which i don't remember what it was. given that shelley lindgren is the owner and wine director, i had full confidence in the wine list. i asked our talented server to bring me a glass of whatever would be good with what we ordered. the server asked a couple of very good specific qualifying flavor palate questions and brought me a lovely glass that paired very well with what we were eating. also, i had a sip of sus' elderflower mimosa...which i must say was very yummy as well.

anyway, back to the food......so we also had the buckwheat spaghetti with suckling pig ragu.


one of the things i thought that was particularly interesting about this dish was the greens. as you ate them, there was a spiciness to them....the kind of bite and spiciness that clears the sinuses a bit...an unexpected yet appropriate touch....a way to cut through some of the richness of the dish.

then there was a dish of baked eggs with sausage and polenta.....


which i honestly don't know what the name of it was. it was something that sus ordered. then we had our first dessert of the salted caramel ice cream from mr. and mrs. miscellaneous.


after the first bite, i totally understand why people like their ice cream. i totally get why people have told me to try their ice cream.....even complete strangers. this......was very very good. despite being quite full, the ice cream did not stay very long in the bowl.

our second dessert was a muscat wine. my goodness was that delicious as well. i don't know what the name of it was because it was something chosen by the server.



unsurprisingly, after the bill was settled up.....



we were in buzzing along in a very good mood and decided to do some shopping on fillmore. after we did some shopping, we headed to jane for some caffeine....since we both like four barrel coffee and jane serves it.

when we arrived at jane, i broke out in utter giggle fits because there was this dog that was larger than me just outside the doorway. i'm not kidding. this was a big doggie. sus (aka susanna ok) took this picture.


someone from citizen cake was taking a break and let us know that the dog's name was charlie. sus thinks the dog is probably famous and i have a feeling she's right. this doggie was incredibly sweet as well. of course i pet the dog. a couple of times. such a sweetheart. sigh. it made me miss hector.

anyway, we pretty much ended the bday brunch adventure over a couple of cappuccinos.


the jane folks were super nice as usual. it was just what i needed as a pick me up from being so full and enabled me to dive head first into a project when i returned home. today was a pretty productive day........good finds at market, lovely time hanging out w/sus, and extremely productive work-wise. it was quite a nice balanced day actually....now that i look a back on it.

well, methinks i'm going to end my well balanced day with bath, book, and bed.

nite everyone.

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