That's my sister. And that's an apron around her neck, because as of July, she's the new pastry chef at Gilt Bar!
I knew I wanted to do something fantastic to celebrate my 30th birthday, and supporting my sister's new endeavor with my best and closest seemed like the perfect thing. Adam and I endured quite a drive from home into the city on Saturday night, but in the end, it was well worth it.
The place is styled with lots of old wood, leather couches, interesting light fixtures, and even has a speakeasy-style bar in the basement.
The cocktails are definitely something to rave about. They're carefully mixed with interesting ingredients, and I most definitely enjoyed these two (at different times, mind you)
On the left, a "Corpse Reviver" featuring brokers gin, lillet blanc, cointreau, lemon, and absinthe. I also had one "Deaths Door Daisy", mixed with vodka, aperol, st. germain, and lemon. Let's just say that the first trip down the steep flight of stairs to the bathroom was a challenge...and don't even get me started on wrestling with my Spanx!
Then, the food started coming. We ordered some things, and my sister sent us some things, and everything was, in a word, fantastic.
Fresh cut french fries with garlic aoili
Fois Gras mousse with grain mustard and cornichon
White corn bread (apparently someone's grandma's recipe) with green garlic and goat butter
Fresh salad with market peaches and manchengo cheese
A (slightly blurry) roasted beet salad with cashews and cashew butter
A salad of thinly sliced root vegetables and a creamy vinaigrette (my favorite salad!)
There were so many entrees that came to the table that I really lost track as to what everyone ordered (I know, bad blogger!) However, I made darn sure to get pictures of what Adam and I ordered. There were so many things we wanted to try that we ordered two things and split them.
First was a house-made ricotta-stuffed gnocchi with brown butter and sage. I have never in all my gnocchi eating days enjoyed a gnocchi quite like this one. I don't know how they did it, and I'm not sure I want to know, but I do know that I'll be wanting these again soon.
We also ordered a chicken salad sandwich. It was on rustic bread with pea shoots, shaved asparagus, avocado, and a touch of lemon. Yep, definitely one of the best chicken salad sandwiches ever.
On the side we ordered creamed corn made from local corn, fresh cream, jalapeños, and fresh chives. I'll be attempting a healthier remake of this soon... it was, in Gina's words, face-rocking.
Then came the desserts. We were instructed from early in the night that we would not need to order dessert as Leigh would be sending us things she thought we'd like. Little did we know that it would be one (or more) of everything. I'm going to do my best to remember what everything was, but I can't promise I'll be accurate with the names. Leigh, if you can correct me, that would be fabulous! While the names won't be accurate, I can say one thing: each and every dessert was more interesting and better than the next. None of them were sickeningly sweet, and each had a perfect balance of flavor. All of these are her creations, and I couldn't be prouder of her!
Super-dark chocolate truffles
Handmade candies: Strawberry jelly candy, salted peanut caramels, nougat
Peach butter cake with creme fraiche
Chocolate peanut butter pudding with cocoa croutons
My official birthday cake: perfect carrot cake with cream cheese ice cream
Blackberry sundae with fresh berries, brown sugar crumble, and homemade ice cream
Cherry topped Financier (Chocolate-almond cake) with fresh ice cream
After we were all sufficiently stuffed, I opened my birthday gifts. I received many cupcake-themed gifts, some geek gifts, and some foodie gifts... Everyone was so generous and thoughtful! I'm truly lucky to have such wonderful people in my life! Thank you all for a wonderful celebration!
I did remember to get a few pictures with some of the guests in attendance!
Me and none other than Jenn!!
After dinner, which luxuriously lasted over 3 hours, Adam and I headed back towards the suburbs to spend a night in a deluxe hotel suite. It was so nice to be "away" to conclude my birthday celebration. We enjoyed a relaxing evening together, and it definitely felt like a vacation.
Thank you everyone, again, for making this birthday one of my most memorable! I'm truly grateful for each and every one of you!
I've loved hearing about your memorable birthdays on the Chavrie Contest Post, and I'll pick a winner for that contest on Friday, August 6.
I'll see you tomorrow night for a Wednesday in Numbers!