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Lunch at Rover’s

January 24, 2009 1 comment

rautureau

We had lunch at Rover’s yesterday. Rover’s, as many of you know, is one of Seattle’s most famous restaurants. Here is how the restaurant describes itself at its website:

During a visit to see friends in Seattle, Thierry Rautureau, known as the Chef in the Hat due to his ever-present fedora, dined at Rover’s and discovered the restaurant was for sale. Charmed by the converted house tucked away in a private courtyard, and inspired by the ingredients found in the Pacific Northwest, Rautureau moved to Seattle and opened Rover’s in August 1987. Chef Rautureau’s vision is a warm, comfortable dining environment, similar to dining at a friend’s house. Rover’s is dedicated to professional service, exquisite wine and food, and an intimate environment.

One might think we eat at Rover’s regularly. After all, it is one of Seattle’s finest restaurants, and it is by far the closest to us of any of Seattle’s great restaurants (1.3 miles away). But in fact we had never eaten there before yesterday. They serve dinner five nights a week, offering an eight-course menu, a five-course menu, and a five-course vegetarian menu. (Current prices, according to the sample on-line menu, are $130, $95, and $80.) The main reason I haven’t been eager to eat there is that, with this fixed menu, I wasn’t too keen to have three or four courses consisting of foods I’m not fond of eating. Sweetbreads, caviar, oysters. I know this is my loss. I’m not proud of it. But why would I want to pay a lot of money to be served food I don’t wish to eat?

Lunch is a recent development. They serve lunch Fridays only, offering a three-course menu. One can also order à la carte (as one can do now for dinner as well), which mostly means ordering items from the regular menu and paying more. But at least with three courses, there will be at most three items I don’t like to eat. Not five. Or eight.
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Categories: Food, Restaurants

Unaccustomed Earth

January 24, 2009 Leave a comment
Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

Just five days ago, I wrote about my cultural activities for the day — seeing the movie Slumdog Millionaire, reading the first story of Jhumpa Lahiri’s recent short story collection Unaccustomed Earth, and watching the TV show 24. I thought I might put the book aside temporarily in favor of some other reading, but to my surprise, I’ve continued to read it. I’ve now read five of its eight stories. (These five, which are independent of each other, form Part One. The three remaining stories, Part II, are about the same pair of characters.) Even though I have more to read, I’m taking a moment to write about some of my thoughts to this point.
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Categories: Books

Nantucket Again

January 24, 2009 Leave a comment
Wauwinet Inn

Wauwinet Inn

For the last three years, we have gone to Nantucket on Labor Day. The nascent tradition (described in one of my earliest blog posts) started when we helped Joel move into housing in Boston in 2006 before his first semester at Northeastern. We flew down to Nantucket once he was settled, returning to Boston three days later to spend a little more time with him before flying back to Seattle. We discovered that three days wasn’t enough time, so the last two years, after spending Labor Day weekend helping Joel move to different apartments, we’ve headed down to Nantucket on Labor Day and stayed until Friday. Each year, we have come back to Seattle thinking that even four days isn’t enough, or a week, or a month. We want to live there. This spell seems to last about two months. By Thanksgiving anyway, I’m no longer talking about moving there and starting a restaurant. But now I’m getting excited all over again, because yesterday I called the Wauwinet Inn, where we always stay, and confirmed our reservation for Room 302 from Labor Day through the following Friday. Joel may not be at Northeastern this time around. He may be studying in France, or preparing to go there. We may find that Labor Day week isn’t a good time to return to Nantucket. There’s time to figure that out. But for now, we’re ready.
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Categories: Food, Travel

In Memoriam: Peter Sofie

January 24, 2009 1 comment

peter

Two Sundays ago, when Jessica was in San Diego, Gail and I went over to her condo to spend some time with her cat, Peter. By the time Gail managed to find the right key and get the door open, he was at the foot of the door waiting to see who was coming in. He was also breathing loudly, and with seeming difficulty. We spent an hour with him, as he alternately sat in the couch with us or walked around. At times, his breathing would be less audible, but then the sound would return. Between that and his runny nose, we (and Jessica) assumed he had a bad cold. Jessica returned the next day, her birthday, and the vet came two days later to check on Peter. The diagnosis was a shock. There was something in his head blocking his breathing passages: an infection or a tumor, probably a tumor. Peter spent the last 10 days on antibiotics, but didn’t improve. Today the vet returned. Late this morning, with Jessica holding Peter and Gail providing support, Peter died.

Peter showed up as a kitten at Gail’s parents’ house in Ballard about eight years ago. Gail’s brother Gary lived with their parents at the time and began to feed him. Soon he moved in. A lot would change in the next few years. Gail’s father died, Gary moved out, Gail’s mother’s health declined, Jessica moved in to live with and care for her, and then in July 2006 she (Gail’s mother) moved to an Alzheimer’s home. Two months later, Jessica and Peter moved into the condo, where he quickly adjusted to smaller living quarters and a 9th floor view. He was a good cat and a wonderful companion to Jessica. He will be missed.

Categories: Animals, Family