BootsnAll Travel Network

A Christmas Gift Brooklyn 2005

After rack of lamb marinated with fresh oregano, thyme, garlic and olive oil; tender gratin of baby spinach in a bechamel sauce with snow crab and east coast clams; brussel sprouts braised with bacon and deglazed with cream sherry; spaghetti squash with maple syrup, butter and cinnamon; tiny green beans with garlic and thyme; a salad with carmelized pears, shaved fresh fennel and a crumbled rare blue cheese; tiny boiled red potatoes bathed in herbs and olive oil…multiple bottles of wine and champagne, and finally Amy’s apple pie, the eight of us at Christmas dinner last night are still full this morning!

Josh and Amy arrived at our apartment Christmas morning loaded up with flowers, sacks of Christmas stocking stuffers, an “egg bake,” a family Christmas morning tradition in her family, and sacks of ingredients to be used for cooking the evening meal. This was in addition to the two huge boxes of food that Josh had ordered from and had delivered to the apartment the night before!

Josh and a friend of Josh’s from Eugene Oregon, Gabe, who is also a chef here in New York City and worked with Josh when he was at the Savoy, spent the entire day preparing an incredible dinner…Josh’s Christmas gift to Bob and me. Gabe brought pink roses and a malange of rare cheeses for an appetizer. Gabe’s mother, Bonny, in town for the holidays, joined us as did Gabe’s girlfriend who brought a huge tin of cookies baked by her mother. Later, another chef who worked with Josh at the Savoy and is originally from Bend Oregon and his wife, who was at the New England Culinary Institute with Josh, came by. We toasted Oregon with three Willamette Valley Pinot Noir wines, one of which was a highly respected St. Innocent…the winemaker, Mark Vlossak, formerly a Pediatric practitioner we knew in Salem.

Josh’s restaurant, Toqueville, also has a catering business. It is not unusual for Josh and selected wait staff to provide an in-home cooked dinner for a client…usually business-oriented…costing upwards of 10 to 30 thousand dollars for parties of 10-50 people…Josh often getting as much as a $1,000 tip. Josh is proud that clients often request him personally. Fancy expense accounts. And we are in pretty fancy company!

During the conversation, the “New Yorkers” started making fun of tourists who, emerging from underground subway exits, clog mid-town sidewalks and stumble along with eyes bugged skyward…while the locals frustratingly shoulder their way forward…always in a hurry. Gabe’s bright mom, who is one of Eugene’s city councilwomen had the perfect come-back. And what about those north-bound east coast tourists who clog up the freeways at 30 miles an hour gaping at snow-capped Mt. Hood or the RV’s backing up traffic on Oregon coastal highway 101! A good laugh then!

Twelve bottles of wine and champagne later we ended the meal with a delicious flaky apple pie Amy had baked that morning.

This was the first Christmas we have spent with Josh in the last ten years. And more Christmases than that since the whole family was together…and the first Christmas in three years that we have not spent in some foreign country alone. Thank you dear Josh! Now if only we could have had our other sons Greg, who is in Las Vegas, and Doug, who lives in Thailand, with us…

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.