Friday 10 July
We had tickets to see "Morning Star," the new opera about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, to celebrate Barbara's birthday (it's sort of a family thing). Best to choose a restaurant within walking distance of the venue, so we headed back to our special-occasion and early-opening favorite, Salazar.
It's a tradition to order a bottle of sparkler, and this time it was a nice Cava, which also went very well with our superb and artistic starters.
They were veal sweetbreads with roasted varicolored carrots, grilled onion jam, pistachio pesto, and coffee cream; and smoky-flavored Spanish octopus escabeche, with duck fat confit potatoes, preserved lemon, olives, and squid-ink aioli dots that looked just like the black olives until you dipped into them.
One main was a clever take on the ideal Jewish lox and bagels: tender rare salmon with an "everything" crust of sesame seeds, with cream cheese dumplings, bagel chips, pickled caperberries and fresno chile shreds, on a slash of dill sauce.
The other was a nice gamy Kentucky lamb loin on a bed of (surprisingly flavorful, if you remember the old days of Moosewood) wheatberries, served with baby turnips, pickled pepper romesco sauce, and marcona almonds. You need a red for meat this strong, so we ordered a glass of Temperanillo, Anciano "Reserva" from Valdepenas, and it was perfect.
Of course, there must be dessert, and since they knew it was Barbara's birthday, her Asian pear ricotta tart with almond meringue came with a candle. Holt's ice cream sandwich, made with fudge cookies, caramel ice cream, pralined pecans and toasted coconut, did not, but it did come with a sharp knife, for splitting.
As for the opera, it had excellent singing and staging, nice if unmemorable music, and a bad-doggerel libretto. But Salazar shone out, and made the evening.