Today is Friday and that means that I don't have to cook. The rule (that I decided upon and promptly put into practice) is that if I cook all week, we get to go out to dinner or (if I'm feeling really lazy or tired) order takeout on the weekends. It doesn't have to be fancy or anything, just as long as we're out. Actually...that's not true...it kind of DOES have to be fancy. I guess you can say I'm a bit of a restaurant snob. Routinely, Andrew and I will email each other on a Friday and be like, "where should we go to dinner tonight?" It usually depends on who asks first, but if I ask him, he will say Lee's Chicken Shack. If he asks me, I will say something like Mezzanine (a nicer restaurant in our town with an extensive wine list). Its not like I have a problem eating chicken from Lee's, its just that I have a problem actually GOING there on a Friday, instead of, say, somewhere nice.
It's the same for workday lunches and bars as well. A couple of years ago, I worked for Circuit City's corporate headquarters (in case you've been living under a rock, the company has, sadly, since went out of business). I'd pretty much go to lunch with the same group of friends every day, and we'd ALWAYS have a debate about where to go. I never had any suggestions except that it had to be somewhere that had waiters/waitresses. They'd be like, "geez Ann, you are such a brat", but secretly I know they liked it. If you're going to take the time to go out to lunch and enjoy time with your friends/co-workers, shouldn't it be somewhere better than Subway, where you can focus on gossiping about your boss instead of standing in line and watching someone with rubber gloves make your lunch on an assembly line? Answer: yes, it is always better to be served than have an assembly line lunch.
Its the same for bars. I used to LOVE going to bars. And now I look back and am like, what was I thinking? I actually used to pay (a lot of) money to go somewhere and have strangers push me and invade my personal space while I fought 30 other strangers for a glimpse of a bartender's attention to get an $8 drink. There is nothing about that scenario that feels fun to me anymore. My idea of a good time is sitting at a table with people I actually know (and presumably like) and having someone BRING me dinner and as many $8 drinks as strikes my fancy and then be at my beck and call for anything else I might want.
And just to be clear? I waited tables for several years earlier in my life and I know its very hard work and that sometimes you want to punch your customers in the face, even if they are very nice and very good tippers. I am a good tipper, if I do say so myself, and in case you're ever my waitress, I always tip at least 20%, but if you are Johnny-on-the-Spot about bringing me my dinner and $8 drinks, I've been known to up the ante significantly.
Anywho, if you are in Richmond...we went to Pescado's in Oregon Hill tonight. It was awesome and worth every penny. Arepas to share, a bottle of Cab to share, enchiladas for Andrew, crab cakes for me, and banana cheesecake for dessert. Pure bliss. And totally better than Lee's chicken.
And now for Thursday's dinner. Chicken recipe is below, but I must comment on the sauteed polenta that doesn't really have a recipe. I bought one of those pre-made polenta rolls and just cut it up and sauteed it in a pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper. The kicker is that right before serving, you drizzle it with some white truffle oil. BAM! Nothing better (or more fattening) than that. I am pretty sure that truffle oil costs like $15 a bottle, but its worth it. It automatically makes anything taste fancy. And since I am into fancy....
Grilled Rosemary Chicken Thighs
2 garlic cloves, minced
Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
Combine the garlic, oil, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt, and rosemary in a large ziploc bag. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Allow to marinate chilled for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.
Prepare a charcoal grill. Grill chicken thighs 3-4 minutes per side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165. (Its too cold to grill, so I broiled these, about 6 minutes per side.)Remove from grill and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to rest 10 minutes, to reabsorb the juices.