And, no, I’m not talking about my own ideal of romance. I’m referring to the fantastic kick off to my February break. Friday night could not have been better – my date and I attended Ric Orlando’s Lover’s dinner hosted at Lower Landing, in Coxsackie and enjoyed every moment of our evening.
Many years ago I worked in Coxsackie, but I had never been to this particular space before. Honestly, between the dark and our approach from the south, rather than the more-familiar-to-me north, I wasn’t completely certain of where we were in relation to the Hudson. It didn’t really matter, though. All the necessary components for an evening out were in place – companion, food, wine and atmosphere each present in abundance.
I was remiss in documenting the entire meal, but I can say with enthusiasm, that our dinner, served in 5 courses, was truly outstanding. From the opener of the oysters served as a three way (ménage a trois, peut être?) to the delightful fried artichokes served with a bright aioli and briny capers and the most simple salad of thick stalks of asparagus and perfectly cooked and chilled shrimp, I felt absolutely transported.
It couldn’t have been a coincidence that each of those courses evoked time I’ve spent somewhere beyond the Capital Region, could it? Places like Wellfleet and Rome and Germany’s Black Forest in early spring. It really was the most lovely sensation of being stimulated, yet completely comfortable and at ease. Ahhhh.
The duck entree was a reminder of why all other birds pale in comparison and the two bite macarons were a revelation to someone who generally scoffs at preciousness. That would be me, by the way. Start to finish, it was an excellent meal.
The next night couldn’t have been more different. Instead of a silky animal print, I wore a moth eaten cashmere duster generously sprinkled with dog fur. There was no gazing across the table, glass with pink bubbles at hand on Saturday evening, as there had been the previous evening.
It’s safe to say it was definitely not quite as glamorous.
There was no candlelight or stemware as I sat on the couch doing my best to figure out how to “Cast” the concert to which I had purchased access, The Allman Family Revival live from Nashville’s Ryman. It didn’t work as seamlessly as I had hoped, but, when it did function correctly it was great. Experiencing live music, hearing songs from the 70s on my fancy new television, was far more pleasant than I had dared to anticipate, tech glitches aside.
Sunday started with gently heated, yeasty cinnamon rolls and a virtual yoga class before noon, followed by a drive to the new Make It Upstate Market. FYI: the parking lot appeared misleadingly full compared to the actual comfortable density of producers and consumers inside the former Price Chopper in Lansingburgh.
While I didn’t go to the market with any intention, I was really happy with the variety of items for sale. I scored 3 goat’s milk soaps for less than $20 and a pair of earrings which are destined to be my latest accessory obsession. The light as air hoops were made by Katie Nare and I’m seriously in love with them.
All in all, it was a weekend filled with things and, more importantly, moments to love.