1.15 – 3.30 pm: Lunch at Eleven Madison Park with Keith and Ben; it’s my second time here in a month, and I’m excited to eat. We decide to do the three-course prix fixe for $42.00. After an amuse bouche of gougères, sashimi and cucumber panna cotta, I order the chicken velouté with veal sweetbreads and black truffles, the linguine with Alaskan king crab and Meyer lemon, and the bone marrow crusted beef tenderloin with saffron onions and braised shallots (for $15.00 extra). Try bites of Ben’s scallop with celery, more Meyer lemon and black truffles, as well as the poached pear and the savoy cabbage that accompanies his boudin blanc — though neither of us can remember what it is until Ben texts me afterwards. Also sample Keith’s slow-poached egg with Parmigiano-Reggiano and mushrooms, his ricotta gnocchi with artichokes and bacon, and his suckling pig confit. Ben tries to get me to eat some of his salad of heirloom beets with chèvre frais, rye crumbs and edible flowers but I’ve had this dish before so instead I order a non-alcoholic cocktail called “Up the Alley” that is so good I promptly get a second. We’re too full for dessert but we make room for the two plates of macarons we are given anyway; Ben and I share a caramel-popcorn and a rosemary-pistachio, but after that I eat my own sesame and chocolate-quince.
4.45 – 5.30 pm: Cinnamon-spiced apple cider at the Grey Dog.
7.10 pm: Bowl of pilaf standing up in the kitchen while my parents eat dinner and watch Jeopardy!
7.59 pm: Handful of dried mangoes, which my dad has always fed to the dog, who stares unblinkingly at me — and indignantly huffing — until I share.