It is a sunny Saturday! I have a busy one ahead; doing a few hours of work on some of the projects that we didn’t finish this past week, then heading to volunteer at the MSPCA, spending some time tidying the casa, and ending up at friend’s house for some of her Barcelona cooking and wine :) Good day ahead, and I know I am looking forward to a lazy one tomorrow (with a Bin Ends fine wine flea market thrown in!).
Yesterday was a bit of a nightmare at work. I didn’t reach some of my deadlines for reasons totally beyond my control. At 5, there was no more I could really do, so I shook it off and went shoe shopping! Photos will follow, but I bought some great Adidas pink and gray runners and gorgeous silver Bandolino sandals. There is just something about shoe shopping that picks me up!
The hub and I decided earlier in the week that we needed a date night, so we met on South Street in Boston’s “Leather District”at a wine bar called Les Zygomates. Les Zyg, as we call it, is half really cool bar/raw bar with black and white subway tiled floor and half really comfy, beautiful dining space. We had an early reservation, and we were brought right to a table for two in a far off corner, overlooking the street. It was so nice to be tucked away, out of sight from most of the dining room so that we could catch up and unwind.
My first choice for bevvies was an Italian sparkler from the raw bar menu:
Lini Oreste & Figli, Lambrusco Bianco, Emilia-Romagna
That’s right—a white, DRY, sparkling Lambrusco. Lots of strawberry, citrus fruit, but also a dry chalky sensation on the palate. Great accompaniment to shellfish.
I wanted something to complement oysters because I was craving them big time, and I knew Les Zyg had an amazing raw bar. The hub and I shared 6 oysters, 3 Malpeques and 3 Duxbury, MA. Normally I am a Wellfleets girl all the way, but I also love all things PEI (someday I will tell you about my love of Anne of Green Gables and my trek up to PEI, lovely!). Both types of oysters were delicious, accompanied by the refreshingly bubbly wine and some warm baguette with a creamy “not from around here” tasting butter.
Our server, Rebecca, was fabulous. She brought us our drinks and oysters, then stayed away for awhile, though we saw her check on us from afar several times. When she came to take our next order, we decided to have a few small dishes. I ordered the gazpacho and the hub ordered the French onion soup.
Both soups were divine. Mine was exactly what I hoped for, cool, lush, tangy, and fresh. The hub thinks gazpacho is like eating a bowl of salsa. While I could totally eat a bowl of salsa, this had the perfect crunch of cucumbers throughout to really give it that extra something special. His onion soup – oh my gosh- was so delicious! Some VERY caramelized onions really enriched the dark broth, and the cheesy, bread-y goodness at the top was just legendary.
Our next courses were to share:
Citrus Cured Salmon with Yukon Gold blini, creme fraiche, dressed frisee
PEI Mussels with Dijon mustard, white wine, shallots and tarragon
The salmon was like butter and could be cut with a spoon. The citrusy, slightly smoky flavor, accompanied by the rich crème fraiche, frisee, and the blini was the perfect combination of warm, cold, creamy, crunchy, and smooth. I am already trying to figure out a way to end up eating this for lunch today.
The mussels were so plump and cooked to perfection. Its always sad to receive overcooked mussels, but these were a delight. The tarragon in the broth really complemented the briny mussels, and one of the staff brought us another bit of baguette to soak up the sauce. Mmmm.
During dinner, I tried a Spanish white:
2007 Xarmant, Txakolina, Basque Region, Spain
Made from the Hondarribi Zuria grape North of Spain. The wine is dry, light and effervescent when it first opens. It has a fresh, tangy fruit and tight acidity which makes it a perfect pairing with mildly flavored oysters.
Spanish wine is so near and dear to my heart. I love it, and I loved trying this wine for the first time. It was truly the perfect summer’s evening wine, and it went REALLY well with the salmon.
As we were finishing, the Friday night jazz trio was setting up. Feeling totally relaxed and not at all rushed, we ordered espresso and some more wine. This time a glass of Moet for me. Slightly more expensive than the others, but I sipped it slowly and marveled at its yeasty, almost bread-like nose. The service and food were so wonderful. It was like the staff were able to read our stressed out faces and gave us the night we needed. We were at Les Zyg eating and drinking for almost 4 hours – does it get any better than a 4 hour dinner? Listening to live jazz, drinking Moet, and spending time with my husband without having to rush off anywhere = perfect.
I hope you all had a great Friday night as well! I should go now and do some work for my day job. Have a great day!