1. i would be working long hours, sometimes late into the night or on weekends and it would be better to live closer/by subway rather than take the 1 hour bus from Port Authority back to my parents' home in NJ.
2. even if i wasn't working long hours, my job does frequent work happy hours and events which i will be expected to attend and then refer to Point 1 again.
i planned on moving to NY anyway, regardless of whether these arguments convinced her or not. but it was nice to try and appease her "empty-nest" spirit with some logic and rational. and i wasn't lying about it either. although my hours haven't been as crazy as perceived (only once in a blue moon) and the social events aren't as frequent as i thought it might be.
however, my firm does participate in a lot of fundraisers and marathon-related activities. and even if i don't participate in the exercise part of it, i still get to attend the food/drinks part of it. yippee! and so it was that because of 1 such work function, i found myself at an event held at the Jones Wood Foundry. which sounds more like a foundation than a bar. ah, the british and their fancy words.
a few weeks later i found myself meeting JCrew for dinner at the Toucan and the Lion for a our usual arrangement (which is that i get to pick a restaurant i've wanted to try and JCrew pays for it. i've known JCrew since high school and he's like an American version of an oppa). this is a small, trendy spot in the East Village, so i wouldn't recommend it for a large group gathering. it has dim enough lighting to be good for a date, but due to the small size of the restaurant, it's not very intimate as youarethisclose to the table next to you. so it's probably best to just go with a friend or 2 for a casual dinner. JCrew and i decided neither of us were too hungry, so we would just share a few items.
one interesting thing about this restaurant. JCrew and i were looking over the menu and hadn't decided if we wanted to order any entrees/mains but knew we wanted some appetizers. so we proceeded to put in our appetizer orders with the idea that we would either add to it or order mains when the waitress came back. except we weren't allowed to do that. apparently the chef doesn't allow customers to order like that. you have to order everything at one time. it's a little bit of an odd practice, i mean i'm not ordering a prix fixe, but it's not something i can't live with.
JCrew is another of my dining partners who lets me run the show when it comes to ordering. i'm so blessed to have these friends in my life. so we ordered the following:
1. Duck Confit Mofongo ($14): crispy taro root, chinese sausage, salsa verde and a fried egg. this ended up being one of JCrew's favorite dishes of the night. this is a great combination of flavors and texture, with the egg yolk and salsa verde keeping the sausage moist. the "crispy" taro root isn't actually that crispy but it lends a sweetness to the dish that balances everything out.
3. Beef Short Rib Tacos ($14): aromatic dried curry, queso fresco, pickled shallot. this was another of JCrew's favorites of the night. the beef short rib was done well, and the accoutrements helped the taco feel refreshing as opposed to overly-spiced or overwhelming. a good taco, but you can probably tell i'm not pining for it in retrospect.
4. Asparagus ($6): honestly, we ordered this only to get some vegetable/healthy option on the table. but it was surprisingly good. a well-cooked asparagus that retained its crispness with a light dressing of a mayo-based sauce that didn't overwhelm the innate veggie taste.
and of course, as related to the title of this post, we ordered the Scotch Eggs ($12) which the Toucan and the Lion does a little bit differently than the british version. they use a soft-boiled egg with five-spice duck sausage served with kaffir lime aioli. duck sausage?!?! mind-blown. although i thoroughly enjoyed it, JCrew was less of a fan and i've read other reviews that agree with him. i think it's partly due to the gaminess of the duck sausage, which has never been a problem for me. but then again, i eat a lot of weird animals/parts.