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Feature - Hiking for Labyrinths



This year was rather crowded. I would say unusually, but as I review previous yearís reviews, I see it varies. In my head, February Gaskellís is always sparse, but I see that some years it is.

 Really, I think its mainly that its always been one of my favorite Gaskells. Thereís no big costume exhaustion like in October. Itís not Christmas rush. Itís just this light thing. You go and you dance.

 This year standouts were a very silly Congress of Vienna, one waltz so slow and a minor key I felt like I should be in 1930s depression Germany, dissolute with smoke and fractured languor, and a quite pleasant Sir Roger. Most of my regular chats werenít there and so it was an evening of introspection. I realized that Iíve been doing this for about 10 years. There are dancers there who werenít even in high school when I first twirled.

 Itís been an interesting ten years, hereís to the next.



When did Wondercon grow up? Comicon's baby brother had much to offer this year with big name visitors, like Joss Whedon (well, he's big name to me), with an excellent dealer room.

Valentine's Day Dinner


Grand Cafe
Ah, Valentines, an excuse to dress up and have a fabulous meal.

This year for Valentines, Karen and I went to the Grand Cafť off Union Square. The ambiance was incredible. Golden pillars and deco French. We wore our corsets and carried matching purses. This had the added benefit of controlling consumption.

We started off with some cocktails. Karen has a tart Key Lime, while I had a soft and sweet Peche.

We started our meal with a piping hot fresh baguette with an olive tampanaide that was sultry sweet.

With our meal, we had a Languedoc 2000. Spicy almost menthol flavors. Snaps of pepper throughout. This wide rolled in wide on the tongue and broadens out into the plains. Really opened up after a few minutes.

We then shared an appetizer of Green Bean Ginger Crab, which was incredibly clean and clear tasting. The green beans (and Iím no veggie fan) were delicious with not a hint of bitter.

We then indulged in our love of fatty salt. We had a Pork turriene that tasted like salty smoke. The foie gras was like eating silk. The house pate, was a bit strong, really a salty mustard, a bit Dijon, but good with the bread.

I had duck in a chocolate port sauce Ė incredibly rich, tangy, sweet, lingering on the palate.

Karen had pork tender rack with prosciutto nicely served with mushroom ragout and crisp tatter roubnds.

We finished out the meal with a delicious pineapple tarte tartin with a tangy glaze.

A wonderfully delicious meal.



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