After a healthy day's worth of studying I met up with Jenna, Amber, and Mike for my birthday dinner at the Stanton Social. Here's a picture of all of us looking good . . .
And here's a picture of me looking squinty while everyone else looks great . . .
After ordering the food I opened some presents. Like a Spider-Man Beach Towel from my mom. (No, Mom wasn't there, I just brought my birthday package along to dinner.)
And magazines from Amber.
The Stanton Social is one of these tapa-ish, small-dish food-sharing restaurants. Here Mike admires our Kobe Beef Sliders. Maybe next time I go to the Stanton Social I'll just order 10 of them and call that a dinner.
Starting on the left we've got our french onion soup dumplings (served in an escargot dish), in the background are the amazing tamarind glazed scallop and foie gras satays (yes, I'm reading the menu right now to make sure I get these names straight), and then, in the foreground getting forked, is the last bit of the warm piquillo peppers (or, as our waitress said, "If you like peppers stuffed with goat cheese, you will love these.")
There's the red snapper tacos (with fiery mango & avocado salsa), endive & mache salad, and "Essex Street Pickles from 'The Pickle Guy.'" For some reason, I didn't get a picture of the dry rubbed chipotle shrimp. Probably because we ate them too fast.
When the last item on the menu is "Essex Street Pickles from 'The Pickle Guy'", it's pretty hard not to order them. And then make lots of jokes about the Pickle Guy. Yet, the street pickles were one of the most generous plates we received. And Jenna totally liked them.
Meanwhile, Mike tried to fit one of the enormous red snapper tacos into his mouth. Yeah, good luck with that, Mike.
And I indulged in a little prop-comedy. Or something.
Oh yeah, and we had dessert. Warm donuts with caramel and chocolate fondue. It's possible that some of the donuts wound up in the fondue and some of the fruit wound up in the caramel.
Outside, there was rain. So Jenna got out her umbrella.
My umbrella (and hair, apparently) didn't fare nearly as well.
So, yeah. It was a good dinner at a good restaurant. Wait, I mean it was a Best Birthday Dinner. But when they said they were "small plates" they weren't kidding. All right, maybe tomorrow I'll find time to post pictures from my actual party, we'll see.