Happy New Year

LePetitCafe_NYE

Roasted Pheasant with Port Wine Reduction

Some of you may have lost hope and thought I had disappeared forever – not a chance. December was an insane month full of music making, choral singing, working, partying, and of course, food. All this activity meant little time to blog. But, fear not: I am bringing back the sass in 2013. I have much to share, much to catch up on, and lots in store for all of you faithful readers. Thanks for being amazing!

So let’s kick off the new year by talking about New Years. I hate New Years.  Not the holiday itself or the sentiment behind it. I actually quite like the idea of starting fresh – renewed and refocused goals, an entire year in front of us full of possibility. And who doesn’t love lazing around watching movies all new year’s day? What I don’t like is the “scene” of New Years Eve. My experience has always been huge build up, huge expense, huge let down. Let’s face it, I don’t drink, and to pay an overpriced cover just to get in to an overcrowded bar and buy an overpriced drink is not for me.

For as long as I can remember, I have always gone the low-impact, stay-in route for New Years Eve. Board games, movie nights, or sometimes just going to bed. I fondly remember a NYE in New York City spent with my friend Amanda on her couch in Queens eating chicken wings and vanilla pudding in our pajamas. Heaven. And not a drop of remorse. But still, as much as I was content in having no part in any of the mayhem, there was always a tiny little part of me that felt… I don’t know… empty. Like I was missing out. On what, I have no idea.

This year, 2012, I am happy to say was the best New Years ever. My evening began at 6pm with my dear friend and mentor, Byron Adams, who invited me as his guest to a three course prix fixe menu at Le Pétit Café, an amazing french restaurant in Santa Monica that I blogged about several months ago. The setting was perfect – quiet, cozy, tastefully decorated for the festivities. All the staff were friendly and gracious. Byron and I shared brie en croute (a chunk of brie baked in phyllo dough) and escargots for our starter. We both enjoyed the roasted pheasant entree, which was masterfully prepared with a port wine reduction sauce, baby vegetables, and wild rice. Dessert for me was a mini apple tart. Divine. If had to give one criticism, it would be that the chef seemed to be afraid of salt as I found myself adding quite a bit to the main course, but such an issue is easily rectified and didn’t take away at all from the exceptional meal. Even more so, I enjoyed Byron’s company. As we sat and caught up on each other’s lives, I realized in a perfectly serene and peaceful moment just how lucky I am to have such supportive and generous people like him in my life, not only here and now in LA, but in all parts of my life, near, far, past, present, and future.

NYE Party in Venice

NYE Party in Venice

We finished dinner, I brought him home and then made my way to Venice where I attended a 1920s-themed house party hosted by my dear friends Sherri and Joe. Perhaps you remember these two from my post on potato wedges and secret sauce? Complete with red lights, period cocktails, spot-on decor, and exceptional attire (I wore a tux, Sherri wore feathers), the party was outstanding. Not crazy, but not boring – the perfect balance of fun and civility. I spent the evening surrounded by people I care about, laughing, talking, and generally having a great time. Yet another affirmation of how blessed I am. Of course I would not be the starving artist if I didn’t contribute to the spread. Dave’s Balls were-a-plenty, but I’ll tell you more about those in a forthcoming post.

As I made my way home with a car full of friends, I reflected on what an affirmation the evening had been – evidence of a full life and a glorious year to come. Exactly what New Years Eve should be. 2012 was not a perfect year, but I can with great contentment say that it brought me some wonderful new friends, an amazing new community of musicians and brothers in the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles that continues to unfold and surprise me, a supportive new community of fitness and nutrition at RPM Fitness in Toluca Lake, and the continued support of family and long-time friends that keep me going.

Here’s to a great year, friends! Stay tuned!

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