Friday, December 30, 2011

What if. . . . .

Do you ever sit and think; what if? What if you had never
said the first hello. Or what if your paths never crossed?
What if you kept your mouth shut and just let things pass?
What if you had just five more minutes? What if you could
turn back time and make it all stand still, where would
your life be? Better? Worse? Less confused? More confused?
Happier? Or sadder?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Paradise Lost

'At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman,
and these hills, the softness of the sky, the outline
of these trees at this very minute lose the illusory
meaning with which we had clothed them, henceforth
more remote than a lost paradise . . . that denseness
and that strangeness of the world is absurd.' ~ Albert Camus

Sunday, December 18, 2011


In a culture that promotes quick fixes and immediate
gratification, it is much too easy to lose sight of
one's objectives, when so many temptations invite
us to fail. What is this sense of entitlement that
pervades society today? Has the whole concept of
delayed gratification gone out the window?
What are we teaching our children, when we ourselves
cannot resist yielding to each momentary desire, each
of-the-moment whim?
Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.
The secret to overcoming temptation is to remember
what you want. Your objective must hang, like
a banner, over all that you do. ~ Aurora Lynn

Saturday, December 3, 2011

'Ethereal Spread' . . . a Sunday Soiree‏

On the drive down, I noticed the barren streets - considering the sky
was this shiny, dark blue hue backlit by these most magnificent stars.
It was 'Ethereal' and so achingly beautiful, my heart skipped.
I thought, how grateful I am for the abundance in my life. I have joy.
I have passion and meaning. I have incredible people to love, and who
return that love in unique and wonderful ways every day that I am
graced with life. I want for nothing. I am truly blessed!

'The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously,
drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.' ~ Henry Miller

Kisses ... dancing tongues ... eyes closed, hugs and kisses, tightening
of hands, groans of pleasure... and then... only the silence of the
moon, the only spectator of this night of culinary opuses.

'When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the
conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my
talent for absorbing positive knowledge' ~ Albert Einstein

I often wondered how a Sunday Soiree, rather than Friday or Saturday
would turnout. Would people still come . . . it is, after all, outside the box.
But wasn't that the idea . . . inspired by Steve Jobs? And further instilled in
me by Madame Globe then, seconded by The Attorney. The ladies mused!
Listening to Sting's 'Fragile', as the driver makes his way to Saint-Denis,
and nearly every time I hear this register of strings. . .I'm drinking the wild
air and feeling transported, hovering over and through an imagination and
command of characters, not since Dickens. The very gentle soul capable and
conscious of 'hearing' me and still, I sing. Is it not the plight, the dance, the
way ripples spread on a lake as fog settles over westward and after burns
an amber glowing candle inside a vat of stone hewed by some fellows at the
corner of Carré Saint-Louis. These images I see contribute to the fabric
of this 'Ethereal' evening.

'I got lost in the night, without the light of your eyelids, and when the night
surrounded me I was born again: I was the owner of my own darkness.' ~ Pablo Neruda

As we turn on Saint-Laurent, I watch as dwellers are returning home like
flakes floating down The Main. After a prolonged absence, I returned to
a familiar place . . . The Attorney and myself observed as we perused the
dimly lit restaurant, Stan Getz playing 'Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars'... the
night was definitely quiet and mellow and there was a joy in the air. 'It's good
to be home!'
We were the first to arrive . . . along with a newcomer, the enchanting Olga,
who hails from the Ukraine, which led to a colorful lesson in history and
geography, once Elbina (My Meryl . . . who is also from Russia but not Russian)
arrived and settled next to Olga.
Once upon a time, on any given night, there was no missing the action, the
eye candy and enticing food at this hip spot on the main. It is the space with
the most cutting-edge décor . . . The hot spot that boasts the latest celebrity
sightings. With their comely waitresses, groovy colour schemes, and up-to-
the-minute menus, Globe has always been considered 'hot' on all of these
fronts. While some of its competitors have cuter waitresses and better chairs,
Globe always succeeded by offering the full package.
I had practically lived at the Globe for most of the 1990s'- and for the first
ten years of the Millenium, sporadically I always returned for one reason
or another. But in the dawning of this new decade, it was no longer 'My Globe',
but nonetheless, tonight we were going to be spoiled like prodigal children.

'Come quickly! I am tasting stars!' ~ Dom Perignon (1638-1714) proclaimed
when he took his first sip of champagne.

I was stationed at the end of this long train of tables, setup plump in the middle
of the restaurant. I had not sat at the head of the table in some time, but after
having gone through a round of musical chairs . . . it was the most comfortable
hamlet. While waiting for the rest of the group to materialize, we were served
Prosecco accompanied with oysters on ice . . . I felt like The Sheik from those
Rudolf Valentino films (Ha! Ha!). A mélange of baked Miso & Maple oysters
soon followed that were particularly innovative and tangy on the palate. More
Prosecco, please!

'I want to make wines that harmonize with food - wines that almost hug your
tongue with gentleness.' ~ Robert Mondavi

Monsieur Globe's choice for our red was a smooth velvety 'Campo Viejo
Crianza Rioja', dry medium-bodied and woody. It's the light texture of this
wine that makes it a pleasure to drink. The white was a 'Kendall Jackson
'Summation' Sauvignon Blanc. This Chardonnay blend mingles refreshing
flavors of honeydew melon, apricot, pink grapefruit and white pepper. Added
hints of honeysuckle and a creamy mouthfeel result in a soft, dry wine.
The second course was a choice of Mesclun salad with pears, endives, almonds
with Chardonnay vinaigrette. The leaves were seasoned just so it was another
burst of flavors in your mouth. The grilled quail with honey, corn bell pepper
and pide was perfectly sauteed . . . pink and tender . . . it melted in your
mouth . . .a difficult undertaking for victuals.
Then for an 'Entremets', Jean-François took our tastebuds on a voyage to
Italy with devilish black trumpet mushroom Cavatelli sprinkled with truffle oil
and topped with a poached egg. I, for one, had seconds . . . Empyrean!
Then came our main courses . . . A roasted half-chicken from Voltigeurs' farm,
with these appetizing Pont-Neuf frites and cole slaw. I usually never partake
of cole slaw but this one contained the correct portion of milk to salt to cabbage.
Beef short ribs were perfectly seasoned and braised with grilled leeks and sesame.
The Attorney swore by it! The 'Fish of The Day' was a grilled Halibut with shiitake,
ginger, broccoli in a dashi broth. It was incredibly moist and delectably delicious.
We finished off our wine with a platter of whole grilled Camembert . . .a nice way
to culminate this culinary carousel. We had our coffee with these dark chocolate
brownies with walnuts and salted caramel sauce. I felt like a kid in a candy store!

As is the case with each gathering . . .the dynamics and especially the landscape
changes, and not more apparent than this recent eclectic ensemble. I'm a big
proponent of evolution and this group has definitely evolved. It was different
and unique, as they all are, but this time, due to the 'Ethereal' theme it was
more varied and discerning. It's similar to an ever-changing living organism that
grows as it absorbs particles along its journey. Like the ever so lovely Maureen
(My New Megan Fox) who traveled from Saint-Sauveur to partake of this splendid
soiree. We recently met online and when she sauntered in, the lady raptured in
smoke had these curves that could summon a fellow to stand up . . . which I almost

'Most of the confidence which I appear to feel, especially when influenced by wine,
is only a pretense.' ~ Tennessee Williams

A special mention to Virginia Woolf, who looked absolutely bewitching, brought an
entourage of delicious ladies . . . such as the thespian extraordinaire Marjean Holden
(no relation to William Holden). In my head, I was singing once again. . . .'L.A. Woman'.

'Beauty alone gives no guarantee for happiness. One should rather strive for elegance,
grace and style.' ~ Audrey Hepburn

The always engaging and beautiful Nathalie Di, who looked more youthful than
I remembered, and Virginia's friend Shirley from the South Shore, who came with
her boy toy. How's that for youthfulness!?!

'An inordinate passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young.' ~ Oscar Wilde

Hats off to the boys ... The Photographer, Julio, Domenic and Benjamin, for
holding court in their respective enclaves . . . and to some of the other regulars.
The Attorney, Madame Sothebys, who came without Monsieur. My Meryl, (who
is a makeup artist to the stars) never lets me down. Recognized our waitress-
in-training, Nastassia, as an ingénue she applied her craft on during a film shoot.
How cool is that!?! Montreal is such a small town.
There was a small group as well of dear, sweet friends who came for drinks,
Mena, Anna, Olympia, Pina, Dino and La Regina. We seem to have amassed
quite a troupe of movers and shakers. Thank you, my friends. 'I'm as happy
as a little girl!'

I would be remise not to mention the tremendous service, from our delightful
waitresses, Marie-Eve, Andrea, Justine and of course Nastassia. Our Man Friday,
Michael Bukacheski was very gracious, attentive and a true gentlemen. Madame
Globe helped me with the menu and other details. Finally, chef Jean-François
Baril who again and again proves that he truly is a culinary connoisseur of the
highest echelons.

'There are times in life when we set our sights on something that's deeply
important to us yet, when we hit roadblocks, setbacks, or failure, we make
a premature decision to give up. The message this week is simple – if you
know in your heart that your goal is right, be persistent.' ~ Cheryl Richardson

'Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.' ~ Dr. Seuss

* From Where I Sit!
November 27, 2011