The In Between Places

Chef Annette TomeiEat & Tell with Chef Annette Tomei

According to the calendar, spring may have already sprung, but you would never guess it by walking around the streets of NYC – that is, if you can bear the bitter cold breezes. For a brief couple of sunny warm days where it was still light outside when I left work, I felt spring fever start to bubble up like the subtle silky mousse of a delicate Prosecco. Light weight, bright colored clothes, fresh pedicures, all the neighborhood hotties getting their bikes out for a spring ride, devilish smirks and stolen glances, and shameless flirting just because you can! Then last weekend when the equinox rolled around, instead of topping off my glass it snowed on my spring fever. I was just getting warmed up – the cold shower was completely unnecessary!

Apparently it’s spring some places because my friends from Napa have been rubbing it in a bit lately! Sunny days, warm breezes, growing gardens… but here we are still in the in-between place – Sunny but cold, spring fever causing uncontrollable flirtation and plenty of naughtiness, but we’re too busy shivering to give it our full attention. With more daylight and the promise of times when we will be wearing far less clothing looming on the horizon, we are also in an eating in-between place… wary of what a comforting braised short rib and creamy polenta may look like in that cute little dress but still needing comfort foods to warm the chilled soul… maybe just a few of those Daddy-O tots and share a side of mac and cheese? Even Park Avenue (pick your season) hasn’t changed to Spring yet (though for a little pick-me-up, you can check out their hot exec chef, Craig Koketsu – but sadly, no pix of the adorable chef de cuisine Kevin Lasko.

So, what’s a girl to do? Here are a few suggestions for surviving the last blasts of winter and maybe even enjoying the in-between places.

drink rosé wine

  1. Switch to rosé… nothing says spring time like a crisp, refreshing glass of rosé after a long winter of rich Syrahs and flaming cocktails.
  2. It’s not necessary to totally give up your favorite winter comfort foods… just feed half to a friend – a little treat for both of you and fun foreplay if it’s the right kind of friend!
  3. Take advantage of the down time to catch up on beauty sleep, bubble baths, facials, spa services, mani-pedi’s, and maybe even a juice fast/cleanse to prepare for the lighter brighter days of spring. (NYC’ers: try http://www.blueprintcleanse.com/ )
  4. Too cold for outdoor seating? Grab a seat at your favorite restaurant’s bar, order some finger foods, do some people watching and hone your flirting skills!
  5. Take advantage of low plane fares and fly someplace warm and sultry for exotic fruits, fresh from the ocean fish, juicy cocktails, and a jump start on your tan!

I’ll be doing all of the above, including #5… A couple of weeks on the beach in the Philippines with friends and family… honey-like mangos and whole roast pig! Heavenly!

Hopefully NYC will have thawed by the time I get back – I’ve got a few special chefs on the list that I can’t wait to visit!

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