fighting the lack of good ideas

bridge cafe – this time with food

Back in June I went to Bridge Cafe in Manhattan.

I was back on Halloween, and this time brought a guest. My dad took the train from Rensselaer to Penn Station Friday, did some touristy stuff, and I met up with him early afternoon. I’m going to allow him to comment on his lunch choice – either as a separate post, or in the comments below.

When I was there in June, they had had a kitchen fire the night before, and therefore had no food.

This time around: no kitchen fire! I ordered their Chicken Rigatoni special, while my dad got the Hanger Steak.

Before our meals came out, they brought a selection of artisan and snack breads to try. We sampled those, and I enjoyed each of the choices. My favorite was a cranberry-raisin-nut bread which I had a couple slices of.

The atmosphere at lunch time was lively, and even though we arrived after the typical lunch rush, it was still busy, but not cramped or over-crowded. Our waitresses were attentive, and seamlessly switched-off between each other amongst the tables.

When my rigatoni arrived, at first I thought it was a little on the small side. Then I started partaking. While it may have been slightly small in the bowl, it was overflowing with voluminous flavors. Roasted red peppers lightly seasoned with a mix of spices, then doused in a rich, but flowing cream sauce covered the grilled chicken slices and pasta.

After finishing the fantastic pasta, I decided to go a little crazy and get dessert. I thought I wanted a sorbet, but the sorbet of the day was pear; I’m not a big pear fan, so I asked about the gelato.

That was the ticket: they had a malted milk gelato, so I ordered that.

Three scoops of gelato on a warmed cone-like saucer drizzled with chocolate sauce, and topped with a mint sprig greeted us when our waitress set the plate down. We split dessert due to its insane richness. It tasted like a frozen, creamy, super-smooth middle of a Whoppers malted milk ball.

Even sharing dessert, though, wasn’t enough: we left a small remnant on the plate because it was just too much.

I’m happy to be able to add another reason to return beyond just a great bar and friendly staff: the food was the best “American” food I’ve had in a few weeks, and I look forward to returning the next time I’m in Manhattan.

righteous kill

Without giving any [important] plot points away, here goes my review of Righteous Kill, which I saw last night with a buddy of mine.

Righteous Kill is only the third film the two have made together, and the first time they have played together. In the Godfather Part II, De Niro played a younger Vito Corleone, while Pacino reprised his role as Michael – so they were never on the screen together. And in Heat, they played opposite each other.

Pacino and De Niro play partners who’ve been on the force for a long time, and are realizing they’re getting old. But that’s only the start.

I went in expecting to be entertained, and the film definitely did not disappoint.

This is a cop drama also starring John Leguizamo, Brian Dennehy, Donnie Wahlberg, 50 Cent, and Carla Gugino. It’s definitely one of the more interesting cop-legal-action-thrillers I’ve seen in quite a while.

Plot twists, camera angle changes, and lighting all play into the slowly-built, maintained, and then exploded suspense.

Everyone’s a suspect, and everyone has to be trusted. The writing and directing are spot-on, and of the films I’ve seen this year, I think there’s a possible supporting Oscar role in this one.

parental notice:

Righteous Kill is rated R for a reason: there is quite a bit of violence (though it’s not gratuitous), some cursing, and strongly-hinted-at (but never shown) “deviant” sexual behavior.

a cryptoquip

I got this passed to me from my dad this morning. Just remember what he told me, “I don’t promise greatness. Just interest.” The following is a Robin Hood quote:


I’ll post the answer in about a day, unless somebody posts it first.

internetworkers bash in pittsboro

Thanks to Tarus and the OpenNMS crew for hosting the InterNetWorkers bash in Pittsboro last night.

I went down with one of my coworkers, and we had a blast.

It would’ve been fun even without the free beer and appetizers, but they were certainly appreciated!

retirement party

My goal is to retire by the end of the year. To make sure I reach that goal, I’m requesting donations from friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, and outright strangers.

If you’d like to contribute to my retirement fund, please send me an email: Donations of any size are accepted, but I don’t give tax receipts.

My goal: $1,570,796.33 by the end of the year. I have $3.14 as of today.

5 seasons brewing

Last night I drove a quick 10 minutes from Vinings to Sandy Springs GA to meet-up with a couple friends for dinner. Skimming opentable‘s restaurant listings, I had discovered 5 Seasons Brewing earlier in the day, and we decided to give it a try. 5 Seasons’ beers are all made in-house (I think), in small batches, so they change seasonally.

From their website, “We’re passionate about serving local produce, all-natural meats, and artisanal cheeses. We bake each of our breads and make everything else – all of our demi-glace, salad dressings, pommes frites, ice creams and sorbets. As part of a sustainable, natural cycle, we add our brewer’s spent grain to our home-baked bread and share the rest with a local organic farm, where it is composted to grow our vegetables.”

I’m a fan of the “buy local” campaigns not because I’m some whacky hippy nut, but because it makes good economic sense: the food travels shorter distances, and is therefore fresher; the money spent stays in the local community rather than some chunk of it going to the corporate center; and the businesses involved tend to want you as a [repeat] customer.

The restaurant in Sandy Springs is dark – but not in an imposing or formal way: the interior is bare dark wood, and very attractive – it reminded me of a mountain lodge; it’s open and airy, but rugged at the same time.

I ordered their Rib Eye with fingerling potatoes, and a delectable mushroom sauce. Chris order the Duck Both Ways, which looked mighty tasty, and his girlfriend ordered the Lamb Tenderloin.

5 Seasons also has an extensive Scotch list (>20), including a couple Islays (my favorite).

The dress code is to arrive dressed: the waitstaff all wear slacks or jeans and T-shirts. Main dishes are all under $30, and they rotate their menu based on locally-available ingredients.

After dinner we all tried different desserts: bread pudding, creme brulee, and peach cinnamon ice cream. If you’re in the area, 5 Seasons is definitely worth a visit.

an oldy…

…but a goody:

HDTV explained!