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Nov 29, 2020 11:52AM
The night at the Barn started off great. Besides the humongous cloth/vinyl tent they installed in the parking lot, they converted what had been the west half of their summer tent into a semi-tent: fabric roof, powerful ventilation system, overhead infrared heaters (there since early autumn) and a massive propane tower heater in the center (there were two at opposite corners of the fabric tent too). I felt a bit apprehensive, as it was warm enough in there to take off our coats. But I still felt a nice brisk breeze in there, the four tables were >6' apart, all waitstaff was masked, and all diners (we were the first ones there) were exhorted to stay masked in the presence of staff and when not actively eating & drinking. Bob & I took that literally, lowering our masks only for bites & sips.
The next couple in there wore their masks only between courses. Another couple (at the opposite corner) were as conscientious as we were. Alas, the next party was a group of five loud Gen-Y girls who ordered cocktails & a bottle of wine even as they were sitting down. They removed their masks & kept them off (even while being served), talking & laughing loudly and treating dinner as a definite "girls' night out" party. The staff didn't admonish them--I guess with the crisis facing restaurants (even those in-demand ones like the Barn), they didn't want to alienate their target demographic clientele (Gen-Yers and millennials with pandemic fatigue and money to spend). I'm sure things are stricter on the Chicago side of the city line. The Barn is owned by Amy Morton (not the actress, but the scion of the Morton's steakhouse chain); Morton's flagship restaurant in the near north side Streeterville 'hood closed for good last week. (Its Oak Brook and Northbrook locations are still open for outdoor dining & takeout).
So even though we had planned to order a cheese plate to share as dessert to go with the red wine left over in our generously-poured glasses, we ended up packing everything to go lest we further endanger ourselves. On the way back out to the car (which we self-parked), we noticed the large fabric tent was nearly empty, save for only three (of its six available tables) occupied and as far apart as possible. Since Cellars is hibernating, and individual igloos are tough reservations to get, we won't boycott the Barn--but next time we will request a table in the colder and sparsely-tabled fabric tent, and gladly keep our coats on. Bob is a Bears fan and ex-season-ticket-holder, used to knocking back a cold beer and a prime rib sandwich in near-zero windy weather in a stadium seat. He would actually prefer being seated away from the heaters--for sentimental reasons.
So what did we eat? Instead of my usual "Grand Central Caviar Sandwich" and Bob's wedge salad, we split two apps: beef carpaccio and Italian-style baked oysters (reminiscent of the baked clams Casino of my Brooklyn childhood). For our entrees, I had a dry-aged bone-in ribeye and Bob his usual filet mignon--we packed half of each, plus the last quarter of the carpaccio. Both steaks came with steakhouse-style smashed home-fries (Bob ate all of his and I packed all of mine). For sides, I chose pan-roasted asparagus and instead of the wild 'shroom medley we usually get, Bob insisted on the lobster mac & cheese (we packed most of the latter, and three spears of the former). Those leftovers will be tomorrow night's dinner.
Tonight, it's back to turkey & fixings--last night's steaks were a welcome respite for Bob, who had the hospital's nukable turkey-dinner plates three lunches in a row. At Whole Foods yesterday, they didn't have mashed sweet potatoes, but the deli bar did have paleo roasted herbed sweet potatoes. I will smash them a bit, drizzle with a little maple syrup, and pan-roast them along with the other leftovers (stuffing, turkey breast, brussels sprouts, assorted veggies)--and reheat gravy on the stovetop.
And I am alarmed that my size M scrubs are no longer loose on me--gee thanks, back sprain (2-1/2 weeks and counting now). As badly as it hurts, I will have to bite the bullet and squat low enough to find & hit the "on" switch on my treadmill. That, and go back to near-keto once the leftovers are gone (and take my carb-blockers in the meantime). Also, see if my old cheap recumbent bike is easier on my back than mu upright. (I would dearly love a recumbent elliptical, like the ones at the PT clinics--but besides the $4K price tag, those suckers would take up half the room).
Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters....
9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
9/22/2015 Lumpectomy: Right
11/1/2015 3DCRT: Breast
12/30/2015 Femara (letrozole)