one great evening
have just returned from a great night out. we began with dinner at Cafe BaBaReeba, which serves delicious Spanish tapas, and divine paella (we had squid paella, just enough per person to round off the meal). let me catalogue this meal for future reference: beef tenderloin, carefully ranging from medium to medium well, smothered in blue cheese and served, oddly enough, with waffle chips; grilled octopus served with tender potatoes, chopped onions and chopped tomato; cured pork loin with a hard cheese -the pork loin tasted like proscuitto!; the wonderful classic tortilla espanola; something that resembled a curry puff, filled with well-seasoned chicken mixed with some sort of veggie; and grilled shrimp with garlic and chilli flakes. mmmmmmmm. to wash it all down, sweet white wine sangria -just enough for a glass each. perfect. and we ended the meal with a bite of chocolate cake, drenched in a silky chocolate sauce, for that bite of sweetness that i've come to need at the end of a meal.
and then we walked a few blocks over to DePaul University, where Neil Gaiman was preparing to read to us from his latest and currently unfinished and unpublished novel, Anansi Boys. his reading was superb: as always, he kept us laughing, and interested, and dying to finish reading the book. he's one of those authors who can really read their stuff aloud to best effect (you know how some people just do it in a monotone? he's NOT one of them), and it was thoroughly enjoyable. and then we left our seats, making a beeline for the door intending to get in line for the signing, and serendipitously finding that the line we were in to get out of the room had turned into the line for the signing, and we were basically right at the head of it. Neil Gaiman was perfectly charming while signing my books -Brief Lives and 1602!- it was awesome. (i did, however, forget to bring my camera, and so did not manage to preserve the moment for all time.)
you'd think that would be the end and we would come home, but no. instead we drove over to Clarke's on Belmont -all ten in two cars- and had milkshakes, fries, silver dollar pancakes, and good ol' fashioned conversation (in Singaporean style, which means we talked about food while eating food and we weren't talking about the food we were eating...) and tons of fun, before heading back to Hyde Park, where i'm now sitting down typing this out before going to bed. wonderful evening. unlikely to be repeated in the near future, however, as work continues to call -rather loudly, i might add- and the quarter draws to a close.