Fourth & Home

Post originally published on Culture Bitch, July 2008

Well, we are finally in our first home. After many months of looking at condos all over the city, a blizzard of paperwork, tons of purging and packing, moving day finally arrived. Somehow we managed to be so uncoordinated with our efforts that we needed to make several additional trips after the “real move” between the old place and the new. The stuff that inexplicably multiplies in dark corners and closets, doesn’t fit into a box, or had been languishing in a basement, all needed to be dealt with. (I have to give huge credit here to my husband, who let me sneak a couple of hours away from the mess to go to Wine Club.)

Finally, though, it was done: apartment cleaned, keys left for the landlord, and an embarrasingly large number of trash bags left on the sidewalk.

That was a couple of weeks ago, and so this past holiday weekend was one we were really looking forward to: no obligations, nothing to clean or pack or move. Friday the Fourth was low-key for us, mostly spent unpacking at a leisurely pace…infinitely more pleasant than packing, I must say. It was a comfortably warm night so we decided to take a walk down to Inman, thinking we’d get dinner at the All Star Sandwich Bar – a delicious new discovery; try the veggie cuban! – but they were closed, as was East Coast Grill. We had to make do with Bukowski’s, which was hardly a chore for Rob, since they have an admirably large selection of beers available. And, the food was surprisingly good too.

Saturday was what we had really been looking forward to all week: massages at Le Pli in Harvard Square. The massage I’d go back for, although the co-ed locker room I could do without. To keep that relaxed vibe going, we decided to head somewhere for a glass of wine and some food. Upstairs was closed for a wedding, so we went across the street to The Red House. Our timing was a bit off – it was between the lunch & dinner hours so all that was available was the salad/apps menu, but we found a couple of tasty things to share: mushroom phyllo, a mound of sauteed mushrooms baked inside a crispy shell, served with a parsley/scallion cream sauce that looked rich but was actually light, and something they called ‘eggplant contadina’, thick-cut eggplant slices topped with tomato and fresh mozzarella, baked and then drizzled with a basil oil. For a garnish there was a nice mound of mixed greens with the most delicious pickled onions on top; it’s really a great accompaniment to the richer food.

We paired our snacks with a bottle of 2005 Ca’ Rugate Soave Classico San Michele, which had an unexpected depth of flavor and was a surprising change from most Soaves I’ve had. The color was a deep yellow, which would have put me off if I’d seen it before I ordered, suggesting a heavily oaked wine (given that Garganega typically produces a pale straw colored wine). In the glass this wine was rich, but good: minerality a bit obscured by the oak but the acidity was there. Medium body and a nice finish. Definitely not something you’d drink with oysters, but it was a good match for the food we ordered.

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