Happy New Year!

My parents moved into a retirement community last summer and that’s where I’ve been spending my Christmas vacation. Much more on that later. Suffice it to say that things are rather quiet around here. Mostly we have been watching a lot of old movies. And sleeping. There was a New Year’s Eve Party the other day (from 4:30-6 pm — woo hoo!) to which I was not invited because it was residents only. Dad wasn’t feeling up to the party so we dispatched Mom down there with a discreet tote bag (discreet in the sense that it matched her outfit) into which she stuffed as much shrimp as she could when no one was looking. I really wish I could have seen that.

Lest you think that my NYE was a sad and lonely night without purpose, my sister asked me to babysit their dog while they were whooping it up in Maryland with some old college pals. Snickers and I saw in the new year watching the original Ocean’s 11 on the world’s largest television set.

Snickers, the world's soppiest pit bull

Snickers, the world’s soppiest pit bull, hunkers down for some ultimate Vegas heist action. Helllooo Dean Martin!

My father’s approach to dealing with recalcitrant TVs, computers and other electronic mysteries has always been to push all the buttons until something happens, hopefully (but rarely) something positive. While I have been somewhat dubious of this practice in the past, after giving up on making sense of the three remote gizmos responsible for controlling the world’s largest TV (don’t you go thinking that pushing ‘turn TV on’ will do anything of the sort), I just pushed all the buttons and that turned out just fine. By the way, the sweater that Frank Sinatra wears in his first scene in the movie? That sweater had me completely rethinking my life-long investment in Frank’s oeuvre. Orange mohair, Frank? Really?

But before all that happened, I went out to dinner with my brother and his family and boy was it swell (as I said, I’ve been watching lots of old movies). We went a Mexican-Spanish tapas place in Wayne — a very pretty and newly gentrified town outside of Philly — called the Matador. I love tapas: you can have lots of different tastes but you don’t get too full since you only get a bite or two of each plate (especially if you are dining with my family). Here’s some of what we ate.

The first thing that happened was that the waiter made guacamole at our table. Avocado, sea salt and cilantro. That was it.

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We made pretty short work of it.

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Wild mushrooms with truffle oil

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Skewered grilled chorizo sausage

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Grilled chicken on a stick with parsley garlic aioli

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Octopus, potatoes, hot paprika and loads of garlic. I loved this.

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Lamb chops with red pepper jam (and hungry niece)

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Melted cheese with sausage and tortillas. Melted cheese, yay!

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Patatas bravas: spicy potatoes with pimento aioli

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Pulled pork tortillas with smoked jalapeño cream

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Not quite sure what this is. Some sort of shrimp pizza thing. It wasn’t on the menu and we probably didn’t order it (but we ate it anyway).

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Fried goat cheese balls in honey

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Churros: deep fried pastry strips rolled in sugar and cinnamon and dipped in chocolate sauce

The Matador. 110 N. Wayne Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087. Tel: 610 688 6282

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One response to “Happy New Year!

  1. I guess you must have liked the Octopus, since I never even saw it.

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