Tonight’s menu, according to Chef Ryan:
“A pseudo-Turkish… sort of an appetizer, I guess. Pan-fried eggplant and arugula with mint. Pan-fried dover sole with a potato, leek, and cauliflower gratin. And a side of….”
“Delicious? With a dash of bring it on?”
“…shredded brussels sprouts and mushrooms.”
Club 54 is the official nickname for our friend Ryan’s house, so named because his street address is 54 (redacted) Court. Clever people, we are. What we lack in wit, however, we more than make up for with our enthusiasm for Ryan’s cooking. He loves great food, and he loves making great food. And we love eating it. He invited us over for a small, impromptu dinner tonight, and when this happens it is the highlight of our week!
And I am going to write about it, or at least I will until the G&Ts knock me out of commission.
Pretty much any dinner at Ryan’s begins with a heavy dosing of gin and tonic, which is the official awesome specialty of his boyfriend Scott. I am not really a drinker myself, but I really can’t turn these things down. They’re like joy in a glass, slightly sweet and deceptively potent.
To my credit, I’ve developed a decent tolerance for these over the past year or so and no longer find myself asleep on the couch midway through.
The big spherical ice cubes are great, too. I’m not sure where Ryan found ice cube trays in a spherical shape, but it’s an awesome idea. The sphere is the most compact Euclidean object possible, meaning it has the least possible surface area of any geometric form in real space. And minimizing the surface area of an ice cube (or not-cube) means it melts more slowly. Which means the drinks retain their flavor longer. And potency, I suppose!
Maybe I’ll need that lie-down after all.
Appetizer 1: Turkish eggplant
The first appetizer is on the counter, and I have just made a glutton of myself. It’s cool, though; we all did. We have: pan-friend breaded eggplant dosed in a Mediterranean sauce consisting of Greek yogurt and mint and a drizzle of butter whipped in a skillet with a light dusting of sumac.
It probably goes without saying, but it’s delicious.
I think I offended Chef Ryan when I said it tasted kind of like potato chips, but I didn’t mean it in a bad way! It’s a starchy vegetable that’s been fried and served with a sour, creamy, spicy accent, that’s all. The difference between these eggplant slices and potato chips is that these are amazing and wonderful and fresh and I don’t even care that my exercise efforts have been completely nullified in half an hour because I just ate my own weight in fried eggplant.