As those of you who know me, public health or who know someone I know, web or who read my blog comments, search know, today is my birthday. I take my birthday very seriously, and one of the really nice things about Brad is that he does, too. So, Brad took me to Fifth Floor last night to celebrate. The restaurant is cool looking, especially the zebra rug. The maitre d’ wished me a happy birthday, apparently having noted it from when B. made the reservation. Of course, I liked that. The sommolier was unable to make the wine list approachable. It was about 40 pages long, and when he offered help, we asked for a moderately priced pinot noir. He asked whether we wanted foreign or domestic, and Brad informed him that we were patriots. That should have given him a clue as to our decision making methods, but he kept asking us whether we liked a “burgundian style” wine and pointing out bottles which were moderate as to that list, where most of the bottles were over $100, but not as to any kind of outside measure of moderate. As Brad says, the only thing that stops you from ordering the cheapest bottle of wine on the list in that kind of circumstance, is trying to have some shread of dignity in the eyes of the wine guy. After all that, the bottle we got was expensive, subtle, delicious, and did the trick nicely.

The food reminded me of the rain forest in Brazil. There, nothing is just itself. Every plant has 6 other plants growing on top of it. Every bug has three other bugs and a bunch of moss hanging on. Fifth Floor is one of those places where they serve you something that’s as big as a mouthful, but it still manages to have 8 ingredients. For example, they brought me a whipped pea mousse with bacon, morel mushrooms, a pea sprout garnish and apricots, decorated with some green oil of some sort as one of those little extra appetizers that makes you feel like you’re getting something for free by eating there. The whole thing was as big as Brad’s thumb. It was good, no doubt, but there’s something fussy about this sort of food. We also were given a cured salmon slice, and two little cups of soup, one avocado with lichee and onion salsa and one porchini mushroom, a box of chocolates and little madeline type cookies with berries baked into them. I ordered the fois gras trio, which was rich and uneven. Brad got a really fine pea soup with lobster. Then I had the lamb, my favorite meat, which was yummy all the way around, especially the salty confit. Brad had the halibut, which was poached in a little clay pot, then served with a beurre blanc like sauce and some kind of braised green. It was simple, clean and delicious tasting. At about midnight, after a chocolate dessert decorated with a chocolate card that read Happy Birthday Jennifer, we limped out of there bleeding cash, sated and tipsy.