Oliver has enjoyed being back at school, and Jack needs to head in that direction too. He is fabulously happy staying at home, lazing about with me, Mom and Dad (Misse and Poppy to him), but he's starting to talk and repeat himself to such a degree that lets me know he needs some serious structure and external stimulation to re-emerge in his life, a la school. Mon dieu did he vocalize a lot today. Aah! Tomorrow is J's 6½ birthday, and he requested cinnamon rolls. They've been rising for quite some time but I think the final rise is just going to have to wait until tomorrow as it's 11p now and I'm pooped. We went to Palena tonight, a wonderful restaurant at which we've been dining happily for years. It's the kind of place where the bar is always a welcome and happy stoop- stocked with excellent drinks, superbly trained bartenders and a delightful lack of pretension. You can dine fully at Palena's bar or transfer your tab to the comfortable banquette to which you might relocate, as we did tonight.
MOST unfortunately, Palena, in a renovation and expansion it undertook a couple years back, excised from its menu, the "fry plate." I'm not much of a fried food lover but this melange of fried goodies was remarkable: Meyer lemon rings, dauphine potatoes, shoestrings and onions perfectly crisped and served alongside a sriracha aioli. I miss it terribly and am certain many other patrons do too.
However, the rest of the menu remains great including the roast chicken (which I got again tonight and has never disappointed), the cheeseburger (which T and Dad ordered and scarfed down, as usual) and the other assorted goodies like warm provolone with truffle salt and honey, and the most scrumptious lemon posset for dessert. The wine and drinks were fab as always, and we meandered home feeling mightily warm, satisfied and happy.