Anton

This weekend, I turned the big 3-7. (I sort of can’t believe I’m three years from forty. In my head, I’m still 28. Yet, here I am!) Anyway, the boys were so, so sweet, and Alex and I went to two restaurants that were new to us. Here are a few photos, if you’d like to see…

Alex

semilla-brooklyn-pastry-chef-pam-yung-719x483

Alex and I used my birthday as an excuse to go out to dinner two nights in a row! We’ve recently gotten stuck in a restaurant rut, where we go to the same three places on rotation, so it was fun to try some new spots.

First, we went to Semilla, a “vegetable-forward” restaurant in Williamsburg, which means that the dishes focus on seasonal veggies, while meat and fish are just supporting players. Guests sit around a horseshoe-shaped bar, with the waiters serving dishes from the middle.

Our favorite part of the meal came right at the start: tall, thin shot glasses with warm pear and cheese soup. It sounds insane, but it was so good; I would come back just for that soup. The other dishes were also surprising and delicious — lots of cabbage and beets and sweet potatoes, with great twists and textures.

Semilla Brooklyn bathroom

One funny part? The bathroom had a one-way mirror looking into the kitchen!

Babu Ji restaurant

The following night, we went to Babu Ji, a cool Indian restaurant in the East Village. Apparently, the Hindi term Babu Ji playfully means the self-appointed mayor of the neighborhood, who knows everyone and everything (and all the gossip).

Babu Ji restaurant

The restaurant felt boisterous and animated — we talked to the couples at the tables on either side of us, and the food was spicy and amazing. It was one of those nights that reminds you why you live in NYC.

Babu Ji restaurant

Guests grab beers from a fridge in the dining room, which adds to the relaxed vibe.

Babu Ji restaurant

The three dishes we loved most: the appetizer of cauliflower fried in a tomato chili sauce. The entree of butter chicken in a ginger, garlic, tomato and fenugreek curry. And the homemade dessert of cardamom, honey and pistachio kulfi, which were like chewy milky popsicles. So good!

Blowing out the candles

Birthday cake

Lastly, on Sunday, we had cake at home with the boys. We invited our friends, who have three children, and all the kids had to dress up in fancy clothes (although Toby went the race-car driver route). We served pigs in blankets and tater tots, plus Shirley Temples for everyone. It was such a sweet night. Toby and Anton also wrapped up some of their toys to “give” to me, which was so adorable (I got the toy guitar and lightsaber I always wanted!!!).

calendar

The boys couldn’t quite grasp my age, so I drew out fifty numbers and then circled our ages. The chart made the boys look so tiny, it brought tears to my eyes! And Toby kept pointing to numbers and asking, “Have you been seven?” “Have you been twelve?” “Have you been twenty?!” It was kind of poignant and amazing to stop and think about.

Birthday cake

Finally, we ended the busy weekend by watching House Hunters International and falling asleep at 9:30 p.m… all in all, the perfect night. :) The weekend was wonderful, I kept pinching myself. Thank you so much for reading, and hope you had a good one. xoxoxo

P.S. Two birthday revelations I’ve had, and beautiful gold candles.

(Semilla photos by Ed Lefkowicz/The New York Times. Babu Ji food photo by Tirzah Brott/New York Magazine. Babu Ji beers photo by Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times.)