January 27, 2006

I am living in two booms.

The new Oil and Gas boom, and the latest Tech boom

Good Advice

“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

Lao Tse

Words to live by

Si le vin te gêne dans ton travail, supprime le travail

January 22, 2006

January 4, 2006

Eggs don't keep you out of Houston City Council meetings

abc13.com: News from KTRK, around Houston and southeast Texas

La Dolce Vita

Last night I was supposed to meet my lovely wife at Sorrento’s, an upscale Italian place on lower Westheimer for a Sue Lovell victory party. I, as usual, was working late. And since I have one heck of a commute home, was delayed. (small pun there. I work in Tom Delay’s congressional district. But we don’t live there)

Sorrento’s was packed by the time I got there, and they were just taking the food up to roust the folks out onto the street. I don’t particularly like being in crowds of strangers (and believe me, these people were stranger than most!) so my much better half suggested we leave. She gave Sue L a hug goodbye and we walked outside.

There are many, many restaurants in our neighborhood. The funny thing is that we seldom go out to dinner, but that is mostly because I like to cook. But whenever a new place opens up, we always are dying to try it.

And low and behold, that night (last night, 3 January, 2006) a brand new “Pizzeria & Enoteca” was opened. It is called Dolce Vita, which, someone counter intuitively, makes me think of Bob Dylan, not Fellini. But it is the “second growth” restaurant of famous Houston Chef Marco Wiles. His flagship is called DaMarco and is quite pricey. I have only eaten there a couple of times, but we have acquaintances that eat there ALL the time and love it.

But getting back to La Dolce Vita (which does not yet have a web site, or at least I can’t find it). We knew it was going to open last night, since we had stopped by there over the weekend and got the big boot. Now, we have been thrown out of better places than this, and with far less reason. The place was having sort of a soft opening, and we, of course stopped in. The bartender told us to come on in and have a drink, but then the General Manager (Ron) nicely told us that they were not yet prepared to open, let us eat a sliver of prosciutto, and gently steered us towards the door. Nicely done!

We were so impressed that we did indeed want to return. So since Doreen was done with her politicizing at Sue’s soiree, we hiked across the street to La Dolce Vita. (I’m getting there).

The place is an old house, formerly housing the Marrakesh House of Couscous. They shut down about six months ago, and the time was well spent in renovation. The place has a nice bar and some seating areas downstairs, and what I took to be the main seating area and the kitchen upstairs. We were seated at a small deuce, but it was fine for the simple meal we had imagined for ourselves.

The holidays were ones of great bounty for us. We cooked a goose, visited some friends on Christmas Day, and then had a New Year’s Eve party. Whew! So we have been eating and drinking more than usual. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to try something new.

So to move the narrative ahead, we decided to simply get a couple of pizzas (which we always split) and a bottle of wine. For the wine, we got a Piedmont Boschis, a nice smooth red wine that cost $30. I had never had one of these before and enjoyed it tremendously. For the pizzas, we got on Romana (cherry tomatoes, mozzarella , and anchovies) and one Salsiccia e Friarielle (Sausage, rapini, and pecorino).

The pizzas came out fast and they were very good. The size of a large dinner plate, with athin crispy crust that occasionally boiled over the toppings in a black blister. Just the way I like ‘em! Doreen isn’t too fond of sausage (she doesn’t like the fennel seed taste) but I enjoyed it. The anchovies were a bit of a disappointment in that they tasted like simple, salty, canned fish. I enjoy the subtleties of oil cured anchovies, but there were not really all that tasty. The S e F pizza was good with a small forest of rapini laid on thick.

We ended the evening with some gelato – they give you a three ball bowl. Doreen ordered Banana, Coffee, and Vanilla. All quite tasty.

Then, we walked back to our cars (since we had gone right to the victory party from work) and made our short way home.

(some of the other things on the menu that we want to try:

Patsas:

Orecchiette – escarole & sweet sausage
Paccheri – tomato, basil, reggiano
Spaghetti – calico e pepe
Bucatini – octopus, tomato, chillies
Spaghetti – clams and cecci
Gnocchi – al ragú

And various other pizzas.)

Design Counts

Supersize My House! - How McMansions go wrong. By Witold�Rybczynski