Growing up in NYC is an adventure. Growing up during the 90s / early Millennia even more so. I’m partial. That was my “coming of age”. Fresh out of college… experiencing the “real world” – mine only has quotations around it because I lived at home for a solid decade more, not stacking chips but rather freeloading and living my best life. Being paid a little more than the average kid out of school I found that I was ballin’ out of control at the expense of a bill or two here and there that I may or may not choose to pay. Working in the industry didn’t make it any easier. Parties. Trips. A life style flaunted in front of me that I really couldn’t afford but wanted to play in. Working in the city where the bright lights flash and everything is moving at a breakneck speed made you feel like your life had to live up to it.
My boyfriend at the time and I would pool our resources together about once a month or every 6 weeks and we would treat ourselves. Grown-up style. I’m not sure how we happened upon B. Smith’s Restaurant which was then on 47th and 8th Avenue. Looking back, it probably cost $150 for both of us to eat 3 courses AND imbibe several drinks. So by my now standards, it was pretty cheap. But back then? It was true baller status. We’d get in there and start with a cocktail – for me, usually a French Connection. That was my way of being chic as well as spending less on a drink because it was damned strong – Courvoisier and Grand Marnier. Ooh Lala. We’d have an appetizer – but that wasn’t really why we were there. We wanted the main entree… Lobster Vermicelli in a pink butter sauce (NOT alla vodka… it was different) that tasted like PURE HEAVEN on a plate. I would savor each and every single fork full like it was ambrosia. It had the perfect balance of cream, savory, sweet… the texture was perfect. It was NEVER bad.
We’d always follow up with the vanilla ice cream profiteroles. I had to look that up in the dictionary – but even if I didn’t know how to pronounce it, I knew I loved the way it tasted at this restaurant. It made me feel so upscale and important just to sit there. It was ALWAYS a high point in the week if I was visiting B. Smith’s.
Today, I learned of her passing. I knew she was suffering from Alzheimer’s and would constantly be in the news on account of her husband essentially moving on even though she was still alive. I don’t judge. We all do what we need to do in this world. But I’m glad she’s not suffering anymore. She brought joy to so many by virtue of her cooking, sharing her recipes, her appearances on TV and radio helping to further the presence of her unique and upscale cuisine to the masses. She deserves her rest.
Thanks for making me feel all growed up, Ms. Smith. You will always be remembered by this palate. RIH.