Around the Messersmith household we like our birthdays low-key, but meaningful. No giant surprise parties, or blow-out trips – just a quiet dinner of favorite dishes, followed by a chocolate cake that only makes an appearance when it’s sure to be decorated with candles.
Since Mike’s birthday is first up (mine follows twelve days later) it’s my responsibility to see to the trimmings, and since nothing says “I love you” to my wonderful husband quite like red meat I set out to find a place to procure some steaks.
Research led me to Ottomanelli's on York Avenue, a family-owned and operated butcher shop. According to their site, members of the Ottomanelli family have been in the butchering business since 1900 and if the small brass chart of a cow placed just outside the shop’s front door is any indication they take their meat seriously.
I was on the hunt for a fairly standard cut – filet of beef – but I could have picked up NY Strip, Cornish game hens, or ground turkey in addition to the variety of sandwiches and charcuterie available. The two filets I bought were carefully measured and lightly trimmed before being carefully wrapped and labeled for my trip back across the park.
Tonight’s menu, thanks to the Ottomanellis: steak au poivre with balsamic roasted brussels sprouts. I think that will get another year off to the right kind of start – don’t you? What are your birthday traditions? Any special dishes that make the day a little brighter?