What a great, relaxing day I've had. Seriously. It is so nice to stay in a nice hotel, have coffee and write next to a waterfall and a fountain full of ducks. It's nice to have room service deliver a $20 club sandwich (top of post - I know, I really wanted it to be a little more traditional, too) (I know my eyes will full-on pop right of my skull when I get my room service bill) and munch on it while watching Law & Order reruns, decide I need a longer nap and move my dinner reservation, and then, to top it all off, have an amazing dinner, talk to a great chef and other single diner, eat some foie gras with pickled ramps (Chef Tez, I'm looking right at you here), and manage to drive to Winter Park and back without a hitch.
Nice hotels are nice. Hotwire is nice, for giving me this great deal. Otherwise I would have never been able to afford to stay here, but seriously, the hotel is so nice I almost don't want to leave. When I was leaving for dinner, I noticed that the area where I was writing this morning had turned into a lounge with a guy singing and playing the piano and lots of rich old white collar folks drinking martinins. Tomorrow I'm going to have to join them.
The nice thing about nice hotels is the tiny little trivial things - when the valet pulled my car around, the fan was on low and the car was cool, and the radio was turned to soothing classical music. Considering I am probably paying about $20 a day to have my car parked, they should probably offer me a glass of champagne when I get in, too, but that's neither here nor there.
At any rate, I was just informed that Chef Richard Rosendale & his commis Seth Warren will be the first team to present tomorrow, which is pretty cool. Well, I would think it's cool to get it out of the way but I would worry about being the first to be judged.
I will be sending updates as soon as I get to the competition in the morning. I will try to keep my anti D World thoughts to myself.
I can't wait to tell you about the great dinner I had at Luma, and will admit from the get go that I was totally caught taking pictures of my food and therefore might have had a slightly better than typical dinner, but I still think anyone would like it. It's one of the best dinners I've had in a long time, and I'm not just saying that because of the oxtail ravioli or the Anson Mills grits. Okay, maybe just a little . . .
Talk to you tomorrow!