Sunday, August 5, 2007

Wilmington & Grow-A-Pirate: Days Three and Two, Respectively

114 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 251-0333

AFTER 48 HOURS, our little Grow-A-Pirate buddy was doing well. His head peeked over the top of his water glass this morning. We decided to transfer him from our hotel room to more luxurious accommodations inside a pilsner glass at my brother's apartment. While this was the last picture we took of him, my brother promises he will send another along in a few week's time, assuming there's not, Grow-A-God forbid, some kind of unfortunate Grow-A-Pirate accident and that my brother's apartment is large enough for such an experiment. Only time will tell.

Also telling is the time on the clock above the pancakes, pictured below. It proves not only were we eating pancakes after Noon, but nearly after 1:00 p.m. Of course, when your brother's girlfriend flies in from Italy the night before, has her luggage lost between two cities on two continents, still goes out drinking, wakes up and requests pancakes, well, you make the pancakes. Welcome back to the States, please pass the maple syrup.

Post-flapjacks, the duo of my brother and Elisa drove straight to Target in an attempt to replace some missing essentials, and my mom, Mint and I headed towards the beach by way of a few shops and Arlie Gardens. Mint, being a fan of gardens, and my mother, being a fan of Arlie Gardens in particular, would hardly have missed the chance to stop by, and myself never being one to complain about good scenery didn't complain. Besides, the Arlie Oak, which is more than 600 years old, never ceases to blow my mind. Six. Hundred. Years. People, that's old.

We all met back up at the beach, as is custom, and returned to Wilmington a while later for yet another dinner of extraordinary proportions. I briefly mentioned a few posts back about Wilmington's doing away of franchises in its historic downtown proper, but tonight's outing exemplified the remarkable accomplishment of such a snobbish policy: the owners and chefs that have flocked to downtown Wilmington have created a truly incredible culinary scene. Deluxe, or so I'm told, is one of its pillars with a simple and contemporary take on American cuisine.

There was North Carolina yellowfin tuna over spinach and quinoa with cucumber relish and Korean BBQ sauce; peppercorn grilled NY strip steak with goat cheese whipped potatoes; rabbit confit with bok choy and grilled sea scallop; not pictured, an incredible tandoori-baked salmon. I can't say anyone was disappointed with anything. Except, perhaps, with the chicken:

You can dress him up. Taking him out is questionable.

With our stomachs bursting a la our Grow-A-Pirate friend upstairs, we all proceeded to the sleek Pravda, a new Soviet-themed vodka bar situated in the downstairs of my brother's building. The crisp red lines of Pravda's interior mark off a space of sparse decor--a few cheeky Commie-kitsch posters and the obligatory red stars. The revolution will apparently be ironic. The place was full of fresh-spun 80's pop, courtesy of a DJ hiding conspicuously behind an empty dance floor. I suppose this type of Euro-trash revelry (with more actual dancing) might have made sense in post-Soviet-era Russia, but in Wilmington? Well, I suppose everybody does secretly love Cyndi Lauper. At least Mint does.

No comments: