Before moving to Chicago, we had one last tour of our favorite places on the east coast. In a way that I only just realized, it was a perfect mirror of the beginning of our relationship, almost exactly a year later.
A few days at the shore. The ocean has been a difficult thing for both of us to give up, even though we've traded it for the quasi-tropical beauty of Lake Michigan. Our first "date" of sorts was at the shore, going swimming at midnight after a torrential early summer rain storm.
From that first night almost two years ago, our life together has revolved in a large part around our shared love of food. Soft shell crabs were just coming in season, and with memories of a dish he had once had with them at his favorite restaurant, Mercato, we spent days preparing them in different ways. Wanting to eschew the usual fried preparation, we quickly sauteed them each time with olive oil, garlic, and capers, and used them first to top a pasta with a light, fresh tomato sauce, and then over an arugula salad dressed with a simple dijon vinaigrette.
Then we headed up to New York for several days, staying at Jeff's brother's apartment in the West Village while he was away. There we discovered Il Cantuccio, a little Italian bakery/cafe that had just opened. In the five days we were there, I think we went at least a dozen times. Most of our mornings began like this with a moka coffee and the simplest and best sandwich——prosciutto crudo on salt-less Tuscan bread.
It was after this trip that we decided to do it——to move to Chicago, as soon as possible. It was time to leave and we had said goodbye.