|Greg and I|
|I realized when I got home that I had forgotten to take a photo of the outside of the restaurant. I hope Carbone doesn't mind me using this pic from their website!|
|Me and Dawn (We figured out that night that we've known each other for 12 years now--ever since we were lowly interns and assistants at Harper's Bazaar. Crazy!)|
|My Hoboken mom friends! Kate, Chris, me, Amanda, Elizabeth, and Andrea|
...And I was actually surprised! Okay, so I had thought maybe something was up on Saturday, the day before my birthday, but only because my husband, Greg, asked me what I was going to wear to dinner and whether or not I was getting my hair done. This was WEIRD. Let me just say, we've been married for almost ten years, so I rarely spend more than 30 seconds thinking about what I'm going to wear when we go out together--and he certainly doesn't spend even half that long worrying about my clothes. Plus, I had a four-day-old blowout that was still looking decent, so I hadn't even considered getting my hair done.
But I started to get nervous. I made a blowout appointment for that day, and decided to make a pre-dinner appointment at Blushington on the day of my birthday, so that I could get my makeup done. My guess was that we were going to dinner, and that, afterwards, we would meet a few friends for drinks at a bar or something.
So, on Sunday, I took my daughter and nieces to see School of Rock (side note: It was really, really good--I definitely recommend it!). My college-aged niece took the kids home, while I headed straight to get my makeup done. After my appointment, my husband picked me up and we took a cab downtown to Carbone, an Italian restaurant in the Village.
And remember: I am still thinking we are going to dinner just the two of us and that maybe a small surprise is happening later. So, we walked up to the host stand, gave our name, and the hostess (who seriously needs to perfect her poker face) smiles huge and says: "Ohhhh HERTZIG!" So of course, at that point, I figured something was happening at dinner.
They led us back to the private room and that's when I got the true surprise. We weren't meeting another couple or two. Instead, there were 20 of my friends gathered there yelling "Surprise!" and singing Happy Birthday. I had never expected that and I was truly surprised!
And, I don't know if you guys have ever eaten at Carbone, but get on that. Because the food was INSANE. And filling. Too filling because I was almost completely full by time the pasta course arrived and I could barely eat another bite. The standouts: Mozzarella sticks with ribbons of marinara and pesto tucked inside, baked clams (I don't normally like clams, but these just tasted like butter and breadcrumbs, so AWESOME), the rigatoni with vodka, which was definitely among the top five pastas I have ever eaten in my life, the lobster ravioli, and the chicken Massimo, which I could only pick at by that point since I had eaten so much, but OH MY GOD.
It was an awesome night of wine, amazing food, great friends, and more wine. So, so fun. Years ago, I had once mentioned causually to Greg how I had always wanted a surprise party. But growing up with a birthday on Valentine's Day, it was never really possible. As I've written before, there were many, many years when I couldn't even see friends on my birthday, because everyone was always out with their boyfriends. But by this point in my life, most of my friends are old and married like me, so holiday-birthday surprise parties are now possible. Score old for the olds! ;)
I was so happy that so many friends came out to celebrate and so floored that my husband went to the effort to plan this for me. Big thanks to all of my friends and to Greg for pulling it off. I had an amazing time!