December 23-24, 2014

After work I decided to check out Bar Virgile; you may have seen a photo of a small portion of it yesterday.

Some observations:

  • The decor and the overall vibe are kind of not-Durham, but not in a bad way. I felt like I was in, well, Atlanta, or at least the small part of Atlanta that feels relatively cosmopolitan. Someone has paid a lot of attention to details in a way that hasn’t always been the case around here.
  • Juju has a similar vibe. 2015 is apparently going to be the year in which Durham steps up its game, ambience-wise. 
  • Carrie from G2B is the chef at Bar Virgile, which is emphatically a bar, but which also has a pretty substantial menu of cheeses, charcuterie & bar food (sausages, sandwiches, fried stuff). And frog legs and escargots. I always liked the food at G2B & hated everything else about it, so I’m 100% OK with this change.
  • It was packed at 6:45 on the Tuesday night before Christmas Eve. This doesn’t necessarily bode well for anyone actually hoping to get in & get a seat & get served at any point in the future.

Tuesday evening we watched Tusk, the 2014 Kevin Smith movie. I wish that I had known more about the back-story before we bothered to rent it – apparently Smith wrote the whole thing in an hour while stoned on a podcast with a friend of his? It shows. A lot.

M has been sick with a heavy-duty chest cold for 3-4 days now, and I have been zincing up a storm trying to keep it out of me. I may be slowly losing that battle. At least I’m off work until next Monday, although I had sincere plans involving node.js and a new WXDU music database.

I felt OK this morning but the day has been kind of touch-and-go.

Tonight we saw Wild, the new Reese Witherspoon movie based on Cheryl Strayed’s book about hiking the 1000-mile Pacific Crest Trail from the California/Mexico border to Oregon. Witherspoon is OK – I had a hard time sympathizing with her character, but I don’t know that that’s her fault. Laura Dern is outstanding as Strayed’s mom, but then I think she’s outstanding in literally everything she does.

Overall, while I’m glad it was made – lord knows we need more movies with strong women as primary characters – it was a little too heavy on the pop-psych and over-obvious poetry quotes for my tastes.

Just got home from dinner at Piedmont. I have eaten at Piedmont on a fairly regular basis since it opened, through good times and not-so-good times, and I can say with a fair degree of confidence that the food now is better than it has ever been. 

This is a fairly recent development – as little as 3-4 months ago, the current chef & FOH manager were clearly trying really hard, but hadn’t quite worked out all the kinks. But this fall it seems like everything really locked into place.

December 23-24, 2014