Lunch at Savoy - or - Behold the Parsnip

Trust me, this will tie in to dinner.

I informed My Girl after dance class today that she was taking me out to lunch. It could be a Valentines Day lunch or a late B’day lunch, it didn’t matter. We had a free all day park spot on the Upper West Side, and I was long, long longing to go to one of my favorite restaurants: Savoy in SoHo. My Girl was kind of against the idea because it involved taking the subway (she’s much more of a bus girl), but she put on her game face, clutched my hand and trooped down the stairs to the downtown track.

We got a nice little table (with a view of the fire place and Salman Rushdie) and were quickly overcome with choices. The woman at the next table was digging into the duck confit on polenta, which looked awfully tempting. They had a pork loin special that sounded good too. One of the best things, though, about the Savoy menu is the “little plates.” I suppose they are kind of like tapas. We chose: caramelized brussels sprouts with lardons; a salad of dates, ginger and carrots; and roasted beets with grated horseradish and orange. When we saw parsnip soup on the menu (with gruyere croutons) we knew we had to get that too. I had white wine and My Girl had lemonade, and we savored every bit. For dessert we shared a Meyer lemon tart with elderflower sorbet. My Girl didn’t like the sorbet, and I was glad because it was amazing (like eating flowers in the snow).

During the lunch, I confess, to being awfully proud of My Girl. I know when I was her age I would have avoided anything parsnip-like at all costs. I think she's game because we recently had pureed parsnips at home—and you can too. And you should because they are unbelievably good and super easy to make.

Here’s how:
Steam some skinned parsnips and skinned carrots until tender. (Many more parsnips than carrots)
•Put the cooked pieces in a food processor (or if you have a good friend who has recently moved to Paris and gave you her immersion blending stick because of the different Euro electrical current use that.)
•Add some butter and process or blend.
•Add some salt and pepper.
•Serve to your friends and family to their utter amazement.