At the end of April, The Whaling Club hosted a gin cocktail and oyster shucking workshop at The Jefferson in Culver City. Gin and oysters are one of our favorite pairings, and we loved sharing some knowledge on both from the professionals: Chef Noah Rosen and House Spirits Distillery’s Director of On Premise Outreach and Education, Brooke Arthur. Noah kicked it off with the oyster shucking lesson. He brought three kinds of oysters to shuck and taste: Kumiai, Beausoleil, and Shigoku. I was so proud of everyone! Bunch of pros right off the bat (and no one cut themselves!). Once everyone had shucked and enjoyed a few oysters, Dan taught everyone how to make their first cocktail: The Blind Date. The Blind date is a refreshing and delicious shaken gin cocktail with lemon, Lillet rose, and St. Germain. Dan then discussed the history and evolution of the classic martini, and lead everyone in stirring their own. Brooke taught us all about Aviation Gin; the flavor profile and how it’s distilled in Portland. At the end, she offered tastings of the other House Spirits products, and I think I caught a few people tasting out of their oyster shells! Love it! Thank you to all who attended! We had a wonderful time meeting each of you!
On our last day in Paris we walked to the Jardin du Luxembourg with a baguette and soft cheese. Why is the cheese so good?? It was hot out, so we snagged some grass in the shade among and ate our (now VERY) soft cheese. While Dan relaxed and cooled off a bit I strolled through the gardens and took a few photos. ^^Reminds me of the lions outside the Art Institute of Chicago!
From there we walked to the Musee Rodin, a museum dedicated to the works of French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The museum used to be a hotel, and looks like a beautiful old mansion surrounded by beautiful gardens. I loved it here. ^^Dan’s holding a bottle of Amer Picon that he picked up on our walk from Jardin du Luxembourg to the Musee Rodin. He traveled with it all the way back to Los Angeles for a very special upcoming Whaling Club.
That night we had a delicious dinner and cocktails at Le Mary Celeste. We strolled back through Le Marais toward our flat, ate a nutella crepe, and stopped to have a few glasses of red wine and peanuts at a sidewalk cafe. Such a picturesque last night in Paris! In the morning we left our sweet Parisian flat and took the Eurostar to London. Last honeymoon post and London pictures up next!
Everyone told us that Paris is a very walkable city–and it’s true! We walked almost everywhere with a few trips on the metro. (The metro, however, is amazing. So clean and we never waited more than two minutes for a train.) Walking also took us through neighborhoods we were interested in exploring, but didn’t have a specific destination for. We walked from our flat down to Sainte-Chapelle, and on the way Dan stopped for a jambon and cornichon baguette he had spotted the day before. Cornichons are one of his favorite foods, and we’d never seen them IN a sandwich before! ^^The line to get in to the Sainte-Chapelle was intimidatingly long, and we weren’t sure we’d get in in time to make our lunch reservation at Septime. But luckily it moved quickly. I read that each column was a different biblical story, and each window frame was a moment of that story. It’s kind of like the original comic strip, you know? ^^The winding stairs leading to the stained glass.We walked from the Sainte-Chapelle to Septime, which is in the Bastille neighborhood. Septime was one of the most highly anticipated meals of our trip, and it did not disappoint. Our friends Carly and JB had gifted us this meal through our Honeyfund, and scoring a reservation had been a challenge. So we were thrilled to get in. We arrived just in time for our reservation to a completely full restaurant, and we waited briefly at the bar for our table. The restaurant was simple and beautiful, with gorgeous light. The patrons all seemed to be speaking French, and we got the sense that it was mostly locals. The staff was very welcoming, and almost all spoke English. They brought us this bowl of thinly sliced ham and fresh bread while we waited (the bread and wine were consistently great everywhere we went). One of the waitresses came over and explained the menu to us, and we decided to go for it and have the tasting menu. She asked us if there was anything we wouldn’t eat, and we said no…One of the courses was pigeon, and there was an item on our plates that we couldn’t quite identify. We asked our server what it was, and she put her hand to her heart and said “it makes you strong.” It was the heart of the pigeon! Dan couldn’t quite bring himself to eat that, so I went for it and ate mine AND his! I’m extra strong now. As we were walking back to our flat, Dan commented that he felt like it was one of the most current meals we’d had, meaning we had experienced what the modern Paris cuisine scene was like right at this moment, and potentially where it would continue to go.^^Dessert was peaches, raspberries, and lily ice cream.^^That evening (after a little post-Septime nap) we went to the Arc de Triomphe. The light was beautiful, and we walked to the top for a 360 degree view of Paris. If you look closely, you can see all the people on the top of the Arc in the photo above. ^^View of the Champs-Elysees.From there we walked down the Champs-Elysees to Laduree, a luxury French bakery, famous for their macarons. ^^I ordered rose ice cream (it really tasted like roses, in a good way!) with four mini macarons on top. And then, because we couldn’t be stopped, we headed back to the Bastille neighborhood and went to Septime’s casual sister spot, Clamato, for a romantic dinner at the bar, where we continued the culinary adventure with snails, shrimp, and the highly recommended razor clams, all served on Falconware. The place was packed!
The next morning we tried to get to the Louvre early to beat the long lines. We entered from the underground entrance, since it was so hot out, which I think saved us some entry time. ^^Napoleon III Apartments The Louvre is so huge! We spent hours taking it all in, then retreated to the Jardin des Tuileries to find a little shady spot after being surrounded by people in the museum. I was leaning back in one of the green park chairs, when I felt something wet drop onto my chest. A bird pooped on me!! That’s the first time that’s ever happened to me, and I know they say it’s good luck, but I’m pretty sure that’s just what they say to make you feel better (like rain on your wedding day). Luckily it didn’t land on my clothes, just skin, and Dan ran to an ice cream stand for some napkins and wiped it off because I was freaking a little. What a guy! From there we walked back to Le Marais, stopping at Berthillon for ice cream and sorbet.^^As you can see in many of these photos, Dan sweetly carried my beloved Ona camera bag whenever it started to feel heavy.
We had a croque madame and charcuterie plate at a cute cafe around the corner from our flat, then cocktails at Candelaria, a taqueria with a speakeasy in the back. This took us a little bit north of our flat into part of Le Marais neighborhood we hadn’t explored yet. We loved seeing all the different cafes with outdoor seating. Dan pointed out that all the chairs were positioned to face out, so you ate sitting side by side and could look out to the street. This seemed to be the set up everywhere in Paris. It makes me smile to think about that evening, walking through “our” neighborhood, and taking it all in together. I have a bit more to share from Paris, then we’re off to London! Thanks for indulging me!
We were thrilled to host The Whaling Club in February with House Spirits Distillery! Dan has been a longtime fan of their Aviation Gin, and we were excited when our friend, Brooke, approached us with the possibility of partnering for a very special Whaling Club event. We were also honoring the departure of our dear friends, Chef Frank Anderson and Chef Rebecca Ambrosi, who are moving to Maine. Frank has been a part of The Whaling Club almost since the beginning, serving up oysters, mussels, Cuban sandwiches, crostinis, and last month he and Rebecca pulled out all the stops with an epic raw bar. Oysters, mussels, Peruvian scallops, shrimp, uni shooters, and lobster tacos! Dan started the night off with a refreshing cocktail named the Prop Plane, featuring Aviation Gin, and pomelo (a pink citrus that is a sweeter grapefruit varietal). Dan followed that with a Pineapple Daiquiri #2 featuring House Spirits Rum. And we finished the night with the Hart of Portland, featuring Westward Whiskey, super bright blood oranges, and spicy ginger. Brooke was also tasting guests on a variety of House Spirits, including their coffee liqueur which seems to me like the perfect night cap. A very special thank you to Brooke and House Spirits Distillery, Chef Frank, Chef Rebecca, and all our guests who joined us! It was an unforgettable night!See more pictures on instagram: @thewhalingclub | @acozyboat| @b_arthur
For me, the end of a year and the beginning of a new one always brings a bit of mixed emotions. A little bit exciting, a little bit daunting. 2013 was such a special year for me. Reflecting on some of the highlights the other day as I browsed my photos from the past year helped me realize that you never know exactly what’s coming, and that’s part of the fun. And that sometimes what feels like a failure or scary in the moment, actually turns out to be a positive or lead you down a path you might never have tried otherwise. So, in no particular order, here some of my highlights from 2013. Dan and I got engaged. It makes me tear up a little (trying to hold it together, I’m currently on a plane) to think about. Our engagement was so sweet and special, and I don’t know if you’re supposed to say this, but I just love my ring so much! And the engagement, of course, led to the beginning of wedding planning, dress shopping with my mom and girlfriends, an engagement shoot, and asking our loved ones to be a part of the wedding. For this reason alone, 2013 will always be a favorite. Photography. Being a freelancer and starting my own business is challenging, but I’m finding my way and am so grateful to have a job doing something I love. I’ve had some really cool opportunities come my way this year, and I’ve worked with so many lovely and creative clients. My photos were published in the LA Times, Bon Appetit, Los Angeles Magazine, and Angeleno Magazine. And many of my headshot clients signed with new representation and received countless auditions based on their new shots. As with any creative field, it’s a journey not a race, and I’m excited to continue to learn and expand my technical skills, as well as stay creative and see things in a new way. The Whaling Club celebrated one year. When Dan and I started The Whaling Club we didn’t know what would happen. Would people like it? We quickly learned the answer was yes, and we’re so happy for that! I can’t wait to see where The Whaling Club takes us this year, but we have a few ideas in mind. Thank you to all of our 2013 guests, the writers who have featured us in their publications, Chef Frank Anderson for joining us over the year, and Sarah Mullin for her ongoing illustrations.
— jenny slate (@jennyslate) March 15, 2013
I booked a co-star in my first pilot. The best part was being invited to attend the network table read. I felt like skipping the whole time! And I worked with some of my female comedy idols. Margot and I created “Margot & Marie”! You can watch all the episodes of Season 1 here. Working with Margot on this show has been so rewarding, and there’s more to come. Mexico. Dan’s parents took the whole family to the Riviera Maya to celebrate their wedding anniversary and vow renewal. We swam with sea turtles, lay on the beach, snorkeled, and spent a very memorable day in Tulum. Spank Show. One of my goals this year was to write a sketch show with my hilarious and talented friend, Tim, and put it up at Upright Citizens Brigade. We put a lot into it and it felt AMAZING to perform. Tim is a gem of a person and performer, and the brilliant Drew Droege directed. Our friends came out to pack the house and laugh when my wig flew off!Weddings. We went to a lot of weddings this year, and I’m not just saying this, but each one was really special and unique to the couple. I know it’s partially because we’re planning our own wedding, but I really loved seeing all the details each couple and their families chose and focused on. The majority of these weddings brought me back to Chicago to reunite with my girlfriends and get a little extra time with my family. And of course, everything in between… Caitlin and Emilie coming to visit me in LA. Seeing my brother’s beautiful musical. “Matilda” on Broadway with my parents. Quality time with my Grandmom both at her house in Connecticut and at Thanksgiving in Chicago. Dinners at Bucato, Longman & Eagle, The Publican, The University Club of Chicago, Hartwood, Baco Mercat, Bar Ama, Water Grill… Quiet nights at home in our apartment. Our first Christmas Tree. Bootcamp getting me out of bed in the mornings. Weekly improv practice with my team. Auditions. Watching Downton Abbey with my family. A day trip to Santa Barbara. Camping in Ojai. Ivan & Alyosha at the Troubadour. Support of friends near and far. The love and encouragement of my family.
Happy New Year to my little group of readers out there! I appreciate you stopping by!
The November Whaling Club really felt like the official beginning of the holiday season! Dan’s drinks were seasonal and put everyone in the cozy, festive spirit. Starting the night off was the Maple Leaf, a rye cocktail topped with grated cinnamon and garnished with a fragrant cinnamon stick. Next up was the Cider Cup, a bourbon, apple, lemon, ginger cocktail served over a hand cut cube — definitely a highlight of the night; spicy and seasonal. And finally, the Thistle, sometimes referred to as The Thistle Cocktail, with equal parts Scotch and sweet vermouth for both Scotch lovers and Scotch newbies to enjoy. We loved hosting our new guests as well as welcoming back friends. Enjoying cocktails feels like such a holiday activity…so I guess we celebrate the holidays year ’round over here at The Whaling Club! Thank you to all who joined us this month. If you’d like to attend a future event, email email@example.com to join our invite list.
Menu & Logo Illustration by the lovely Sarah Mullin.
For the past year, we’ve been looking for a cool and classic bar cart for the apartment. We really wanted something with a gold or brass detail–they’re surprisingly hard to find! We have a couple of wood bars from Ikea that we’ve stained and hold a lot of our glassware and alcohol, but the bar cart we were looking for was to display our nicer bottles and the gorgeous decanter and rocks glasses we had received as an engagement gift. We had an eye out every time we went to the flea market or thrift store over the past year, and most new bar carts are going to cost you a pretty penny. We were planning on buying this one for a while, but even that seemed a little pricey for what it was. Then Cupcakes and Cashmere recently posted a link to this Wood and Brass Bar Cart from Target. I knew as soon as I saw it and read the reviews online that it was a steal for the look. I called Target, put it on hold, and picked it up at 10:30pm right before they closed. It’s so rare of me to pull the trigger like that (can’t decide what prints to frame for the life of me), but I just had this feeling it would sell out. Nothing like a little fear of missing out to get you going! Dan filled the cart with all his favorite cocktail books the night I brought it home. The whale migrated over from the mantel for the time being, as well as our beloved Heath vase (another thoughtful engagement gift). I didn’t even realize until I was processing these photos that the fourth rocks glass was in the kitchen sink and not on the bar cart. Oh well! Bar carts are pretty trendy right now, but I have a feeling we’ll always have one (or three) in our home…
This month we celebrated our one year anniversary of The Whaling Club! I really can’t believe it’s been a full year since we started brainstorming this idea. Dan and I had been slowly piecing it together, and then our friends Sarah and Noah came over and we really hashed out the details–like the three drink progression, how we would invite people, and designing our logo and menu. Then several months in, Frank joined us with oysters and took the night to a whole new level. This month we went back to The Whaling Club in its most original form: three knockout cocktails. The menu has been different every month so far, but for our anniversary we brought back highlights from the year. The Mint Daiquiri is one of my favorite cocktails, and I love when people have it at The Whaling Club and it totally shatters their idea of what a daiquiri is. Dan loves ginger cocktails, the spicier the better, and the Presbyterian has that yummy kick. The Bowline is one of Dan’s original recipes. Like a good stirred drink, it’s one you slowly sip on to finish the night. A very special thank you to Sarah Mullin for her perfect illustrations, Frank for sharing his talent and passion with us, everyone who is has written us up and featured The Whaling Club online and in publications, and most importantly, all our guests who have made The Whaling Club what it is so far. We promise to keep the party going and always deliver simple cocktails executed with care! If you’d like to attend The Whaling Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our mailing and invite list.
Earlier this month we spent a weekend in Chicago for the wedding of our friends, Sally and Andrew. Andrew’s last name is Boots, and it’s pretty much what everyone calls him. I love that Sally’s full name will now be Sally Boots! Adorable! On the Friday before the wedding we went straight from the airport to an early dinner at the Publican. Definitely one of the best meals and service that I’ve had in a while. The menu is super meat focused, and the booths have doors on them like cattle corrals–which made the meal feel private and cozy even in such a busy restaurant. Both the Publican and the wedding reception were in the Fulton Market/West Loop neighborhood, which is apparently where lots of awesome restaurants are popping up. Here are some photos from the wedding! Sally is one of my oldest friends, and weddings with all my childhood and high school girlfriends always proves to be a little silly…especially when someone discovered there were fake mustaches…^^Yep, even our bride, Sally, put on a mustache! She’s the best.
Congratulations, Sally and Boots! You two are the sweetest couple and we had the most amazing night celebrating with you!