My evening got off to an auspicious start when a favorite friend showed up at my house with a bottle of Roderer Estate L'Ermitage Brut 2000. It was amazingly creamy, with tiny little bubbles and a long, crisp finish; in other words, heaven for bubble lovers like her and me and, frankly, we left not a drop. While we sipped our bubbles, she was good enough to do some blog and character analysis for me; I always enjoy her interpretation of life and love because it's so different than mine.
The plan was to meet a friend of hers at Mama Zu's for dinner, but once we arrived, the swelling crush of humanity waiting for tables was overwhelming and F.F. lost all interest in being part of that madness. I've admitted before that Mama Zu's is not a personal favorite, so I had no qualms about finding another destination, although my friend had had enough and decided to head home.
I knew this week was the fourth anniversary for Bistro 27, one of my longest running J-Ward neighborhood hangouts, so I decided to go celebrate with them. And by celebrate, I mean eat obscene amounts of food and wine while engaging in assorted restaurant talk with some delightful bar sitters out for their bi-weekly date night.
My meal consisted of calamari with squid ink over polenta, an earthy and soul-satisfying sausage and potato soup, and a scallop and crab ravioli in tomato cream sauce. I should not have been able to walk out of there after so much excellent food; Carlos' advice was to eat light tomorrow to compensate. My wine of choice for the duration was the 2007 Almira Los Dos Grenache and Syrah and despite being full to the gills, I had a chocolate mousse with fresh berries to finish.
My fellow bar sitters engaged me in conversation to augment their city dining knowledge. It seems they go out every other week to an independent city restaurant and wanted my thoughts on where they'd been and where I'd recommend for future outings. They've been city diners, despite being suburban residents for years, so our discussion included such blasts from the past as Chetti's, Moondance and Bird in Hand, as well as some of their more recent outings, like Edo's Squid, Popkin's and Gibson's. I love the date night tradition (maybe I'll even eventually want to have one myself again) and their willingness to experiment with new places. Wouldn't it be a better restaurant world if more people followed their lead and enjoyed the restaurant bounty our little city has to offer instead of doing the safe, easy thing when it comes to dining out?
Me, I already knew what a gem Bistro 27 is, but a delicious little birthday celebration meal like I had tonight is still an excellent reminder of the stellar food that is to be found in rva...if you get out to enjoy it. As one of my new suburban friends asked, "Do you ever eat at home?"
Why would I with all Richmond has to offer?