Sunday, December 6, 2009

Take Me Away, Bistro 27

I completely missed today's snow, probably because i was in a funk (a turducken discussion funk, of all things), which was a shame. Ordinarily, I really enjoy watching snow fall. Along about 8ish, I decided to head to Bistro 27 for whatever it was I needed, which had yet to be determined. Most of their crowd had been pre-Symphony business, so things were quieting down by the time I arrived.

Upon my arrival, Chef Carlos greeted me with "Good evening, Maria," to which I responded by leaving a big pink lipstick outline on his cheek. Since forgetting my name once, it has become Carlos' mission in life to always address me enthusiastically by any name other than my own. I smile about it because his staff gives him so much of a hard time about it....still. As well they should.

One of my favorite things about this local hangout of mine is how well I know the staff. Tonight I was able to discuss Dave's recent comedy show with him while he tried to entice me to join him after work at Emilio's for The Brakes; we then debated the Smiths and the Cure. I heard from Kevin about his new kitten and upcoming med school interview (hair has been cut, nails are next). Pedro and I talked families, coloring and the many places he sees me around the neighborhood and doesn't say hello; he assured me that that will be corrected. It's amazing how often it happens that people say they see me everywhere because I notice practically no one.

Carlos had dealt with the dinner rush, so he had the time to sit with me and drink wine and discuss the state of newspapers, global warming, hooking up and job searches. The highlight may have been him showing me his Brazilian ID card from when he was 18. What a handsome young man he was at such a young age! I could only wish my 18-year old ID was half as flattering, but I know that wasn't the case.

But it was the last several hours after the restaurant closed that I probably enjoyed the most. Manager Ken and I have spent many an evening discussing our overlapping and opposing musical tastes, but tonight we went in a different direction. Ken wanted to give me dating advice as well as his thoughts on some of the guy friends I'd brought in for dinner. I'm always curious about the male point of view, so I listened to his recommendations, male-centric though some of them may have been. I happen to know for a fact that it's not always about sex, despite his insistence that it is.

But it was our discussion of heavier things, namely untimely death, that kept us both lingering way past closing. Few people can relate to losing a loved one to death prematurely, so when we discovered our mutual trauma, we had much to share with each other. Our conversation began with him lecturing me about loosening my dating standards and segued into overcoming grief and still he manged to bring it back to what I should be doing to entice men and find a sexual relationship.

I'm fortunate to have a nearby place with terrific food (Bistro salad, crab and shrimp ravioli in roasted red pepper cream sauce and multiple glasses of Gouguenheim Malbec and Ken's two favorite Pinot Noirs), varied conversational partners and a willingness to dispense advice to customers until all hours.

It didn't quite lift me completely out of my funk, but it was an excellent distraction. As Ken and I discussed, there are times that a distraction is the most you can hope for. Or, as he so succinctly put it, "That was some deep shit."

Indeed it was.


  1. It's always nice to be able to swing by a neighborhood joint (well, joint is not the right word for how classy TwentySeven is), especially if you are in a funk. I admire that you frequently go out to eat alone, and wish I was braver to do that more often. I definitely would more if I knew restaurant staff as well as you do. There's nothing like an impromptu deep conversation at the bar over good food and drink.

  2. And I only know them so well because I hang out in their places. If I waited for someone to be free to go out with me, I'd miss a lot, so I just go out by myself. I almost always bring reading material, but prefer when the customers and staff want to talk.
    I highly recommend never know who you might end up talking to.