All is quiet on New Year's Day, at least in the restaurant biz it seems. But it's Friday night and girls just want to have fun, so it was up to me to find someplace smart enough to be open. When I realized that my friend had not yet been to Tarrant's, it seemed like a golden opportunity to break her in and chat up my favorite friendly neighborhood bartender.
Of note for those of us who like to sit at the bar at Tarrant's is the change in the door orientation so it no longer opens onto the poor bar stool-sitting patrons. Even so, I chose stools near the end of the bar, the better to distance ourselves from what cold air did make it in and position ourselves to get maximum chat value from the barkeep.
We drank local with a bottle of the White Hall Viognier. a grape new to my friend but a favorite of mine. When the bartender asked her if she liked it, she responded, "I like wine." He laughed, saying he appreciated her directness.. I went with the grilled Mahi-Mahi sandwich with tartar sauce and house-made chips and she went the comfort food route with a bacon grilled cheese sandwich, mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. My sandwich was way large and hers was way thick so we both had a lot to eat.
Afterwards, we admired some of the old photographs of Tarrant's, a quaint reminder of its long-time presence in the neighborhood. We got a big kick out of a couple of old prescriptions written when it was still a drugstore back during the days of Prohibition; each was for a gallon of beer, to be taken a s directed. One Rx stated that the beer was for the treatment of diabetes. Riiiight. They're framed and hung, so history nerds like me can admire them.
Our gracious bartender presented us with the enormous brownie a la mode and shortly afterwards one of the waitresses insisted we taste the bread pudding a la mode. Delicious, both of them. We did what we could, but by this point we'd been there for three hours and were close to rolling off our stools, so we had to say when.
Our big topic of the evening was karma and the wait for what comes around to go around; it was the ideal conversation to have over a New Year's Day meal. One of the pleasures of Tarrant's has always been their daily schedule and tonight we appreciated how good of them it was to be open so we could begin 2010 within their cozy confines.