I went to my friendly neighborhood corner bar tonight because they were starting a new music series and, good god, I hadn't been out for live music in five days.
Please don't judge me.
Playing tonight was the guitar/saxophone duo of Alan Parker and Roger Carroll and the gig looks to be a regular happening on Wednesdays at The Belvidere at Broad.
When I walked in shortly after 7, every table was taken and there were only a couple of bar stools available.
I picked a corner stool, with a clear view of the musicians, with good and bad results.
Fortuitously, the couple on my left were wine-savvy foodies and terrific conversationalists.
Sadly, the guy to my right was rapidly becoming drunk and overly friendly.
The first question out of his mouth was, "You're gorgeous. How old are you?"
Now there's a way to make a first impression.
To my utter delight, The Belvidere had added some new items to the menu and deleted a few.
After five months in business, they were ready to shake up the menu a bit (fear not, that magnificent smoked salmon and award-winning burger are still there).
The Roasted Red and Golden Beet Salad with Maytag Bleu Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts and Micro-Greens and Beet Puree was generously sized and a great value.
The Roasted Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach, Tomato, Herbed Cream Cheese, Parmigiana Reggiano over a Red Pepper Cream Sauce was decadently rich (and gluten free).
The Grilled Tenderloin canapes were crostini topped with a mound of grilled tenderloin, caramelized red onion, chives and house horseradish sauce.
The tenderloin was melt-in-your-mouth wonderful. They come five to a plate and are a meal in and of themselves, so order it for yourself at your own risk.
Also new on the menu was the poached pear dessert, which I was too full for, but the charming couple shared it and raved about it.
Of course, in my world additional dessert choices are always a good thing.
The music was clearly a draw as the crowd stayed or left and was replaced for the entire three hours it was being played.
The occasional person stood outside to listen through the window.
At times the wail of the saxophone got loud, but was so well done that the crowd just backed off on their noise level.
Meanwhile, the obnoxious drunk guy continued his assault, repeating himself endlessly and asking me everything from whether or not I'd go outside and smoke weed with him to how I managed to look so good when he was 13 years younger and looked so awful.
I had a few theories, but mostly pretended like I was deaf.
I've got no problem ignoring one bad apple when the rest of the evening includes well-prepared food, live music and interesting people to talk to.
That's three things I inevitably find at my corner bar.