One of the many events cancelled due to snow is tonight's performance of the Richmond Symphony, which worked out well for me because it left my friend Nicholas, who plays bass clarinet for the symphony, with a free afternoon and nobody better than me to hang out with. Nicholas lives in NYC, so we can only get together when he's down here for a performance and he offered to pick me up for a late lunch.
Where do you take a former Richmonder to show him what's new and delicious since we last ate together? I'd dazzled him with the Belvidere (here) last time, which meant it was time to impress him with Garnett's today. Walking in, the place was only half full, a rarity for Garnett's, but perfect for us. We sat at the raised table by the door, so as to have the best view of the room since it was Nicholas' first visit.
In all the times I've eaten at Garnett's, I've never gotten anything but sandwiches and desserts. Today I ordered the spinach salad with avocado, pine nuts, red onions and grapefruit vinaigrette and it was wonderful and, most important, not over-dressed (my chief complaint with far too many salads). Nicholas got the chicken salad sandwich on gluten-free bread, arguably the best chicken salad in rva. Well done, Hunter.
Semi-permanent Garnett's guest Cy was there, assembling a snowball stockpile with which to do battle with two five-year olds. He was stacking them on the vintage chair collection outside the restaurant; it made for a very charming picture to anyone walking by. Cy, like Nicholas, is gluten-intolerant, which led to a discussion of which spirits are okay for those who are (Maker's Mark came up quite a bit; in fact, Maker's slushies made with snow occupied the conversation for far longer than it should have).
When we weren't being alcoholically distracted by Cy, Nicholas and I discussed the state of our love lives and why some people are willing to settle while others continue to seek out "the one." Meanwhile, a couple came in wearing the latest snow accessory: plastic bags rubber-banded over their shoes. Nicholas had never seen this before, but the last snowfall seems to have made it practically commonplace around here. There used to be a time when boots weren't absolutely essential to get through a Richmond winter, but not so much anymore. So we adapt.
Like Nicholas adapted to unexpectedly having his day free. It's a shame for symphony-goers, but it worked out awfully well for me. And he loved Garnett's, not that I thought for a moment he wouldn't. Of all people, a transplanted New Yorker would see the beauty of a cozy neighborhood sandwich spot with a view of the snowfall...especially one with curbside parking. So quaint!