I don't know how it's possible at this point, but I somehow had one friend left who had never been to the Black Sheep, a place barely four blocks from my apartment. In my own defense, she can be incredibly picky (and doesn't eat a LOT of things) so I may have unconsciously steered her away for fear that their creative menu would be off-putting to her. Which just goes to show you how little I know.
She loved the feel of the place. the art on the walls, our server's friendliness and the extremely reasonably priced wine menu. Her only disappointment was that there was no fried chicken on the menu, but she got over that.
We began with a bottle of the Albet i Noya Xarel-lo, a light Spanish white with which she couldn't possibly find a reason to complain. She did find the menu a tad overwhelming in its choices and was disappointed to hear that they'd run out of deviled eggs. Since she was taking so long to decide, I gave up on her and ordered my first course, the Field & Stream, consisting of mixed lettuces with asparagus, fingerling potatoes and smoked trout with a creamy dill dressing. A superb combination, with a slightly larger serving it would have been an entire meal.
She finally settled on the Fire and Ice (iceberg lettuce wedge with cilantro-chili marinated queso blanco, cucumber, grilled corn and jalapeno vinaigrette) and the Cuban Reuben (pastrami-cured pork loin, Chorizo, pink sauerkraut,Swiss and Cuban Reuben sauce on a ciabatta).
I could not resist the southern fried quail, buttermilk-battered and fried, and served with a cheddar and green onion waffle, sauteed greens and pepper jelly glaze. Dear god, this interpretation of the southern classic fried chicken and waffles was so far removed from the original and yet completely evocative of it in its own way. I sucked bones, I scarfed waffle with jelly and I left not one scrap of greens. Not that I earned any real southern cred for it (we northern types never really can you know), but damn it was good.
Our server is a friend of mine and just back from a vacation to the Eastern Shore and Luray, so she told me all about their scenic routes, the B & B where they stayed during their eastern stay and the time spent canoeing and swimming when they moved west. It was her first day back and she did look remarkably relaxed. She said she was especially enjoying waiting on our girls' night out because it reminded her of how much fun she has when she does the same.
My friend and I hadn't seen each other in a month, so there was much to catch up on, especially from her side. For me, not much had changed except the beagle's departure; otherwise my love life is still non-existent and I continue counting Americans. She had a couple of good man stories, one dismissed and one potential on the horizon, as well news of a meeting with a dating coach (I suppose if I watched TV I wouldn't have been so surprised that such people exist). I encouraged her in all of it because that's what friends do.
Naturally I finished with a La Brea Tarpit because, as Melissa reminded me, I'm not allowed to leave without having one. I still maintain it's a magnificent chocolate finish, especially for only four dollars (I know I'd pay more for it).
Now I have it in my head that what I need is a dating coach because apparently they teach you what you do that sends out the wrong messages and how to present yourself well to the types of guys who would interest you. Silly me, I thought all I needed was a good conversation to take care of all of that.
On the other hand, the last guy I tried dating started talking marriage on the third date, so maybe I'm not being clear enough about who I am and what I'm looking for. No, I think I'll just keep on talking until the right person figures me out. Imagine the dating coach fees I'll save.