I revisited Amour Wine Bistro tonight for the first time since June, not that I actually remembered the last time I was there.
But owner Paul recognized me, welcomed me back and mentioned that it had been June when I was last in and Alsace had been the featured region. That's a man with a far better memory than mine; he said it was because he loves his job.
This month's featured region was Burgundy so I opted for a glass of the Macon-villages Verget, medium-bodied, elegant and tasting of apples.
As I sat at the bar sipping, I tried to decide what to eat off the bar menu. The bacon-wrapped veal medallion sounded wonderful (yum, pig wrapped cow? ) but so did the grilled half lobster tail with beurre blanc. Sea won over land tonight.
When my plate arrived, I knew I'd made the right choice. Besides the tail, there was a veggie medley of sauteed haricots vert, onions, and red peppers and a potato gratin made with Yukon Golds and Jarlsburg.
Everything tasted as good as it looked. The vegetables were perfectly cooked and seasoned, the potatoes creamy and decadent. I dunked chunks of lobster meat in the beurre blanc until both were gone. It was a heavenly meal.
Best of all, it was exactly the right portion size (and price: $14). Because I rarely order entrees, I miss out on a lot of dishes that are seldom offered anywhere but on the entree menu (short ribs, for instance). Here was lobster made for my appetite (and wallet). Score!
I took my time enjoying my meal and wine before moving on to the musical part of my evening at Balliceaux. Fight the Big Bull was playing and since I hadn't heard music since Sunday, it was inevitable that I seek some out.
Since I arrived before the band started, I could enjoy some time at the front bar with Austin, my fellow music geek and bartender. He's another one over the moon about the Flaming Lips show being announced for the National; I foresee this show selling out very quickly.
At the end of the little bar were two guys, one of whom was telling Austin about how he'd met his girlfriend on match.com and subsequently brought her to Balliceaux to woo her. I couldn't let that pass, inquiring of him if online dating was really worth it.
Turns out he's a huge proponent of it, saying,"I got matched! But you have to put a lot into it to get results." He said he'd had a dozen dates, only two of which were dull ("I just ate and left") before meeting his girlfriend, whom he raved about, saying "We had so much to talk about right away!"
"Every time she kisses me, I have to wipe off her lipstick, but she's incredibly hot, so she could wear asphalt on her lips and it'd be fine with me," he explained enthusiastically. I love the way some men think.
His friend was more interested in talking music and I had far more to contribute to that conversation, which worked out well. When I asked what he's currently listening to, he answered, "Eno and Black Keys." Now there's a starting point for discussion.
A friend of mine came in having just played in a jazz duo out in the counties. I expressed surprise that after playing all evening, he'd come out for more music.
"Yea, well, I'm not very good at playing jazz, so I came out to hear them to remind me what good jazz is," he explained, shrugging his shoulders. It sounded like as good a reason as any.
Heading back to hear the music, the happily dating guy gave me one last reminder before I left. "Try it," he enthused, pointing his finger at me. "I'm telling you, it really works. I got matched!"
Good gawd. Now I can add strangers to the list of people pushing me to look for amour online.