Monday, June 27, 2011

Don't Try to Sell Me

I seriously needed to exchange my dutiful daughter hat for my fun-loving female one tonight.

Which is to say, I put on a favorite dress and walked over to Bistro 27 for a little supper and conversation, hoping for the best, but with the latest Spin in my bag in case of the worst.

I never needed to open it.

Upon sitting down in my usual stool, a guy greeted me from the corner of the bar and insisted that I get a drink immediately.

I hardly needed him to tell me that, but he was apparently letting me know that it was an imbibing sort of a night.

The bartender brought me Vinho Verde and up to speed on the changes in his life (sobriety! baby! board games!) and I informed him of mine.

There was no shortage of chatter, mind you.

Eventually the chef came over to talk and we got lost in talk of China, offal and frozen food (the restaurant kind).

There are few things as satisfying as talking to another tongue lover while looking at the Reserve wine list.

Vinho verde only gets a hungry girl so far, and eventually I ordered the salad of fresh avocado, diced baby shrimp, heart of palm, and mixed vegetables with a homemade European cocktail sauce on the chef's recommendation. 

The saucy mixture arrived in a hollowed-out avocado skin with assorted lettuces and Belgian endive all around the plate. 

The contrast of creamy shrimp salad and fresh crispy greens was truly a taste of summer.

Meanwhile the guy who had greeted me revealed himself to be a top-notch #1 salesman (he said so himself) and his mild-mannered companion was a business acquaintance.

They were drinking like there was no tomorrow, no doubt to forget their day jobs.

From what I overheard, the only topics on which they could discourse were sales and girls. 

The part where sales guy was discussing a friend's daughter ("I told him I wasn't into relationships because I'm taken. The only thing I could do for her was make her happy in bed") was just this side of repulsive.

When he left to make a call, his friend quizzed me on where I lived and where he should eat since he's new to Richmond from Harrisonburg. 

I vacillated between being honest in my opinions and telling him the kinds of places he'd probably like, since it seemed likely that never the twain shall meet. 

Let's just say that I was honest, but spare in sharing.

And as soon as his friend returned, he clammed up. 

I guess he wasn't supposed to be talking to me.

But the chef had no such restrictions, so we swung from what he's going to cook for me to my love life with overseas travel and renovations to the restaurant in between.

When I finally decided to leave, there was only one table lingering and that was a Martin Agency function where everyone was sounding pretty loopy.

Walking down Broad Street, I came across a guy leaning on a cab outside Comfort while the cabbie sat idling. Inside, they were doing their pig and brews dinner, but he'd apparently cut out early.

"You call for that cab?" I asked him just to see what he'd come back with.

"Not sure," he said. "Why? You want a ride?" 

No, indeed. 

I fully intended to stroll back to my house and unless I ran into Prince Charming, I had no interest in being driven.

Make that especially if Prince Charming happened along.

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