My friend, the accountant, was celebrating the end of the tax extension deadline.
So, while my taxes are long filed, there are apparently a lot of bar and restaurant owners who only filed today.
And when he asked where we should meet, I picked someplace convenient to me: Bistro 27.
I arrived first and shooed a few employees from the three best stools so that when my friends arrived, we had our places set.
Friend was a bit harried after his final day coordinating tax returns, but things got better as soon as we ordered a bottle of Burgnas Albarino.
It helped but Bistro 27 was hopping and with no real designated bartender, we had to work for our service tonight.
Friend complimented me on my "new" dress, a Diversity Thrift $3 find he thought showcased my, er, assets.
The same friend needed to give me a hard time about several things, including our long-ago rainy night trip to Ashland Coffee and Tea (I may have over-shared my personal life) and our 2009 trip to Portsmouth (I wasn't his first choice for a companion) and my recent admission at a friend's dinner ("I can't forget what you said"), making for a slow start to the evening.
When we finally got our server's attention, we ordered a bottle of the Domaine les Vieux Murs Pouilly Fuisse, a beautiful wine worthy of celebrating the end of tax season.
To accompany such a fine wine choice, I had the gnocchi with braised oxtail, a long-cooked dish that had an earthy flavor and light-as-air gnocchi.
We had the good company of Bistro Bobette's bartender, his wife and another lunch spot owner, so the conversation flowed fast and furiously.
For dinner, I had the lamb kebob over an antipasto of chick peas, walnuts, red pepper and eggplant. The unique underpinnings of the stellar lamb made me glad I'd chosen something off the new Fall menu.
Our server had disappeared once actor Bruce McGill had arrived and begun spinning tales of his acting past, but it's hard to resist the allure of celebrity, so we didn't complain about his absence even when the Chef joined him.
My friends and I had a lot of fun eating, drinking and skewering the staff for their celebrity devotion while we looked on.
No doubt the cast of "Lincoln" is going to distract RVA for months to come.
The accountant took issue with the chef's statement that Gisele Bundchen earned $44 million a year (sort of like how I take issue with mountain bikes that have eighteen gears), but numbers are his business.
Frankly, once you start talking about more than a million a year, my eyes starts to gloss over, but then, I'm a poor writer.
We finished our meal with chocolate mousse and a chocolate cup with zabaglione and fresh berries, proving that no matter how deep the conversation gets, there's always room for chocolate.
The chef joined us, a server too, and before long we had a spirited discussion of celebrity worship ("My Cousin Vinny" and "Animal House" being the points of reference) once the celebrity left the house and all agreed that life is better as a non-entity.
Of course, we have to think that since no one fawns over us when we arrive at a restaurant.
On the other hand, my taxes were paid by April 15th. And I don't have to put up with obsequious behavior.
Unlike Bruce McGill, I prefer to be challenged, not fawned over.