Friday, February 17, 2012

Fasten Your Seatbelts, It's Gonna Be a Bumpy Life

It was like tag team catch-up sessions.

I met up with a friend and when she finished with me, she handed me off to another.

First we have Casa Patronales 2010 Carmenere Reserva with charcuterie, followed by lamb and chocolate mousse.

As a post-Valentine's Day bonus, the mousse arrives with chocolate-covered strawberries the size of a small fist.

And yet the strawberries are surprisingly sweet. Better living through chemicals, no doubt.

As one of my my very favorite long-time friends, I thoroughly enjoy talking with her about men we know, Valentine's Day and enjoying every bit of time we can find.

Over velvety wine and savory food, she talks about wanting me to come work with her doing what I do well; I want to hear about her trip to D.C. and seeing the Annie Leibowitz show.

As the supportive friend who has been listening to my saga in detail for three years now, she is happy to hear of all that has transpired since we last got together.

She brings me a trio of iced sugar cookies, heart-shaped, pink and red and polka-dotted and tasting of butter and sugar while I bring her womanly reading material.

Prosciutto is mistaken for pastrami, but not by either of us.

When she leaves to go home to her beloved, I leave to meet another friend at Bistro Bobette.

I can tell it's the day after Valentine's Day because I find a parking space directly across the cobble-stoned street from the restaurant.

The bar is empty when I arrive but the music is outstanding; Pandora is tuned to Thievery Corporation, making for a compelling variety of music.

The charming bartender pours me blood orange liqueur and welcomes me back after a bit of an absence.

A server unexpectedly drops the calculator in the sink and smilingly blames my tights for the distraction.

By the time my friend finally joins me, I have chosen Chateau d'Orschwihr Cremant d'Alsace for its tiny bubbles and long finish.

As a bonus, I know it would please my Alsacian friend to know I am drinking this wine.

Meanwhile, my tardy girlfriend arrives and we have the bar to ourselves, a rarity at Bobette.

With "Bittersweet Symphony" playing, I order Bob's Dog, the house recipe hot dog with Gruyere, Harissa mustard and a mountain of frites.

She has the air-chilled chicken with quince and Moroccan spices and truffled mac and cheese.

But what she really wants is a bite of my dog and some frites, so I accommodate her.

What are friends for?

The chef comes by for his Continental kiss and shares that a customer called him over to announce that he didn't approve of the Chef's creme brulee, preferring his own recipe.

I'd have suggested to that customer that he start eating creme brulee only at home then.

As we enjoy our meal, my friend tells me about an Iranian woman she met last night in D.C.

The woman explained to her that Americans seek a mid-level life experience, preferring to avoid the highs and lows of the unexpected.

She contrasted that with other cultures who prefer the variety and energy of a life that swings from one extreme to another, providing a range of experiences and less complacency.

I not only get it, I feel a bond with an Iranian woman I have never even met.

Not quite like the girlfriend I discuss all the juicy details with, but close.

Fact is, it's all about the ride.


  1. It is indeed
    ALL about the ride....

    let's make a solemn vow to say something wonderfully enigmatic when we drop this mortal coil...

    "rosebud" has been taken... but we should be able to come up with something.

  2. your Alsatian friend is proud of you