Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Silk Degrees Smackdown

I make a great date of last resort.

What I mean is, when a friend suddenly finds him or herself free, I'm a good one to ask the obvious.

Today's was pretty basic.

"Hey, whatcha up to?"

Nothing yet, I wrote.

"Wanna grab something quick?" he shot back.

Don't we all want to grab something quick?

Since it was half priced wine night, I suggested Six Burner, knowing my friend hadn't yet experienced the new menu.

I walked in to find my usual stool occupied, but made do in a foreign stool.

Moments later the owner noticed my strange location and said, "My new upstairs tenants didn't know they were in your seat."

The two girls laughed and apologized, but I assured them it was my stool in name only.

Unlike my friend who went red with a Pinotage (Paarl Heights), I went the Provence route with Rose Mas de Gourrgonnier, nutty on the nose and fresh and fruity on the palate.

After we dispensed with restaurant and wine gossip, we eyed the menu.

Since my pal was unfamiliar with it, I let him decide what we should nibble on.

The potato gnocchi with seasonal mushrooms caught his eye and while he loved the mushrooms, we found the dish a tad salty, unlike last time I'd had it.

But the second dish made our taste buds sing.

Huevos rancheros style calamari came with Mexican chorizo and quail eggs in a spicy tomato broth arrived in an asymmetrical bowl.

The tiny soft cooked egg melted in my mouth and the spicy chorizo imparted just enough heat.

Best of all, the broth was completely sop-worthy and we all but wiped the dish clean savoring it.

Meanwhile, I had bigger fish to fry.

A music person like me couldn't help but notice tonight's soundtrack, an ode to the late '70s and early '80s.

No, no, not again.

I'm talking Steely Dan, Spinners, Pablo Cruise and (wait for it) Gino Vanelli doing his big hit "I Just Want to Stop."

Let's just say I wanted that music to stop.

When I inquired, I learned it was Pandora set to Boz Skaggs, which explained a lot.

It didn't make it any better, but at least now I understood.

Later the owner came over and asked what we thought of his music choice.

Before I could formulate a way to express my opinion of being subjected to 35-year old music, my friend  piped up.

"With the hip, new vibe in here, I think you need something newer."

And this from a guy who plays in both a hip hop band and a country band.

To his credit, the owner asked for some departure points for newer music, admitting he had no expertise in that area.

I'll send you a list, I promised.

Honestly, I have to applaud a man who admits when he doesn't know something.

After resolving the restaurant's music issues for them, we moved on to discussing my friend's impending career change.

I'm excited for him, almost sure that he'll be happier with less driving and more cooking.

"Well, at this age, I've got to do that or else sell my body," he shrugged.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

No one told me about the age at which you have to either cook or sell your body.

I'm not sure I'd be good enough at either one to leave enough time for the important stuff.

You know, like telling people what music to play or being everyone's date of last resort.

Pardon me while I stick to my strong suits.

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