Can't say which was better, the first part of the evening or the last.
I started at Amour Wine Bistro with a crowded dining room and Holmes and his lady love and a bottle of Chateau de Valcombe Rose.
Over tales of their weekend away, we plotted our way through the happy hour menu. Candied beets and braised turnips in wine bechamel and puff pastry thrilled the beet lovers (that would be me) while beef/bleu cheese with caramelized onions and Fourme d'Ambert gougere was rich and flavorful, a crowd pleaser.
Grilled asparagus with soy orange vinaigrette sealed the deal with its layers of flavor before moving on from the happy hour menu to the regular offerings.
With a second bottle of Valcombe, we tried the salade d'ete (strawberries, watercress, toasted pine nuts, Comte and honey balsamic vinaigrette...yum), the always classic onion tart with Smithfield bacon and the half and half, a platter of meat and cheese that was perfect for nibbling while we sipped our Valcombe and discussed bigger issues.
Chicken liver mousse, Morbiere, Forme d'Ambert and Comte with Sausagecraft sausage of pork, beef and Gruyere, cured meats, dried fruit and gherkins rounded out the platter.
Dessert consisted of various housemade sorbets: the creamiest chocolate, plus vibrant blueberry, pineapple and grapefruit.
After Holmes and his honey bid me farewell, I stopped by the Viceroy to see what was happening with a friend's birthday celebration where DJ Michael Murphy was spinning vintage music.
She had originally planned to celebrate at Balliceaux until I'd heard Micheal would be spinning and suggested something different.
The party was in full swing when I arrived with lots of familiar faces: the shoegazer, the pop singer, the pianist, the handsome restaurateur. I hadn't expected to know so many of the celebrants.
Espolon in hand, I listened to the Commodores, Depeche Mode and Talking Heads before grabbing the birthday girl by the hand and establishing a dance floor with the birthday girl's very handsome date.
Someone had to do it.
Two guys at a nearby table were requisitioned and before long, they were our willing dance partners, nubile and eager to accommodate.
The birthday girl was ecstatic, finally able to cut loose on her celebratory night. Me, I was just the willing accomplice.
"You like to dance!" one of the guys observed, stating the obvious, as we tore it up to every song the DJ played, refusing to concede the floor.
Why not if the music's good (it was stellar) and I have a birthday girl eager to shake her groove thing with me?
To quote Sir Paul (because today also happens to be his birthday): We're gonna have a good time. I'm glad it's your birthday.