Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Heartstrings and Chablis

Sapiophile (noun): Someone who is sexually attracted to intelligent people.

"Do you still blog?" the chef who cooked my dinner asked me tonight. Seems I do.

Unexpectedly, I got asked on a date tonight where we wound up at Rowland's and my intentions to go to Balliceaux for storytelling were cast aside like yesterday's underwear.

We were the first customers in, meaning we had our pick of the place, and still ended up at the end of the bar under the ceiling fan.

I'll admit, the music was not my thing - Pandora set to Creedence Clearwater Revival - but our server must not have liked it any better either because she soon changed it, praise be.

Unfortunately, it was to the Jack Johnson station, which is like nails on chalkboard to me, and I tolerated it for about five songs before asking that it be changed.

Steely Dan was far better.

Since it was Bastille Day, I chose a Muscadet for sipping, paying homage to France in my own little way.

Over Rowland's classic butterbean cake, my date told me about his recent building project, what it's like to train a young buck and about how quickly tuna macaroni becomes tiresome.

I countered with tiny houses, a breakup and my favorite Neil Diamond lyrics. Obviously, I was a tad rusty on this dating business.

Given that it had been our request to change the music, it was only natural that we talked about what we were hearing, namely Tears for Fears, America, and Spinners, and the correlations that led Pandora from Steely Dan to them.

When it came time to order food, we briefly considered the three-course tasting menu, but instead chose off the regular menu.

My choice was almond-crusted brook trout over haricots vert and roasted beets, while he wanted the quinoa bowl with pork schnitzel.

At one point, the server raced outside to lower the umbrellas in anticipation of a storm which never really materialized.

Which is not to say that I didn't appreciate the darkened sky and flattering mood lighting.

After a while, the chef came out to chat, taking advantage of the nearly empty dining room - hey, it's July and everyone is out of town - to socialize since there was nothing pressing to cook until a three-top arrived.

I admit, we did our best to derail his good intentions to return to the kitchen, engaging him about his past gigs on luxury yachts (seriously, he worked for both the Scripps family of Scripps Howard fame and the Knight clan of Knight-Ridder acclaim...between the two he'd cooked for major media owners) and the hoops he'd had to jump through.

You know, as someone who has worked for several newspapers, those are major player names right there. And serious money.

To that point, the chef told a story of running out of milk (for half and half) and limes while out at sea. He engaged a private puddle hopping plane to procure the milk and limes, returning them to the ship for a mere $500 in airfare costs.

My goodness, I am so not the 1%.

I insisted he share the saga of how he'd met his Peruvian wife 25 years ago, a sweet story that involved him being both lovesick and seasick, not to mention hungover and out to sea.

Call me a sucker for a good love story.

With pre-Lindsay Buckingham Fleetwood Mac and Gwyneth Paltrow-era Coldplay playing, the chef returned in earnest and we got into an alliterative dissection of Richmond restaurant issues -permitting, parking - and partisan politics.

Before I knew it, my date had been derailed for a discussion of the trouble in Israel and what the US role should be in its resolution.

Not to minimize an important topic, but I was on a date here. Hello, wooing in progress.

On the other hand, sapiophiles love it when our dates start analyzing topical issues.

So much for the storytelling. Date on.

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