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Restaurants & Bars 19

trepidatious no more

pam h | Oct 12, 2002 05:50 PM

OK, Louise, Joe, Pappy et al: gather 'round. Here's the tale of the evening. First the headline: you'll be disappointed to know scrumping was not one of the daily specials at Obelisk.

Dinner was great...OK, OK. I'll start at the beginning. Mr. Nashville arrived at 7:30 -- having only spoken to him on the phone and exchanged emails, was delighted with overall countenance -- tall, handsome, not a humpbacked freak AT ALL. Waves of relief washed over me which is an excellent way to begin a quasi blind date. We talked for a few minutes in my kitchen over fried artichokes (trim and fry in olive oil till golden, drain, sprinkle with coarse salt and a touch of lemon juice), some wine, olives, cheese. AM nothing if not caring hostess.
Raced off to our 8:30 reservation. Service was great and strangely knowing; i would not be surprised if found out one of you raced in to tip off the waitress, as she seemed to smile especially indulgently and knowingly at us. She made a great recommendation on the wine; it seemed to be a mix of merlot and barolo grapes, but can not remember. was a 2000 vintage, $40, a great bottle of wine.
My date had the sauteed wild mushrooms and crostini; very good and to his enduring credit let me eat some off his plate -- indeed, would have it no other way. I began with deep fried (almost tempura) squash blossoms -- mozzarllea, ricotta, a little basil inside, in a tart tomato puree. A little bitter, in a good way, a way that made me feel i was grown up, if that makes any sense. Bitter NOT on the menu at TGI Fridays. For pasta, he selected gnocchi with gorgonzola cream and hazelnuts. THe gnocchi which I do not normally like because they are usually heavy and pasty, were light and very potatoey. Excellent choice -- was a filling but small portion. I had wonderful swiss chard ravioli in a fresh pesto sauce. Excellent -- v. thin oasta dough, could see all the green inside. plump little pillows of greens! delicious. I gave him one. (and some of all the rest; am generous hostess, too). I then had grilled lamb, with a v. bitter brocoli rabe on the side (interesting, given my vast research on same ingredient several messages ago). THe lamb was great -- as tender as a filet mignon, clearly grilled over wood, not gamy, just mild and wonderful. wrapped in bacon too. My date -- I like calling him that, very Dating Game -- had wood fire grilled sea bass, which was likewise tender and better than I have ever had. He had white asparagus on the side which looked good but I neglected to grab a spear, so taken was I with his wonderful stories of love and loss (neither his) and the strange doomed prisoners he is representing.
Dessert: he selected to my DELIGHT a pear cake with ice cream on the side; not sure what kind, was v rich and sweet, and I was busy with my trio of sorbets: watermelon, pomegranate and I think raspberry. First two were magnificent. Third was fine but suffered in comparison to its unusual colleagues in same bowl.
Requisite cheese course: parmesan. lots of it. very good. THanks to everyone who weighed in and helped me with the night! (Dinner wine and tip: $200. Worth every penny. Date was v. enthusiastic)
pam
OK OK: here's how the rest of the night went: we walked around his old neighborhood (he went to school in dc; viewed two of his previous apartments from the street) and then walked up to Adams MOrgan; hung at the Rendezvous for a drink then went to Staccato down the road for another, and turns out we had missed one of his great friends by 10 minutes who had been hosting an open mike night there. We got home around 1 am, and opened another bottle of wine which was FANTASTIC; a 1996 Cotes du Rhone that my ex-boyfriend gave me in a lot of wine as payment for redesigning his basement into a rocking one bedroom apartment (is symphony of italian classic and federalism; a truly wonderful space that makes excellent use of salvaged materials). I picked it because I remain peeved at ex boyfriend and this was the most expensive bottle he had left. THought my date deserved it. We talked for another hour, and then went to bed (he to my guest room, I to my bedroom...was sweet goodnight kiss. you already know about the lack of scrump.) I was still buzzing with the wine and beer and talk and surprise that this man was so much better than I could have hoped for, that could not sleep but two hours. Also my cats were jumping on me because they had run out of food so I had to get up around 3 and go to the 7-11 and all they had was Alpo which as you know is for dogs. Needless to say, I ate better than they did. But they liked the alpo gravy. the big chunks were too much for them. My date left around 9 as had a 4 hour drive ahead of him (to visit parents) with promise that we will talk soon.(Could he have been spooked by my willingness to feed cats dog food?) Naturally, wonder exactly what that phrase means. So if anyone wants to weigh in...I'll keep you updated as things progress or not. Joe, we did talk about the Loveless Cafe and he brought up the red eye gravy UNBIDDEN. So maybe you two should date?
p :)

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