In Which Catching Up With a Friend Turns into a Fine Dining Experience

There is a place about an hour from home, where old acquaintances can meet to reacquaint thanks to the proximity proffered by a business trip.

There is a place where the neighborhood is nothing special, and the exterior is drab, but he interior is warm dim lighting, crisp linen napkins, and jazzy swing music.

There is a place where presentation is a skill and salad is so pretty that one hates to disturb its artistic arrangement.

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A place where all the vegetables are delectable (even cauliflower), but the flat bread with the oil and mystery spice pairs best with humus.

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A place where lobster and macaroni and cheese blend together in a harmony of deliciousness that makes you happy to have lived long enough to experience the combination.

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A place where garlic minted yogurt accents the grilled lamb so perfectly that even the lobster mac and cheese pales in comparison (which, moments prior, you didn’t believe would be possible)

 

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There is a place where crème brulee is topped with sugared basil and wedges of key lime so tartly sweet that your tongue feels like it must have died and gone to heaven.

 

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A place where salted caramel ice cream transforms an apple spice cake into a dessert ALMOST as amazing as the crème brulee (but not quite).

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A place where the bill comes inside the cover of a children’s book.

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And the book has no pages.

 

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A place where three hours of “Tammy and the Buttons” seems far too short.

 

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An hour from home there is a place where conversation occasionally dwindles as the music swells, but not for long because there is far more to share than the food.

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An hour from home, there is a café where servers wear black, water glasses are refilled before they are half-depleted, and flatware is replaced between each course.

A place of such easy-going elegance that it makes up for my lack of refinement rather than highlighting it. A place where it is unlikely I will ever have cause to return but a place I am glad to have experienced at least once.

An hour from home there is a place that transcends the ordinary.

And, dear reader, it is my hope that you, as well, have a friend who will unexpectedly lift you out of the ordinary and add a touch of the exquisite when you begin to feel lost in mundaneity.
Or perhaps you could be that friend for someone else.
And hour from where I live is a fantastic café with warm lighting and live music. What is within an hour of where you live??

 

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