I just had the most amazing meal experience. The whole thing had a gestalt resonance that just left me humming with, well, gestalt resonance, and memories. Once in awhile, even at age “whatever I am” things in the universe just go ping, and viola, I have a poetic moment. OK, you’re saying, get started.
A meal with a friend, or friends, should be one of the best experiences in life. OK, not counting the first, and last, times you made nookie. But this is not as messy, and lasts longer, well, a little longer, than nookie. Anyway, my friend Joe and I have this tradition. Every year we celebrate each others birthday by taking the other out to dinner at the best (in our esteemed opinion) restaurant in Columbus. Yes, I said Columbus. No, not Columbus, GA. This is OHIO. (A friend once told me, “If I ever have a reason to visit Columbus, I’ll come see you.”)
You’re wondering if Columbus has much of anything. Well, we have lots of parking. And there’s no trouble, ever, finding a spot, except maybe in the liberal, gay part of town, which tries to be edgy, like a big city, and so we commune with other liberals who bond in the angst of looking for a parking space. And we have lots of Malls. I use the capital “Mall” instead of “mall” because we know our Malls hold the secret to the creation of the Universe. What the rest of the world doesn’t realize is that Columbus has more Malls per capita than many cities, and we are proud to be the testing site for the “average” American profile. I honestly wouldn’t be too proud of that, but hey, I didn’t come from here. (Whew!) And in Columbus, OH, we have the Santa Maria, a replica of the original ship that Columbus used to “discover America”, bringing gifts of disease and oppressive religion. The ship looks pretty pitiful and forlorn, lost along the pitiful waterfront park that clings to the muddy shores of the Scioto River.
But Columbus has a few gems for restaurants. Lindeys’ is one, reliable quality and service, but never stunning. But our favorite is The Refectory, which is located innocuously, in the heart of the inner suburbs. In the old “sprawl”, if you will. But what a restaurant. The service is “old style”, formal. For example, once I got up in the middle of a meal to use the rest room. When I came back my napkin was folded on my chair, and all the crumbs had been cleaned up. In fact, sometimes the crumbs seem to disappear from my napkin while it’s on my lap! Now that’s a trick I’d like to learn! In and out before they know what happened!
Anyway, we have been there at least four times, but only twice a year. Yet, this time, they remembered we like “black” napkins instead of white because we usually wear dark pants and prefer the black lint to the white. I guess you have to be there, but it’s a nice little touch. We sat down and the black napkins “appeared”.
But here’s the really good part. Our favorite part. The Sommelier! David. He’s like a really confident, sexy, football jock, who has us wrapped around his, well, his middle finger. And he knows his wine, to boot. What a combo! Every time we dine there, we ask for him, and within 5 minutes he shows up, and with a hint of boyish panache, announces what wine he’s into right now, like it’s the next best thing to, well you know. And with a twinkle in his eye, describes the joys of it’s bounty. Tonight is was an Italian, dark and handsome, with bedroom eyes, a sculptured chest and tight, fully filled jeans, and…back to the wine, which is called “Amarone della Valpolicella”. Apparently they roll around with these grapes in a straw filled barn for two years before attempting to tame it in casks. It was also from 1990. MMM, a good year for Italians with bedroom eyes. Charmed, we pretend to discuss it a bit, then order what he recommends. And we are never disappointed. And each time, he’s able to up the stakes, showing his stuff to a most appreciative audience.
Well, the wine tonight was magnificent, I exaggerate not. in all fairness, the food played a spendidly commendable supportive role to the star. Though only 15, this mature stud was high strung out of the bottle, but grabbed your attention with his pungent “Stilton”, cheesy smell, luring you in for more. And he had amazing staying power, with an even more alluring feminine charm. As he lounged around our mouths, he warmed up and relaxed, sprawling across our palates in his under-ware, eventually revealing cherry and ripe figs. My, oh my.
After dinner, we relaxed with fine French brandy, namely from the Pierre Ferrnand family. His name is Selection des Anges, meaning Angels Choice, and he brought his younger brother, “Grand Reserve”. Both were fulfilling experiences, but my friend and I decided we like the older brother better. I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that. Thank goodness for sinful, unrepentant, sybaritic behavior to balance the world a bit. God must be thanking us for at least attempting to savor the miraculous bounty he put before us.
So, in one night we had a sexy Ohio football player with twinkly eyes, a hot restless graceful Italian stud, and two French boys. Needless to say, we’ll be going back.