I’m standing in a noisy, crowded restaurant by the hostess station (to keep good visibility for a table; does that work?) and people are arriving at her counter with a steady rhythm. As each one arrives she tells them the same thing she told the last: it will be an hour and a half wait before they are seated. I watch each persons expression, expecting there to be a wince and a quick “no, thank you”, but none of those things happen. With each estimation, the customers do not even bat an eye and say, “That’s fine. Please put my name in.” To me, that is the definition of a great restaurant. Our society values their time. We are always in a hurry, so much so, that we tap our foot in front of a microwave; even 20 seconds to heat up our stale latte is often too much to handle.

During our wait, we were asked if we would like a drink and were made to feel quite comfortable, despite our circumstances. We were seated rather quickly, only 45 minutes after we gave our name to the hostess. We were given seats at a communal table, which made our experience all the better. Those around us shared their opinion about what dishes they were enjoying and I was able to passionately recommend my favorite dishes.

Everything we ordered was exceptional, however one dish stood out to me as a fierce contender in my ‘top 3 dishes of all time’: the chili marinated calamari salad with pickled green tomato, purslane, castelvatrano relish, and armenian and lemon cucumber. I have to say that I don’t really know what most of that stuff is, but it was absolutely one of the best things I have ever eaten, ever. The chew of the calamari mixed with the bright pickled tomatoes were perfectly balanced with the creamy sauce that laid beneath. There was so much going on, that with every bite, I was astounded by what my taste buds were experiencing. Immediately after we finished the dish I thought, “I’m going to order another for dessert!” I should have listened to the desires of my tongue, I really should have! Next time, I’ll know to start off by ordering two calamari dishes right out of the gate. As you can imagine, I simply can not wait to go back, and when the cute hostess tells me through her big, adorable hipster glasses that it will be an hour and half wait, I’ll gladly say, “That’s no problem, please put my name in.”

{check them out at http://www.flourandwater.com}


July 22, 2010. Tags: . restaurants i love. Leave a comment.