Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – October 15, 2004
Dinner Out On The Town
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – October 15, 2004 – I’ve never been able to understand why it’s called going “out on the town” or “they painted the town red”. In most towns that I know, you’re lucky to find a really great café, restaurant, bistro or night club to go out to and as for painting the town red – the sidewalks have usually been rolled up by ten o’clock and the only painting going on is a paint by numbers set in the local church basement. Now – I grew up in a small town – so don’t go getting your little nickers in a twist if you’re from tiny town Canada.
Besides, I digress. I was taken out for dinner tonight by my friends Joe and BoBo.. We went to a restaurant on John Street called Frisco. What do I know about Toronto’s “club district” you may well ask? The answer is absolutely nothing. Frisco is in this aforementioned “hot” part of town, and as we were leaving, I said (wide-eyed) – “Gee, why are there so many cops around here”? The correct answer is – “Gangs, drug dealers, walk by shootings, under-aged drinking”. That tells you how much this mid-fifties babe gets out and about. I’ll know all this for future reference at cocktail parties. After all the holiday season is coming.
That aside, we met for dinner at this mid town “in-spot”. I may well have been the oldest person there, but I was dressed in black slacks and turtle neck with my black leather vest and a long trench coat – so I may well have passed for forty-eight – okay fifty. We were seated on the upper level over-looking the bar (and all the action – which was particularly important for a home-body like me) – at a stylish red leather booth with a round table.
Four could have dined in comfort – for the three of us it was sprawling. My purse had a seat of its own. Our waiter appeared and tempted us with appetizers. We soon selected French onion soup, summer tomato salad with baby greens and goat cheese in flaky pastry. With wine and beer in hand we settled in for a good gossip – (which is very, very bad).
By the time we covered jobs, job-related travel, real estate investments, cars, George Bush, holidays (or in my case lack thereof), food, my new teeth, clothes and what we’d talk to Osama Bin Laden about if he was present, it was time for the main course. Two steak with frites arrived for Joe and BoBo and my grilled salmon over creamy mashed potatoes and a side of green beans was close behind. More drinks to top up our glasses and we were off for round two.
Fortunately I’m over fifty so it’s acceptable for me to wear slacks with an elastic waist. It’s a fact that said elastic was stretched to its limit by the time the last morsel of salmon disappeared between my dainty lips and found its way to my ever-expanding tummy, which thankfully was cleverly hidden by my chichi black vest.
Did that stop us? Not on your life! The dessert menu appeared and a creme caramel, chocolate mousse and lemon tart with fresh berries found their way to our newly cleared table, accompanied by coffee with a Baileys chaser. To say that a meal like this is designed to break your heart is an understatement. It’s over before you know it. You can’t duplicate it at home and unless you experienced it firsthand you couldn’t convey to another how truly excellent it was.
Kudos to the chef. By ten-thirty it was time to call it an evening. Joe is leaving for the Middle East on business tomorrow, BoBo was yawning and I had to get home to feed and water The Alphabet Boys. Joe gave me a ride to my car in his new black Mazda RX-8. A car after my own heart. Next to it, my serious, gray BMW sedan (practical real estate car) felt like a tractor.
Wow – another Friday night out and about with friends. If I’m not careful I’ll find myself “having a life”. I was home by eleven o’clock. Time to check my E-mail, do a last minute run through the Hot Sheets and make a list of things I want to accomplish over the week-end. I bought flat, coloured “ocean stones” today at Kuda and tomorrow I have to buy solvent, glaze and glue and then build a proto-type Inukshuk. This should prove interesting and I’m sure Scrummie will be hovering a stone’s throw away to watch as my creative genius unfolds.