Based on the pattern of randomly wonderful experiences I have had in my new city (and generally), you’d think I would have predicted last night’s dinner.
I did not.
In fact, last night, circa 8pm, as a friend and I stood on the street outside the establishment where we had planned to dine, wine bottle in hand, enjoying a breezy evening of sub-zero temperatures, I was just hoping we would find a place to eat.
After the dining facility of our choice had informed us that seating would not be an issue, we showed up ready to take this BYOB restaurant by storm only to be told that yes… seating would not be an issue… in about 3 hours (sir, I’m trying to take you seriously right now).
Thanks but no thanks.
So much for careful restaurant reviewing and recommendation assessment.
It was looking like our dinner plans would be left up to the restaurant gods.
We decided to walk a few blocks and sample different menus.
2 minutes later we were freezing and decided any place would do. We were standing 2 doors from our original destination. We looked at the menu. We saw the words cheese, risotto and chicken. We were sold.
The hostess graciously sat us at the bar, the bar tender uncorked our wine and we spent the next 3 hours enthusiastically catching up on life (possible MBA program for her and positive work momentum for me!) while sampling surprisingly amazing food (butternut squash risotto).
It was at the 3 hours and 30 minute mark that we noticed that we were basically the last customers at the restaurant and the crew was washing floors and cleaning up.
We introduced ourselves to some of the staff, apologized for overstaying the hours of operation and promised to be out of there pronto.
30 minutes later we were seated around a table with the restaurant owner, the head chef and their chief mixologist, enjoying a glass of chardonnay.
20 minutes after that we were getting a private tour of the kitchen.
An hour after that we were making our way through a full wine tasting.
And about 2 hours after that we had all decided to be best friends forever (the only logical conclusion) and were making our way through certain contents of the industrial refrigerator.
Some highlights from 4 hours with our new friends:
- Learning a bit about the restaurant business. Takeaway: companies send you free food and alcohol to taste-test in hopes of receiving business (top 5 best job perks).
- Witnessing loyalty among three friends who have been working to find success in the restaurant business for the better part of a decade (awww).
- Enormous cheese plate expertly prepared by head chef circa 2am (heaven). That manchego had my name all over it.
The night was an unexpected success. Friend and I caught up on major highlights of life since high school (it’s been a while), made some new friends and found a place we might call our “regular spot,” an arguably very important aspect of life in new city.
There was laughter, wine and the sharing of stories.
The restaurant is called Deleece…it’s Awesome.