I’ve discovered that I have a gift. I’m not sure how long I’ve been blessed with this ability – maybe my whole life – but lately, I’ve come into my own.
I’m a Restaurant Owner Whisperer.
It started on a night out with Soccer God a few weeks ago. We’ve been hanging out a lot lately and I love it. We either go bar hopping or find one place to sit and chat all night. This was the recent plan and although I was a little flat (let’s call it my B- Game), I was looking forward to washing away a day of stress with great food, wine and his company.
I’d been to this restaurant twice before and it was fast becoming a favourite. It has a great ambience but is quiet enough for you to have a proper conversation. The staff are friendly and attentive. They have beautiful wine glasses. As I sat down, the owner J asked how my day had been. “Pretty shit actually”, I laughed and he immediately placed a glass of champagne in front of me. “That might help a little”, he said. I like this guy.
Soccer God arrived and we ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir and food. He mocked me as I confessed I had chosen exactly the same entrées and mains as I’d had twice before. He was soon thanking me, however, confirming that their spicy barramundi is to die for. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.
As we caught up on each others news (work, dating, life) the bottle of Pinot ran dry. It was light and fruity so we ordered another. Time ticked by as we compared notes on the pain of first dates. He read out text messages from a girl he’d been out with. I recalled horror stories from EHam. Before we knew it the second bottle was finished. “This wine is amazing!” declared Soccer God, ordering a third. By this time the stress and pain of my day had well and truly faded away. I’d found my A Game.
The staff started to pack up around us, however they let us continue chatting, bringing us chocolate truffle balls after I asked for something sweet. J the owner checked if we’d had a good night and we invited him to sit with us and drink … alas, our wine bottle was again empty. How did this keep happening?
“Don’t worry, I’ll get you a new one”, J said and disappeared behind the bar. “Let me buy you a drink” and he filled our glasses with more delicious red wine.
We sat and talked for another hour or so, learning more about J and his philosophy on love, cooking and running a business. At 1am, with our fourth empty bottle on the table, I proclaimed my tiredness and need to go home, breaking up the party. J hugged us goodnight and demanded that we come back again for a special dinner. He’s a great guy and I love his place (and free wine) – that’s a yes from me.
Earlier this week I met up with my sister and her bestie The Shoe Lover. I took them to a place I’d been twice before with Dingo (the hot guy everyone thinks I’m dating), in the city. I like this place because it’s tucked away, has outstanding views but is filled with locals who appreciate great food and wine.
We ordered charcuterie plates (for them) and pea croquets (for me) and drinks including blood orange martinis. Bright orange and super sweet, I decided to stick to my usual Pinot Noir. I am but a simple woman.
Placing our mains on the table, I recognized R and asked if he was the owner. “Ah, I thought I knew you” he said, kissing me on both cheeks with European gusto. We chatted about the cocktails, his wine selection and recent awards he’d won. Although we protested due to full bellies, he offered dessert for us to try …. Well okay then.
The thick slab of chocolate cake covered in mandarin and parfait was amazing. Then I tried his version of a lemon meringue tart, deconstructed and melted into a long glass. OMG. The three of us fought with spoons to get the last bit of gooey lemon and biscuit out …. I think I won.
My sister paid the bill and as we said goodbye to R, he suggested we go out on a Sunday afternoon – with Dingo in tow – to a friend’s cocktail bar. I’d love to I said, re-enacting our Euro double kiss before saying goodbye. My sister told me afterwards he didn’t charge us for dessert or her second cocktail. What a great guy.
Don’t be jealous of my gift. I’ve worked hard at it since the days of PDH at Provenance and finally it’s paying off. If you’d like to see me in action, perhaps we can go out to dinner and I can teach you a few of my tricks. Unless of course I’m out with R or J.