Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chef's Tasting Menu, Wine Pairing and Newborn?

Last night my husband and I indulged in the six course chef's tasting menu and wine pairing at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants.  It was an early Valentine's Day celebration and I'm proud to reveal that we spent a full 3.5 hours enjoying each bite and each sip.  This is a noteworthy accomplishment because we tend to eat every meal like it's the first we've had in a year - very fast with short pauses for breathing.

We caught up about new projects at work, about the latest word from our mothers and about what could possibly be in store for the Jersey Shore crew in the upcoming episode.  Midway through the night the discussion turned to one of our favorite topics: all the amazing trips we'd like to take - Greek isles, Machu Piccu, Thailand, Patagonia, the pyramids in Mexico (Egyptian pyramids were knocked off the list for the moment given the slightly volatile politcal climate).  We love fantasizing about extravagant world travel and the money tree that will finance each excursion.

The ambience was perfectly cozy and romantic.  Dim lighting exaggerated the flickering tea candles that were set on each table and hung along the exposed brick walls.  The volume of banter from other tables was just loud enough that it forced us to lean across the table as we spoke, making the occasional peck feel natural and appropriate.

Around hour three, just before dessert was served (gingerbread doughnuts and creme brulee icecream for me and chocolate hazelnut cake with blood orange icecream for him), I excused myself to the restroom.  By now I had finished my 5th wine pairing and it took extreme focus to weave my way through maze of tables and diners to find the door labeled "Water Closet."

Upon returning to the table I confessed that I was a little tipsy and a lot impressed by how many people were packed into the teensy dining room.  My husband admitted that he had noticed my eyes gain a slight glaze shortly after we started our fourth course and agreed that the restaurant's interior designer had effectively used every inch of space.  He is perpetually surprised by how little alcohol I can handle before my balance goes down and my voice goes up.  He laughed at me, I laughed at me and we leisurely finished our sweet 6th course.

This wonderful night would have been impossible with the added company of a baby.  Impossible.  First, mamma can't be drinking her spatial awareness into oblivion.  Not that I was even in the realm of fall over drunk, but I certainly wouldn't have trusted myself to carry a fussy infant.  And forget about breast-feeding for anywhere between 3-24 hours after all that delightful wine (my brief online research resulted in conflicting expert opinions).  Second, the cozy, romantic restaurant was less than baby accommodating.  There were zero children in attendance, much less non-walkers.  I had trouble squeezing my way to the bathroom without landing in someone's soup.  There was simply no room for a baby and baby carrier.

At a time when my world is buzzing with all the joys that a baby will bring, I can't help but also notice the things that I will no longer be able to do.


Whitney Wilson said...

Sounds like someone needs to google the phrase "Pump and Dump".

And your voice DOES get really high when you are drunk!

Bossy Chef said...

I had to laugh because this is the first i've read of your blog and being a nursing mom I was is she going to get up with a newborn before i realized that was the point of the

Leahdas (it's me) said...

Bossy Chef - HAHA. Yes, I have an undying worry that I won't be able to give up my selfish ways. So I'm indulging while I can!