Friday, September 02, 2005

when your date is fresh...

I forgot to take the camera out on our travels today. Hence "Mr. Eyelashes with Binky" from yesterday's adventures. Anyway - we went to Yellow Springs, Ohio. About an hour and fifteen minutes from Cincinnati. Yellow Springs is a quaint small town/progressive mecca which is home to a few shops and bookstores, a fantastic restaurant and Antioch College ( a small and VERY LIBERAL, liberal arts school noted for it's cooperative education programs) where our friend Meredith is in her last year. We met up with Meredith, went to see the farmhouse she's living in, went to dinner at that great restaurant - The Winds - and then, just as darkness fell, we went to see the raptors/birds of prey that live at the preserve where she is working this fall.

Dinner was delicious. Among the random assortment of yummy goodness between the three of us: spidini (broiled? bread and mozzarella with fresh tomatoes and an anchovy, caper sauce), Russian vegetable salad (greens, beets, eggs, celery and capers with a viniagrette and - thank god - only a teeny bit of that true Russian dressing, which is something like a watered down mayo), corn chowder with smoked trout, Thai coconut soup with white beans, stuffed poblanos (stuffed with, among other things - ricotta and roasted pumpkin seeds) and seared tuna topped with a yummy tapenade. Everything was great - but - the highlight for me? - the fresh dates on the cheese plate. Tastes just like a dried date, but lighter somehow - in color and flavor. So good. Anyway - Luca was a gem throughout the meal - smiling at the people around us, babbling a bit and then napping on my lap during the main course. When we first arrived, the hostess with "uh oh, a baby" radar tried to seat us at the most heinous table in the place - squished between the entry door and the hostess stand - even though we had made RESERVATIONS and the restaurant was almost ENTIRELY EMPTY when we arrived. And - if you have ever gone to dinner with me, you know that I HATE SITTING AT THE CRAPPY TABLE. I explained that we wanted one of the tables near the window (amply available) which was the reason I made such an early (6pm) reservation and I assured her that Luca would be no trouble. She made a HUGE SHOW of "trying" to accomodate us - even though it was clear that she was bullshitting us because the restaurant was almost ENTIRELY EMPTY at the time. She said that she didn't think she could "move things around" - but we were patient and basically just silently stood our ground until she caved. None of the tables were reserved and there were a TON of empty four-tops available - so I'm pretty sure it was simply that she was worried that the baby would be a distraction to the other diners. Now, this place is a nice restaurant with great food - but not the kind of place where you get all dressed up or have to whisper over your meal. I mean, it's in Yellow Springs, for god's sake. I was definitely irked by her behavior and was really proud that we calmly persuaded her to cut the bullshit. During dinner, Meredith was holding Luca and stood up to show him some of the art on the walls and the hostess apparently gave her some sort of evil look. SO LAME. Luckily, OUR WAITRESS ROCKED - and it didn't hurt that she had a baby herself and she really liked Luca (hi, huge tip!). When we left, I lifted Luca's hand to wave goodbye to the evil hostess - just to stick it to her. But, what I really wanted to do was lift his middle finger and wave it in her general direction.

Back at the raptor preserve, we saw three or four types of owls, a bald eagle with a missing wing and some vultures. We also saw the remains of the rats they had all been served for dinner. Not as good as the fresh dates on that cheese plate, I bet.


Susan Gets Native said...

I'm trying to remember how I even found your blog, but I'm glad I did. Even if your last post was 2 years ago.
Oh, yeah. I was looking for swimming lessons in Loveland.
And I think I have had that hostess. Be-otch. So many interesting things in this post...does your friend work at Second Chance Wildlife?
I am the education director at a raptor center here in Cincinnati, and if you are ever interested in seeing more birds of prey, you can head over to my blog and see when I will be holding presentations. And bring Luca, who must be in college by now.