Ice cream can be an appetizer. Olive oil can be served in powdered form. One way to tenderize an octopus is to pummel it with a KitchenAid mixer. I’m always learning new things when I go out to eat. But you’d think that after eight years of doing it, I’d have figured out how to take my wife out on a date.
At Friday Saturday Sunday, we didn’t even make it to our menus before a kindhearted waiter intervened to correct our wayward course. Or my wayward course, I should say, for it was I who waited for my lovely spouse to sit before taking a seat across from her. (You know, the better to gaze into her amber eyes.)
“You’re not sitting there!” said our host.
“Um,” said I.
“No, no, no! You sit next to her,” he exclaimed, indicating a spot that hadn’t even registered as a possibility, probably because it’s the one our two-year-old would have claimed if he weren’t at home baffling a sitter with the rules of Swiffer-mop golf. Rules arcane enough, evidently, that I’d had to erase my memories of Dating 101 to make room for them.
I slid over. My sweetheart beamed. The lesson in remedial romance, our server grinned, was on the house.
So was the wine at this 37-year-old institution — or at least that’s how the $10-a-bottle markup policy made it seem. In a city where triple retail is more common than double on wine lists, Friday Saturday Sunday reacquainted me with a feeling I’d all but forgotten since moving here from the Bay Area: excitement about ordering wine.
There was the 2006 Les Souteyrades from Domaine Saint Damien, a Robert Parker-blessed “candidate for wine of the vintage” in Gigondas, for $41. White burgundies starting at $31. American bottles from Ridge and Jordan for an affordable $50. The opportunity to taste some cru beaujolais from Pierre Chermette, whom the wine press has all but cast as the savior of this out-of-fashion region, vivid with aromas of wild yeast and flower petals.