After playing tough all afternoon, John and I decided to get gussied up and head into town. (It sounds like we live out in the country, doesn’t it?) We cook a lot of meals at home, and I love it. But I also thoroughly enjoy going out to eat. Whether it’s a burger joint or a fancy place, there’s just something a little bit exhilarating about the whole process. The table beautifully set before even sitting down. Linens in your lap. Poring over a list of creative and elaborate cocktails. Oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over each item deliciously described on the menu. Slight anxiety when selecting between two mouth-watering options. The moments when the waiter presents beautifully plated food that prompts me to sometimes clap (and always snap photos). There is nothing better than long, drawn out meals with loved ones- swapping bites, pouring wine, sharing desserts, feeling full and content. It can be magical.
And someone else does all of dishes.
During mud season in Park City, Sunday is not the best night for restaurant options. Many places are closed on Sunday and Monday. We lucked out- Grappa was open. Located at the very top of Main Street, Grappa is tucked up into the now-green aspen trees, with a charming, cozy interior and lovely terraced patio. We were still in a chilly spell, so we sat indoors at a corner table with a great view.
(My view across the table wasn’t bad, either.)
I ordered a fun cocktail made with Prosecco (yum) and another favorite, St. Germain elderflower liqueur. Our grumbling tummies and too many tasty-sounding options, we debated on which appetizer to try. We wisely started our meal with a pork belly plate of joy.
There’s just something so fun about sharing a plate of really good food.
When I go out to eat, I tend to order something I can’t make myself. Usually, that would direct me to a fish entree. But not at an Italian restaurant that knows what it’s doing. After a short internal debate, I went with the spring risotto special- pancetta, asparagus, mushrooms, parmesan. They had me at pancetta. John had been talking about cannelloni all afternoon, and his plate was just gorgeous. We brought a nice bottle of wine to round out the meal.
I have to pause here to mention that I usually suffer from Order Envy– you know, that regretful feeling when everyone else seems to have made better choices when choosing what to eat. I get so excited about all of the options before me on the menu that I’ll choose something I think I should want instead of what I know I’ll love. That leads me to gaze longingly around the table, wanting what everyone ELSE has on their plates. But not tonight! I ordered well. John’s dinner was really good, but mine was perfection. I allowed him to steal multiple bites from across the table.
We ordered a dessert that involved chocolate, hazelnut (my favorite), and some sort of cookie crust. While we waited for it, I explored the now nearly-empty restaurant. The Tuscan-style details here and there create a warm and romantic vibe.
As we walked down the front steps into the chilly night, we held hands and kept talking about fun night. A monthly date is #98 on my Life List, and I’m looking forward to the next one.
It will be hard to beat the happy feeling I had at the end of the meal- full of good food, sipping something delicious, looking across the table at my best friend. Definitely the best part of my wonderful weekend. As I type this, I am realizing that we don’t have to go to a restaurant to get that feeling. We can do that anywhere.
But I’m pretty excited about my leftovers.