so we tried a new restaurant tonite - Diva Indian bistro in Davis Square. it's been so cold this weekend, with 40 to 50 m.p.h. gusts and a wind chill just below 0°, that we really didn't want to walk any further than we had to. that, and i was starving. sweetie asked why i wanted Indian food instead of Thai. 'oh, just because.' because it was three blocks closer, that's why. the nicest thing about this place? they had pillows on the banquette seats. banquettes look pretty, but they're usually too tall and straight to really be comfortable. so the pillow was a nice touch. made my lower back happy. and the food was okay. but the service was slow and unreliable. they misdelivered so much food - we got the appetizers the people next to us had ordered. and his dinner came out 15 minutes before mine. and it took 20 minutes to get the check after we'd finished dessert. i finally flagged down the host and asked him to track down our check. mind you, our waiter was perfectly pleasant. he just seems to have had a different concept of service than we did.
hm. well, we may also be restaurant snobs. we eat out a fair amount - maybe twice a week. and Boston is blessed with a plethora of fabulous restaurants. pretty much any kind of food you want to find, you can. and the service is usually good. i still miss my favorite waiter, Luis. he worked at the Gs for a long time, and there was something about the way he described every special with that sexy, Spanish voice of his... made you want to order one of everything. and you felt cared for when he waited on you. he's since moved to New York to go after his acting career. hope he's doing well.
and the fact that i've worked, off and on, in food service doesn't make it any better. i know how hard the job is. it's tough and physically demanding. but damn it... come tell me if there's a problem, or a delay! don't make me sit there for 20 minutes, gnawing on a roll, trying to figure out if you forgot to put my order in. come back and tell me the kitchen is really slammed and ask if i want another bread basket or glass of wine. that little effort will guarantee you a generous tip.
and then, sometimes, you find a perfect place. i'm really looking forward to dinner on Valentine's Day, hoping that the place we're going is one of those perfect places. if you know the area, you might remember Daddy O's Bohemian Cafe. after a successful 10 year run, the owners decided to trade in. in its place is Oleana, opened by Ana and Gary. Ana has been the chef at Casablanca's for some 5 years, and Gary was one of my favorite bartenders there. she's running the kitchen, and he's managing front of house. sweetie and i stopped by last night to see what the place looked like, check out the menu, and see if we could get a reservation for Black Wednesday, as some wags have nicknamed it. i was curious to see if there was anything on the menu that sweetie would like; he assured me he'd be willing to try anything, but part of me didn't want to experiment on a special night like that. Ana is focusing on the cuisine of the Levant (well, that's how they wrote it up in a recent article; i didn't make that up). i've always liked her cooking, and would try anything. sweetie is ... a tad more particular, let's say. *g* fortunately, there was plenty on the menu. and Gary had a spot to fit us in. we'll be dining at the oh so fashionably Continental hour of 9:30.
it was a real pleasure to drop by, too. Gary lit up with a smile when we stepped in, and was happy to talk about how business is going. they've only been open a month or so, so i was very pleased to see that they've booked up for most nights so quickly. and the place is just charming, such a switch from the funky 50s atmosphere i remember from my last trip there. they put a lot of thought into making the place over. it's intimate but not claustrophobic, soft warm colors, pretty lamps, and an open front cast iron stove with a gas flame, set up on a marble step that reminds me a little of Southwestern kivas. my best friend had dinner there recently with her parents, and raved about the dessert. it came with a tiny scoop of chocolate ice cream, which she took to be garnish and stuffed about half of it in her mouth. she said it was the most intense explosion of concentrated chocolate essence she has ever experienced. which is saying a lot, as she and i rather fancy ourselves chocolate connuiseurs. plus she had a head cold, and pretty much couldn't taste anything. so i know the dessert will be fantabulous.
managed to buy most of my Valentine's cards this weekend. still haven't found The One for my honey, but i still have time to look. the rest of them need to get mailed off tomorrow. ooooooohhh - and i have to mail my niece's birthday present. i am such the bad aunt. was talking with my brother last week and he said something about her birthday, so i asked when it was. 'yesterday.' d'oh! you could say i should cut myself some slack, since he just got married and this whole niece thing is still new. but he's been with her mom for oh, say, about 5 years now. and my dad said something a few weeks ago about building her a bookcase for her birthday. did i ask when the birthday was? nope. just said, 'wow, that's a great present.' knowing my dad, he probably built it all himself down in his workshop. they got some books to go with it, and took it up to her last weekend. everyone else probably remembered. so i'm the late one. feh. ::sigh:: well, as sweetie pointed out, getting presents is always fun. so perhaps she won't mind that i'm late, and will just like getting another present in the mail. i suppose i should get around to finding a wedding present for my bro, too. in case it sounds like i'm the chronic laggard - i wanted to get something for their house, and they were moving a few months after the wedding. so it was okay. but i think now might be a good time to see what they want, since they've been in the condo for about 6 months now. procrastinate much? yeah, that would be me.