Peaceful Dining

Restaurants that are loud are no fun for me. I’m half deaf from too much loud noise in my life so I can’t hear conversations very well anyway, but when it’s loud, and I have to holler to be heard, it’s just no fun. I guess I’m looking for too much.

A favorite restaurant of mine is an Italian place in New York. We found it a number of years ago when we went for an extended weekend. We were staying in a hotel a block or so from Central Park South, east of the park. A block or two down the road we walked into this place with an Italian name. I don’t remover what it was.

The inside was very elegant. Dimly lit. Lots of candles, carpets, crystal chandeliers and goblets. The kind of place where dinner for two costs a couple hundred bucks.

The maître d had on a white suit. Black hair, slicked back. And pointy shoes. Shiny. And we were the only ones in the place. Very quiet. Very. Except for Pavoratti singing in the background.

My dream come true. Since we were the only ones there we got a lot of attention. I couldn’t decide if this was a mob front or a legit place, but it was nice. As were the people.

My youngest daughter wasn’t feeling well that night and couldn’t decide if she wanted to eat anything. The waiter mistook this hesitancy for not being able to find anything she wanted on the menu. A few moments later the chef came out and said that if she couldn’t find anything she liked on the menu he would be happy to make her anything at all. Menu or not. And the maître d came over and said that if she couldn’t decide on something his feelings would be hurt.

We explained the situation and my daughter and wife actually went back to the hotel. I was so happy there that I ate enough for all three of us.

On my recent trip returning from Pennsylvania we were in Lexington, Virginia at dinnertime. Lexington is the home of both the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University. Yes, George and Robert E.. You’d think there would be some nice restaurants and in fact there is a thriving, hip downtown.

Somehow we ended up a little outside the downtown area headed back toward the interstate. Without having eaten. Out of the corner of my eye, atop the hill I saw a restaurant. Well, an eating place anyway. The Redwood Diner. In the parking lot there was one car. My wife believes that if the parking lot is empty the food must not be good. We were there, and we went in. We were all alone. Not even anyone working there!

The waitress appeared and told us to sit anywhere. While we were there no one else came in. Very quiet. Good food. Friendly people. Just no customers. I loved the quiet. My second favorite place. Other than my mother’s kitchen.

That’s part of my story. What’s yours?


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