When I was just a little fluff, I fell in love with whole concept of “going out to dinner.” (My love for food began at birth, but that’s another whole post.) That’s because back in the 60’s, a restaurant visit – even to McDonald’s – was a rare treat. (Shout out to Mom, who had a home-cooked meal on the table every night with a strict rule of no dessert without first eating your vegetables. Does anyone else recall counting out 7 string beans and choking them down bravely to get to the chocolate pudding?)
My early restaurant memories were of Bob’s Big Boy after church on Sunday. (Again, this was the exception to the rule. Sundays were primarily for rigatoni and the smell of red gravy emanating through the house.)
When I saw my first menu, it was love at first sight.
Every menu is like Christmas morning and your birthday rolled into one. You can have this! Or THIS! Ahhhhhh….and save room for THAT! Before ordering, I imagine every dish and hope I make the right choice, because it is such a bummer when the person you are dining with ends up with a better meal than you (which is only salvaged when they share. And they have to because of the way you are looking at their risotto.)
When I started dating, I was never the girl who wanted to go bowling. Or god forbid, hiking. (I hear some snickers from Colorado over that line.) Sure, I’ll go to the beach – but FEED me. I absolutely married the right guy. We have eaten our way through France and Italy, and when we saw the mile long line outside of the Louvre, we looked at each other and said, “Nah. Let’s get some escargot.” (I am not necessarily proud of this but at least we WENT to the Louvre. We just didn’t go in.)
Since moving to Florida where Duane and I both work from home, the last thing we want to do when we finally shut down the computers is stay home. As a result, just about every night is a new restaurant adventure (yay!) and now that FLUFFI has been born, there’s a new way for me to express my love for dining out. So let me tell you about last night…
I love when a restaurant sneaks up on you; when expectations are low and the returns are off the charts, which is what Flavio’s did the first time we visited. Hey, it’s a little, nondescript strip mall! Who was expecting a party? But that’s what it felt like when we walked in, and that’s why, on this beautiful night for a sunset, we headed to Siesta Key for a second visit.
The atmosphere was just as we remembered, in two words:
sexy and fun.
I know, I haven’t even talked about the food. I am not a true foodie, so I can’t offer the kinds of descriptions you’d find in an actual critic’s review – but let me just say that the aroma of garlic welcomes you almost as invitingly as Alejandro.
Should I have warned you not to read this on an empty stomach?
In closing, a complimentary limoncello for Duane made his night. And this made mine:
Don’t you just love a good night out at a restaurant?
Where were you – what did you order and why did it last in your memory?