Sunday, February 12, 2012

Little Bucharest

My girlfriend has class Tuesday nights so we decided to do our Valentines dinner early. We cruised through Open Table, wanting to try something different. We found Little Bucharest, up the street from us on Elston. It looked fancy, and Romanian food is a different cuisine from our usual Chinese/Thai/Sushi or Mexican dine out excursions. I arrived on time for our 7pm reservation but snow decided to hit Chicago for a change this winter season, delaying my girlfriend in traffic. I was chilled from the windy, precipitating walk. As I sat at the table alone, I got the feeling the waitstaff thought I was being stood up. When she arrived, all was a good time. I had shrimp wrapped in a leaf, on a bed of garlic couscous, tasty, complex, filling! The owner was making the rounds, he saw my clean plate and tried to mess with me "why don't you like my food what's the matter with you...hahahaha!" Then he pulled out a bottle of some kind of clear liquor, I think it was ouzo, and asked to bless my girlfriend. She politely passed as she was driving and we already had some wine. I was feeling adventurous. So he drained a considerable splash of it into my mouth, wrapped his arm around to hold a cloth to close my mouth until I swallowed it all. It burned. But it was good. He made the rounds to do this to others.

Before we left he mentioned they have free limo service for groups of six or me. So we'll be lining up a triple date. I enjoyed the ambiance of the place, very jovial. Not only was it a meal, it was an experience. It made me think of a lingering urge I've had to spend some time in a European village, where there perhaps was only one eatery. And the townsfolk gather there to feast, and drink, and have a splendid time. Elation. No worrying. Spirits in the darkened light above protein and fermented beverage.

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