Thursday, January 26, 2012

dinner at the water club (lyn)

It’s a miserable, rainy night.  Not conducive to getting dressed and going out.  But I have a date with Gail, and she is picking me up in her car, a rare occurrence in New York, where most people don’t even own one. She is taking me out to celebrate our anniversary (we re-connected a year ago, after not being in touch for 27 years).  But really, tonight is just a great excuse to have an amazing dinner together.

We are going to The Water Club. According to its own website, this restaurant “serves wonderful classic American cuisine in a beautiful waterside setting against sweeping river views.  The last and only other time I was there was in May of 2004.  I took Alexander to celebrate his graduation from elementary school.  It amazes me how recent that still feels.

Gail commands attention wherever she goes.  She’s almost six feet tall, has long, beautiful blond hair, and engages with everyone.  We are given our choice of tables (we pick a booth with a beautiful view of the East River), and before we are even seated, Gail orders some champagne.  Neither one of us is much of a drinker (she even less than I) and one glass is enough to make her slightly tipsy (I need two).  We toast our friendship and future business hopes. 

I never see a menu.  Gail orders a dozen oysters, telling me that six are only two points.  I slurp mine from the shell, having once read that this is totally acceptable behavior (maybe even preferred) for eating oysters.  They are perfect.   Gail doesn’t tell me how many points are in the Maine stuffed lobsters we order next, or the butter (so good I’m sure it must have cream or something else in it).  We consciously decide NOT to order any sides, but then the restaurant surprises us and brings a big bowl of mashed potatoes sprinkled with scallions.  We can’t offend the restaurant’s generosity, so we eat these too. 

Lobster is my favorite food, and I have eaten a lot of it.  But tonight’s lobster ranks up there as one of the best I’ve ever had.  First, it’s shelled, which must affect the taste.  It is perfectly cooked, succulent, and absolutely delicious.

We finish the meal with cappuccino and a banana-based dessert that is flamed and served with vanilla ice cream that tastes so much better than ordinary ice cream.  The dessert alone is probably my full day’s allotment of 26 points (that is, if I were tracking, which thankfully I’m not).

But the best part of the night is the most expected…the great conversation.  For over four hours, we talk about everything…sometimes funny, sometime serious.  It is never boring, repetitive, or uninteresting.  I always learn something, whether it’s about myself (Gail thinks I have two conflicting traits…being smart and being sensitive-each alone is fine but together can be tricky); her (Gail knows a lot about a lot of things, but it surprises me to learn tonight, for example, that she knows a lot about big boats and airplanes); or the bigger picture of life.

It’s a perfect night.   

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