Tuesday, February 7, 2012

girls night out (lyn)

The reservation is for 7:45 at Capital Grille.  It’s restaurant week and six of us (all current or past Horace Mann moms) are meeting for dinner.  Four of us arrive on time, but we cannot be seated.  “I’m sorry, but we are fully committed tonight, so everyone in your party must be here before we can seat you.”  At 8, another person in our party shows up.  She’s late because she had to wait for her husband to come home so she could heat up soup for him, as he doesn’t know how.  “Okay, we’re all here,” we lie and tell the sweet-smiling but insincere hostess.  “I’m sorry, we are just clearing your table.  It’ll be just a few more minutes.”  At 8:15, the sixth and final person in our party arrives.  She’s an obstetrician, so she always has a good reason to come late.  Finally, around 8:30, we are seated. 

But it’s worth the wait.  We get a great table in the middle of the floor, looking out onto a wall of windows.  We start with drinks, and I get my standard cosmopolitan.  By the time we order, everyone is starving.  And though I hadn’t planned on eating any bread, by 9pm I am too hungry to resist.

Restaurant week is a great value here.  For $35, I have a caesar salad, a 14-ounce “bone-in kona crusted dry aged sirloin with caramelized shallot butter” (kona is some kind of coffee rub that tastes far better than it sounds), mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and a flourless chocolate cake.  The portions are large; I take half my steak home.

Tonight’s conversation is light and fun. We laugh at stories about in-laws and parent girlfriends.  We talk about our boys; all six of us have sons who are freshman in college.  There are no serious discussions about politics, no friendship-ending comments, no criticisms of any kind.  It’s a great night out.

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