Procrastination (insert deep-thought-like pause here). At least one source defines procrastination as putting off something that needs to be done to do something more pleasurable.
Ummm.....I wouldn't say that exactly, Perhaps it's not that simple. I'm not at all excited about writing this next blog and not because this experience occurred in the nascent days of my resolution when I failed to bring a notebook or to take eye-catching pics. Poor reader, I am indeed not afraid of your wrath, disinterest or disdain. If I'm honest, I am a little afraid of being a critic. Yes, dear friends, I hear you laughing hysterically. I am known to be a critical person - though I like to say discerning. I've got ideas about why I'm procrastinating, but let's face it, It's time to stop stalling and get down to business.
It was an icy night in Littleton, Colorado, And, when I say icy, I am not exaggerating. While my friend and I were experiencing Café Terracotta, the inches of ice were accumulating on the roads of the metro Denver area.
I was super excited about this restaurant as it sounded the most east-Coasty, pseudo-Southern of all the Denver restaurant descriptions I'd read. Creative, thoughtful, familiar was the byline on the website. And indeed the beautiful Victorian mansion, framed by an English garden, seemed so.
How did our adventure begin (I think I'm going to make this a thing - describing pre-entry to restaurant - note to self...)? It began with a parking misadventure. As we pulled into the restaurant, I was a bit confused. If I read the situation correctly, there were about eight legitimate parking spots (feel free to correct me, oh yee of factual fairyland). We had made an early reservation to ensure availability, yet there were no attractive parking spots so we decided to park in the adjacent lot. We conscientiously looked for tow signs and the like, but seeing none, we decided to chance it. We had barely made it a step toward the restaurant when a mysterious man emerged from the dark. He was smoking a cigarette and his voice was low......No, not really (I'm preparing myself for the movie version of this blog). He was a Midwestern bloke with pressed jeans, and he politely told us that if we parked there we would be towed. Really, I said, but there are no signs. Really, he said. Was he lying, was he being a good neighbor? I guess I'll never know until someone backs up his story, but we decided not to take any chances. We got lucky and a car was leaving, so we wedged ourselves into one of the eight legitimate parking spots.
Nonplussed (2nd definition), I did a few split leaps as we made our way to the restaurant. I was excited, and the dancer in me takes over in moments like these. I calmed myself down as we walked into the restaurant and announced ourselves to the welcoming hostess. I took a sweeping gaze and decided not to spend too much time looking at the left. What was on the left - HOLD ON! I decided instead to focus on the right which looked a little bit like the above picture. A little, you say. Lighting is everything, I say.
The hostess took us to a booth in the very back - which should be a perfect location for the likes of me. Alas, it was not. I had a bird's-eye view of the open kitchen. The open kitchen, as described on the website, was a choice meant to make the experience interactive. But, dear reader, when is the last time you wanted to have an interactive experience with a Sysco can and an inordinately greasy apron?
Yes, indeed that was what I had been avoiding. It's one thing to be watching the magic and synchronicity that happens in the kitchen at Nola and quite another to see two greasy aprons fumbling around dirty pots. Ouch. Yes, that is what I was afraid of (see introduction).
But, I just tried to avert my eyes. Sometimes the optics don't matter as much as the heart. One of the best Italian restaurants I've ever experienced was a tiny little place run by a sole proprietor in Paris, hidden behind a busy thoroughfare. It's best not to judge a book by it's cover....
So I averted my eyes. The menu was shockingly limited....and pricey. I thought to myself, perhaps this was a wise choice. By keeping the menu limited you are able to put everything you have into a few items. I was really working my suspension of disbelief at this point. Instead of being overwhelmed by the menu like at The Fort, I was severely underwhelmed. When the server came by our table, I asked her for her fav dish. She recommended the short ribs which I clarified was not on the bone (I like to remove myself from my meat experience). She cooed over it, so I made a resolute choice. My friend went for the sea scallops which I couldn't actually wrap my head around, being positioned on a land-locked western plain, but as there were no appetizing appetizers to speak of, we carried on, as they say. We both were hankering for a very dirty martini which was delivered snap-to.
The drink was tasty, but unfortunately as the residue of a busy work day wore off, my acuity came into FOCUS. And, then, that is when I felt it.
Felt it? At first I gingerly touched it, but then I became more bold. What was this spongy thing under our table. I looked at my friend, and said, "Is that foam?"
She looked startled and then did her own hand exploration. "It's foam."
"Why is there foam under our table?"
"For the noise"?
She's a smart cookie, but sometimes I need confirmation. When the waitress came by, I asked the obvious question, "Why is there foam under the table"?
Our very bubbly waitress seemed suddenly deflated, "They say it is for the noise".
"The noise, the noise for whom," I ask, "the Lilliputians hiding in the basement"? I'm not sure why Gulliver's Travels came to mind, but I suddenly had an image of tiny people, cowering in the basement, covering their ears. "If they wanted to dampen the noise, wouldn't they have put something on the ceiling?"
"Yeah, it's disgusting. People will start tearing it off. It gets all dirty."
Hmmmm, I thought. Can't wait for the food!
And, then the food arrived. I know I'm supposed to give you all the details about every bite, but, sorry folks. I don't want to remember any bite of it. The "short rib" dish tasted and looked like a failed pot roast experience I had when I first moved to Colorado and was trying to adjust to high-altitude cooking. The mashed potatoes, on which the meat was positioned, were cold. My friend said the scallops were good, but again, I was having a mental block about scallops in Colorado.
After a few bites, a few more glances at the open kitchen and a few more times of foam-rubbing accidents, I had to go........................
Our very attentive waitress had disappeared, so we ran to the hostess to grab the bill. The bill was almost $200 for a couple of drinks, no appetizers, no dessert and.........foam. I tried not to shove my credit card into her hand and asked about another spot I had read about, Katie's Wine Bar.
My friend and I practically ran out of the door. We decided to dessert it at Katie's, so arm-in-arm (I almost fell), we traversed the icy streets to find redemption.
More on Katie's later, but suffice it to say -
Recommendation: Stay away
Unless, you have a foam fetish.
Freeing Sisyphus (aka Melody)
Putting the shoulder to the boulder and taking small steps each day to achieve freedom from the mundane.