Friday, December 14, 2007

So, I felt relaxed yesterday because I turned in my big article to the Stranger. This was not the regular column, this was a special piece I got assigned, and I’m sort of terrified that it’ll suck. But I hope it doesn’t. It’s way longer than anything I’ve written for the Stranger before. So I was definitely sweating over it some. It’ll be out in next week’s paper, and naturally I’ll link to it.

Meanwhile, many other lovely things are happening for me, which is charming. Armani took me out to dinner last night at a place called Mistral. We don’t go out a lot, so we call this our annual holiday dinner. I've been looking forward to it.

Now, Armani is a person who knows about good food and wine. Me? I call out for pizza a lot. But hey, I’m game to try new stuff. Mistral serves “European haute cuisine” and is apparently often called Seattle’s best restaurant. It’s a small place, like 12 tables, and there is no menu. The chef cooks whatever he feels like making, and the server bring it to you, and you eat it. It’s an eight course meal, although each course is very small.

I have to say that this is a strange concept to me, but, Armani knows his food, so I got dressed up in one of the D&G dresses he bought me and downtown we went. It seemed that there had been a large party booked at Mistral who had then backed out, so last night, Armani and I were the only people there. That was a little odd at first, but it actually wound up being sort of fun, like having our own private chef and dining room. (We were slightly naughty when we were alone in the room, I admit it. I think the server caught us once when she came back unexpectedly. Whoops. I’m sure Armani left her a good tip.)

What did we eat? Oh, I’m bad at this. The server described them all in loving detail, I was impressed with her ability to retain and repeat all the various information from each dish. I'm definitely not going to be able to do that. But there was some sautéed shrimp, and then a seared tuna sort of thing, and some kind of creamy-buttery soup with a scallop in it, and then another fish course. I don’t remember the name of the second fish, I hadn’t heard of it before, although it was a white fish, and the server said it was in the perch family? Then a course where he had foie gras and I had a red risotto, then lamb, then a cheese course, and then sorbets, and then dessert, being an almond cake-lette with ice cream and raspberries. As you may well imagine, we were quite sated at the end.

What did I think of the European haute cuisine experience? Well, the food was very nice, and so was the wine, and the service was excellent. The leisurely pace of the meal suited us, since we had lots to talk about. Not something I’d do every night, but in a dinner-as-performance sort of way, delightful.

Also delightful? The very gorgeous bracelet Armani gave me for Christmas. He really, really spoils me. (The Tiffany website won’t let me right-click and steal the picture to post, so if you want to see it, this is the link to the Tiffany site.)

Some of my guys are sweet enough to bring me gifts, and it’s a wonderful and meaningful gesture whether it’s home-grown tomatoes, pretty lingerie, or a diamond bracelet. But it's really about the relationship. I love the presents Armani gives me, but I also love that I can call him when I have an emergency that he can fix, and poof, he takes care of it. I really value someone who steps up and helps me when I need it, and he does. Over dinner, Armani and I talked about how we have known each other for more than ten years. We have a very special relationship, and last night, we drank to another year of good times together.

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