a unique perspective on this crazy world


Sorry to disappoint – the headline was meant to be titillating – but a bit misleading…  I am only polyamorous  when it comes to professional food 🙂

It all started a couple of decades ago, in a strange twist because I was still friends with an ex-boyfriend so was taking him for a birthday dinner.  But he was an ex and I wasn’t terribly rich so took the advice of my roommate at the time and took him for dinner at Allegro, a restaurant in an obscure location only open for about four months.

It was the first restaurant Michael had owned instead of working at and the effort was obvious.  I enjoyed the meal so much I was back again a week later… and he asked my opinion on my entrée, on the general prices, etc.  AND he remembered where I had been sitting a week earlier, what I had ordered and that I had been with the guy with the backpack.  I was impressed!

I had never had a restaurant of my own before.  Michael added a layer to my life that I hadn’t even been aware I needed 🙂 It all started with Allegro.  I brought everyone I knew.  I became such a regular no one blinked an eye when I was behind the bar.  Once I got invited to the Christmas party in January and everyone was trying to figure out if I was staff.  And I learned the most important lesson: talk to the staff!  Bond!  Create a relationship.

It’s why my friends love to go for dinner with me.  Many of those bonds were revisited during my birthday celebrations.  And meals were extra special.  Morgan, the teenager previously mentioned, declared that Neil at boneta was the coolest person she had ever met!  Neil is pretty cool.  I would have to agree 🙂

And one of the really special rewards that I get these days, having spent many years following people I like from restaurant to restaurant… is that sometimes they pop up again in an unexpected places.  That’s what happened last night.

I went to the restaurant at the Opus just before all the birthday festivities started so that I wouldn’t have to cook – and more importantly – deal with dirty dishes, since I had cleaned the apartment for the entire day.  The meal was great so I went back last night.  It was just a break between work shifts and I hadn’t eaten all day so I was there really early.  Which is when you might get to meet the chef roaming around outside the kitchen!

And it was Paul, whom I’ve known from a couple of other restaurants.  He is a great chef.  And a super charming great guy.  He wanted to buy me dessert.  But sugar isn’t really my thing (I didn’t even eat my own birthday cake – and it was incredible cake!) so we negotiated for cheese… I got this stellar plate of Italian cheese and cause I was now a friend of the chef, a glass of incredible red wine not normally poured by the glass.

And what is the takeaway?  Proper flirting is one of the tenets of a great civilization.  Learn how to do it.  Tip well.  Talk to the staff.  Take a night out and make it memorable.  And then you, too, may have a photo of yourself in the kitchen at Gordon Ramsay… it all started with a conversation about the menu…

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