Monday, February 24, 2014

Holed Up

Photo courtesy of
Between the frigid temperatures, broken social engagements due to never ending illnesses and  the kids, we were holed up in hibernation.  Except for that last time we went out.  A couple weeks ago when I was Bob Costas's twin sister with a raging eye infection.  My husband and I were both exhausted, but forced ourselves to go out anyway.  Of course, that night unbeknownst to us,  there was an Olympic celebration in downtown Colorado Springs.  Making it nearly impossible to find parking.  And even more impossible to have a quiet romantic dinner.  In fact, I can sum up the evening in two words.  IT SUCKED.

When I fork out the money and make the effort to go out, I have a lot of expectations.

1.   A  quiet yet funky place with an adult ambiance without a kids menu.  And no TV or any other screen that I can see from my cozy little table.

2.   Low lighting acting as a soft focus lens making me appear both younger and hipper.  As if I could effortlessly stay up past 11pm.

3.  The excellent selection of wines on the menu will prove 9pm challenging though.

4.  Inspired culinary choices that I'm way too lazy to make for my family at home.  Preferably ones my kids would absolutely abhor.

AND 5, which is extremely, extremely important, the place must be stocked with characters.  No, not customers, characters.  So we can watch them and make up their story.  Cause god knows, if Craig and I are left to our own devices, we're only going to end up talking about the kids.  And the whole point of going out is to get away from the kids.  

Does such a place exist in such a relatively small city?
 The Rabbit Hole.
The former city morgue converted into a restaurant.
So it's even got an intriguing creepy component. 

My kids would definitely not eat the rabbit balls served with a piquant sauce.  Or the seared ahi steak drizzled with wasabi, accompanied by bok choy I ordered.

And the characters!

The young attractive guy at the bar eating alone.  Surrounded by couples.  Stubbly scruff on his chin.  He can't be military, unless he's off duty for a few days.  Maybe he's from out of town.  Or fresh from a break-up.  

The old guy alone at the bar, flirting with the waitress, asking her when she works next.  And everyone within earshot knows:  She's just not into you.  

The long center table is filled.  Half the table with the older set, the other half younger.  We spent most of dinner trying to conclude if they were all together or two separate groups. Turns out they were one.  Although we couldn't determine their common bond.  A rehearsal dinner perhaps?

The couple I sat facing.  About our age.  No wedding rings.  Not a first date.  She eats from his plate without asking.  It looked more like end of a relationship than the beginning.  Especially when he placed his ipad on the table and checked it frequently, ignoring her.  Noooooo….what are you doing?  Stop! 

To our left was a young couple, in their 20's.  Even they didn't have their faces in their phones, which I thought was totally refreshingly weird, especially considering their age.  They are totally scoring couples points with us.  Right now they're in the lead, our favorites really.  Then I see his shoes and so does everyone else in the restaurant.    Fluorescent pink sneakers.  Not converse, which would earn him style points.  Interesting choice.

Craig points out the lady directly behind me having a night out with a girlfriend.  "What's up with her hair?" He asks.  I have to do the casual turn around.  And she has gobs of product in it, so it's crispy.  Like bacon.  And while everyone loves bacon, no one likes bacon hair.  

Luckily, I had the best seat of the house.  Sitting across from this man.  And even though he was on call for work, his phone was tucked away out of view.  We were eating scrumptious food.  Sipping a simple red. Talking about everything except for the kids.

There's no one I'd rather be holed up with.  
Absolutely anywhere.


Stuart Nager said...

Rabbit Balls?

The Loerzels said...

You know like meatballs, but made of rabbit. Unless they had some miracle grow rabbits with some huge balls… said...

Glad you enjoyed the dinner- and loved the company. The stories didn't hurt either.

Joy Page Manuel said...

Awwww, how sweet..(sorry I had to gush). But I admire how both of you are so creative and have a sense of humor that allow you to make up interesting stories about the people around you. It's a challenge to not talk about the kids and it's a challenge my husband and I fail most times. Unfortunately, I don't think my hubby is 'game' enough to play the story game. I'm sure I'd end up frustrated. *sigh*

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

What a great way to stay in the moment and make your evening memorable. Don't know whether I could order rabbit balls, though. Neighborhood bunnies have discovered the spillage beneath our bird feeders, and they very efficiently convert it to little round pellets. Which are everywhere.

Muriel Jacques said...

Where do I start? I think that liking quieter places comes with age. I am the same. I used to love busy & noisy restaurants, but that's not the case any more.
Oh, and rabbit is making a huge comeback this side of the pond. i think that you are a trend setter, Marie!


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