Saturday, October 30, 2010

Do You Need to Know Why it Makes You Happy? {Lecosho and Kells}

"Write drunk; edit sober." I adore Ernest Hemingway's style (in spite of his somewhat chauvinistic tendencies)... He is sometimes terse, always precise and never verbose. Women are not supposed to adore Hemingway, but I do. He said only what must be said and nothing more. I write this post one glass of wine and 3 pints of Guinness into the night, so while I hardly meet Hemingway's criteria, I am writing relaxed and more pensive than usual.
We had an amazing dinner at Lecosho as our Thursday Night Bite. I know. It's Friday, but B's involvement with a Homeowners Association committee means he has to attend their board meetings monthly. They screw up my schedule.

It's hard not to love a restaurant whose tagline is "food we like."  The food was truly exceptional. The space is gorgeous. B typically gets the "good seat" meaning the seat facing the action, but from my seat, I had an amazing view into a tiny space next to the open kitchen revealing shelves of folded napkins, plates, flatware and huge piles of baguettes. I was enamoured with Lecosho as soon as we entered. The abysmal service, though, nearly ruined the whole night.

We were seated early for our reservation. Our server was fine to start with, but got progressively worse from there. Quickly. Once a four top and a table of eight were seated on either side of us, we became obsolete. Without exaggeration, we sat with plates needing to be cleared for at least 25 minutes and never did see our requested second round of drinks. We had to ask for the side of potatoes we ordered and didn't get them until we were almost finished with our entrees. I heard "my apologies" FAR too many times. I know we aren't aware of all the possible extenuating circumstances and I'm usually pretty laid back when things take a little longer than usual, but this was absurd. B is generally the less patient of the two of us and most often I'm the one reminding him we're not in a hurry and should just enjoy the experience. For some reason, tonight he was calm and collected (until it got really bad at the end). I don't actually remember the last time I experienced service this slow. Everything was a painful wait. I wasn't even most unhappy because of the slow service, but rather for being made to feel invisible. I also hate feeling like a difficult customer and we definitely felt difficult every time we quiety mentioned something triggering an apology (but not an improvement in service). 

Everything about Lecosho was wonderful except for the server who decided we didn't matter (though she was really nice when we saw her). The food was fantastic and the environment inviting. I know I abuse the word "warmth" in my posts, but in many ways, this is deliberate. When you live in Seattle, two qualities are true assets for a restaurant. The first is an awesome patio (for the short time each year we're able to use them). Seattleites are very grateful for a good patio. The second is an intangible yet palpable warmth, comprised of everything from lighting design to texture in the decor to actual temperature. This carries us through our darkest, dreariest days.

We will return to Lecosho, but will hope for much more in the service department. Our menu tonight included the olives and Marcona almonds, Pork Rillettes, Lechosho Porchetta, Grilled and Roasted Half Mad Hatcher Chicken, Duck Roasted Potatoes and Gelato.

Marcona Almonds and Olives
Grilled and Roasted Half Mad Hatcher Chicken
I know the photo is bad, but I don't believe in flash photography in restaurants.
Lechosho Porchetta
Noteworthy comment from B after his first bite: "I think I am in man heaven."

We walked home via Post Alley. I didn't realize B had never walked through the Alley at night and had never even seen the Gum Wall. A bit off topic, but the Gum Wall is quite an interesting site if you've never seen it before... and it smells funny.
B suggested we stop somewhere for another drink to help end the evening on a more positive note. After deciding against The Alibi Room and Pink Door, we wandered into Kells and promptly found a table. Though service there was off to a slow start (not surprising for a Friday night), I went to the bar, ordered our first drinks and we enjoyed them while watching a Celtic punk band prep for their set. We eventually found our adorable and sweet server who kept my Guinness and B's Harp flowing.

I adore all things Irish - Irish music, Irish authors, you name it. I don't know why, but it's all very comforting. Granted, Kells is about as Irish as apple pie, but it worked for me. As we sat there listening to this punk band playing a combination of their own music and Pogues cover songs, I was overcome with a sense of calm and happiness. Their one crazy groupie dancing with reckless abandon (alone) at the front of the stage didn't hurt for added entertainment either!

One of us, I'm not sure which, raised the question of why the little things that make us happy do. Irish music and Guinness make me calm and make me smile. I am finding (and rediscovering), every day, the small things that bring me joy. I don't always know why they do, but does it matter?

Tonight, I am grateful for Kells- a place I've always associated with drunk frat boys and horrible St. Patrick's Day parties. I sat with my pints of Guinness and looked across the table at the man who accompanies me on my many food adventures and felt just plain lucky and happy to be sitting with someone I adore listening to music that makes me smile, drinking a beer that makes my belly happy.

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1 comment:

  1. This may be one of your best posts yet!

    "I write this post one glass of wine and 3 pints of Guinness into the night..."

    Your writing voice has a natural storytelling style and it's easy to get wrapped up in the shared experience.