16 February 2007

February 16 (the sweet life)

I threw all digestive caution to the wind tonight and encouraged Rob to forget about my crazy-making restrictions and simply choose someplace to eat that sounded good. We went back, far back, to our roots as a couple, and dined at La Dolce Vita. Familiar faces appeared there—Hostess Mama, who is still cute as can be and still doesn't speak English, and the humbler of The Handsome Brothers, who waited our table with humor and graciousness. The salad, iceberg, is the same, and I'm still okay with it, though I'm morally opposed in nearly every other setting to iceberg lettuce. The bread—not quite as tasty as it was back in the day, but fine. The pasta? Still good. It was a nice, if gut-challenging, meal. LDV was probably the first place Rob and I ate out together besides our beloved Govinda's (may it rest in peace, hare krishna, etc.), where we actually met. I have so many LDV memories, some including Rob, some not, all good. I'd nearly forgotten how entertwined that place is with my personal history, particularly pre-marriage. Hmm, perhaps I should go there more often and while I'm enjoying a spinach calzone or a plate of gnocchi, write down some of the important memories. Atmosphere helps you know. Anyway, it sounds like a great excuse to compromise my digestion occasionally.

I do remember once after we were married, when Rob's grandparents and aunt and uncle and cousin from Maine came for a visit, we took them to LDV. After our meal, Grandma B., who had been a great gardener before she grew too sick with cancer, stood admiring the roses outside the restaurant. The owner spotted her through the glass, rushed out and clipped the most perfect flower in bloom, handed it to her with a romantic flourish, and said richly, "A beautiful rose for a beautiful woman." Man, he was good. Grandma B. was very pleased and received the gift and the compliment just like a queen. A split-second later, Hostess Mama came tearing out of the restaurant, blazed over to her Husband Who Appreciates Women and gave him a violent tongue-lashing in Italiano that gave us all a mighty shock. We blushed and hurried to our car. Rob and I could never go by there again without stopping to admire Grandma's roses.


Alexis said...

I loved Govinda's too! I miss it. Good healthy eating and interesting company and it was so clean too.
That is so great that you met Rob there, how hip is that!
Alexis ha ha ha

Geo said...

Hey, Alexis, you might like the new Indian place next to Sam Hawke. It's called Swagat. It's small and drafty, but the service is friendly and the food's tasty. It ain't Govinda's, but it's worth a trip. Good prices too.

I have the Krishna cookbook that the Govinda's folks often used. Maybe we should get a few people together and each make one of the recipes and have our own Krishna-kosher buffet? (I make pretty good yellow dal.)

Elizabeth said...

She didn't want anybody thinking her man was lovely, did she? (I think that was lovely. What a sweet gentleman.)
I'll notice the roses next time I go by, too.

Elizabeth said...

p.s. Dal is _yummy_. I'm excited that you make a good one.

Geo said...

Liz: Actually, we all got the impression that she didn't want her husband finding someone else lovely! Rob's gran was smilingly flattered by Hostess Mama's outrage. That made the moment even better when I look back, the twinkle she got in her eye. What a lady.

I'll have to test out my dal on you sometime. It's been ages since I made it.

Chemical Billy said...

Wow, you sent me on a memory trip, too, Geo. I often refer to Govinda's as the best job I ever had. I washed pots there, with the back door open and the sun streaming in...

And LDV! I used to read Mama's palm, with Handsome Brother #1 translating, in exchange for rum baba.

I dated Handsome Brother #1, too, a thousand years ago. After we'd broken up & he'd gotten married, I stopped in for dinner. He was sitting with wife & she leaned over to whisper in his ear. I later learned what she said:

"If you even look at her, I'll scratch your eyes out!"

Clearly he learned it from his father.

Geo said...

Darling Billy, you've given me one more excellent reason to smile at those roses.