For the last 15 years, we 3 friends of old, meet to celebrate our birthdays. Sometimes it's a spa resort, a rented cottage on a gulf island, the beach, a whistler get away. This year, we had troubles coordinating our schedules and had to 'settle' for a dinner out. I knew the place was small, so when I made reservations I told them that we hadn't seen each other in a long time, one was coming from out of town, and it was one of our's birthday dinner, so best not to sit us in the middle of diners for their sakes as we were going to yakking all night. She told me that she couldn't guarantee it, but she'd try to find us a table slightly removed, and make a note that we would likely stay for the night so she wouldn't book the table for any later reservations. Although we arrived a little late, I noticed that the place was packed, but the best table in the house, in the corner by the front window was held for us. Good start. Oour tradition is to make a picnic out of it and share instead of order individual meals. We ordered the daily soup, a special salad, the bread with chipotle butter and humus plate, and the lamb from the board. Our server said, "why don't you just order the Fix prix meal - you get the same choices, but it's cheaper". Not to brag, but we've dined in a LOT of restaurants, around the world. The meal, the service, the vibe, the vegan gluten free dessert - DIVINE. Casual elegance at it's best. Although we didn't get our usual getaway, we all agreed that this was another stellar celebration, and for 3 hours, we got away.
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