Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Full Circle


One weeknight in mid-March of 2020 I had a wonderful meal at Cured with a friend who was moving out of town. It was the last meal I was to eat inside a restaurant for quite some time.

Until yesterday. I met up with another friend at Cured to catch up over lunch. Over time I had become committed to the notion that I wanted to re-enter where I had left off, that is, at Cured. I must say they were rather tickled when I told them. That may have contributed to the excellent service, but, frankly, I’ve always had great service there. 

At my request, they sat us as far away from the other diners as the room allowed. They made sure we weren’t languishing there, though. Service was helpful but unobtrusive. The food and drinks were exactly right. I’m not a food reviewer but I supposed I could pretend to be one and remark on the perfect crunch of the coating on the crispy chicken in my sandwich as contrasted with the cool, crisp slaw and the sweet mustard notes in the accompanying Carolina sauce.

My words would be heavily influenced by an exquisite Gin and Tonic which began the meal and the most delicious cup of restaurant coffee I’ve ever had, which ended it. You know you’ve been isolated for quite some time when a cocktail and coffee leave you feeling that you may be having an out of body experience.

The high point of the meal was spending time with a friend I’ve seen far too little of since The Before Times. A high top table at Cured on a Tuesday in December gave us the time and the space to share all the news, the good gossip, exchange new ideas, toss around some old concerns. And just plain look across the table and see eachother. 

I have a special devotion to Cured/18th & 21st that began when they included me in a press/media event in the early days of the two restaurants. I reminisced about it here. We recently chose an outdoor dinner there for our daughter’s twenty-first birthday. Yesterday as I enjoyed my lunch I imagined what it would  be like if one were able to live above the restaurant and toddle on down for meals. 

It isn’t possible. Those buildings aren’t residential. (I don’t want to lead anyone astray.) I was simply feeling so comfortable and satisfied that my imagination got the better of me. 

With cold weather driving folks indoors, combined with the appearance of a new COVID-19 variant on the scene, I probably won’t be having an inside-the-restaurant meal for a while. The memories of Tuesday’s lunch at Cured will have to tide me over.

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