Friday, December 07, 2012
I don't know if you'll think I'm totally crazy, but it seems that my commitment to having dinner once a week at my local bistro is turning out to be the best motivator in my life right now. Because of the expense (close to $60 including wine, espresso, tax, and tip on top of a $35 prix fixe), I am not having lunch out every day like I used to. I'm packing a simple, healthy lunch or coming home for lunch. Because the food is so exquisite, I prefer to eat simply at home the other nights (fish and vegetables or an omelette). Because it feels like a two-hour blissful indulgence, I'm more inclined to exercise on the other days. Thursday is my rest day, anyway, because after two days in a row of strenuous Pilates, my muscles are feeling it. Because I'm more organized about my eating, I take fruit to eat after Pilates on my way to work rather than stop at Starbucks, where I can be tempted by other things besides coffee.
The other part of it is the camaraderie. The little bistro has an open kitchen so the chef can chat with the patrons. We are on a first-name basis now :). Tim has been giving me little treats. Tonight he came to my table with something in his hand that looked like a small black rock or a round cookie. "Do you like these?" he said. It was a truffle! He shaved some into my first course, a carrot-ginger veloute (soup). There is only one waiter, and he tells me what he likes this week and which wine would be good (I only have one glass). There are three courses, with just two choices for each course. Tonight besides the carrot-ginger veloute, there were pork rillettes. The second course was either halibut or flat-iron steak. I don't usually eat red meat, but the waiter said it was wonderful, so I had it. It was several small slices of intensely flavorful beef served over red quinoa with braised radicchio. Tim invited me into the kitchen to explain how he prepares the meat. Then we got to talking about a mutual friend. Then while I was eating, another patron came over to talk to Tim who also knows that mutual friend, so Tim introduced us. That man's wife works for the same cultural organization that I do, and she stopped by my table to say hello.
The third course is a sweet or cheese. I always go for the cheese. Tonight there were two little slices of goat brie, and on the plate was a dab of apricot paste and a few almonds. Then I had a decaf espresso, which is served in a little glass like a shot glass.
During this meal, when I wasn't chatting, I was reading the food issue of the New Yorker on my Kindle. I think it added to my pleasure of the wonderful tastes I was experiencing at the same time.
So now you get to say whether you think I'm ridiculous! I still love food and nothing is going to change that! But I don't love bad food, junk food, fast food, or "diet" food. I'm very resistant to "dieting" because I "should." If I can Spark, track my food and exercise and still eat like this once a week, I'm a happy person. The part that feels ridiculous is that I have to admit that health is not a strong enough motivator, but food is. For fabulous food and the perfect environment, I'm willing to exercise and eat right. I spent two hours there tonight and came home feeling absolutely blissful. I find that this is necessary to my life. The colleague I ran into there tonight said, "Oh, we love food. Of course. We're musicians."