Snowy cold night in Little Italy. Etna. Lovely place. Old school family joint. All white customers, which was a little weird in Cleveland. Quite a few people at the bar were heading to theatre after dinner (Amadeus). But generally nice and easy conversation in a confined space. Bartender was super cool and exceptional. Eli. Quiet, thoughtful, unobtrusive but there when you needed him. Just want you want in a bartender. And, I gotta say, best fucking hair I’ve ever seen on a dude. If I had hair like that I’d be president of the world. I planned to leave around 6am for Elicottville for skiing, so made it an early night.
Near the end of my meal, he was clearing a setting from a couple at the bar. They’d left some wine in a bottle of a terrific Brunello. Eli poured the last of the bottle In a rocks glass and as he did, I commented, ‘what a shame to leave such lovely wine’. He had his back to me and I think assumed no one was paying attention. But without skipping a beat, he picked up another glass, split the pour and gave me 1/2. It wasn’t why I said it; but it was a moment and there was no way to go back, so we shared the few ounces and it was good. Like I said, total professional.
I stayed with the always reliable Ketel One with olives. For dinner, I had mushroom and truffle ravioli with a nice marinara. Scallops for starter which were amazing. The cooking window for scallops is always narrow, but these were perfect. Blackened and seared, but soft and moist and delicious inside. Then a really terrific chocolate gelato for dessert with Oman 14 scotch.
Lucky bastard I am.