Monday, October 29, 2007

The Real Secret at the Hidden Kitchen

Somewhere between the apple fritter and spiced cider amuse and the absolutely sensuous mackerel, striped on my plate with grapes and charred leeks, I got the feeling - yes, we were enjoying an incredible lunch at the much raved-about Hidden Kitchen, but almost more importantly - we were going to make some new friends.

After the cleanser and before I sank my California-longing teeth into a smoked tomato posole, the words were mentioned. By the time nearly a bottle of wine per person had been consumed and we were about to wolf down the crunchiest, caramel-iest, cranberry sauce on top bread pudding that I've ever had, several future plans had tentatively been made.

And thus, the dance of dating Liam and I have engaged in for the past few weeks continued. It's kind of like when you're online dating and you find someone that doesn't suck and you think, I could definitely show them my favorite Thai place and introduce them to that fried catfish and basil curry and fish cakes that kind of bend in your teeth and then you remember ... you're not really dating (and you're no longer in Berkeley). But this is what it's like - except that often the people are cooler than your average nice person dating - they're already interesting and leading rich full lives, and can commiserate about why the bank only lets you deposit between 9-12 or how people really throw those dividers down in between your stuff at the grocery store and what is this exhalation sound that's made - is it like exhaustion? frustration? just like a 'um'? and suddenly you are panting to put it out there, casually as to not be rejected, but passionately enough to show you're interested, "we should really get each other's info."

And then several hours after we ate the "nostalgia in a box" - petit fours of s'more and pb+j - known in the silver box as rice krispie treat, chocolate truffle, pb cookie and that fruit gelee candy that i love but never remember the proper French for - and there is a battle of Moleskine books and partners exchanging pens and correcting names and saying, yes, let's hang out soon.

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