Three years ago yesterday it all began. Who knew back then it’d last this long? Well, Sarah probably did. I was a little slower on the uptake. I was just excited to get a date… everything after that was icing on the cake. I guess that means by now we’re talking about an icing-to-cake ratio of something like 4,000:1. Incredibly, happily, my sweet tooth still tingles.
Our tradition is to celebrate every month of the relationship—a monthaversary—with a night out to eat. Often these restaurants are nice; sometimes they’re just unique or well-respected. It’s given us a chance to discover some pretty amazing restaurants in Chicago that we wouldn’t have tried otherwise. La Tache, Andersonville’s fancy french bistro. The late Savoy Truffle, the hidden gem of Humboldt Park. Green Zebra, with the ravioli that sang the song of angels.
Last night, to celebrate year three, we tried out a place I’d heard mentioned in the same breath as some of the city’s most respected joints: Avec. By now I think we’re both kind of tired of the same old French-inspired song-and-dance that you find everywhere. Highest on our priority list these days is uniqueness. Walking into the place, my expectations seemed to be met. Clearly a very modernist interior design, menu design, even waitstaff “design”. It was then I started to become worried we’d walked into a hipster trap—worried because such places value style over substance, and also because we’d be kicked out on our unhip asses as soon as they got a close look at us.
That was all moot once we started to eat. Oh man. It was as great as we expected. We went with the multitude of small plates, instead of two main entrees. I felt the dishes got better as we went along, but that could have just been the wine talking. Asparagus salad. Prosciutto with seasonal fruit. Whipped brandade (the leftovers of which I’m eating right now). Mussels and sturgen kabob. And my favorite: Chorizo-stuffed dates with bacon. We finished it off with a manchego-filled crepe cake. It was a perfectly sweet way to cap off three perfectly sweet years.
On the L ride home, we sat near two hyped-up British sisters, one 9 and one 5, on their way back to their cousin’s house after a day playing in the city. If you’re thinking there’s nothing more adorable than a couple of girls with British accents running around the back of an L train screaming things in British, you’re right.
Girl 1: “You know what the next stop is?”
Girl 2: “No…”
Girl 1: “It’s like a shoe, but it’s not a shoe. It’s a Wellington!”
And then there was this refrain, repeated often in a variety of ways:
Girl 1: “Lucy! You are absoluuuuuuuuuuutely…”
Girl 2: (expectantly) ”...”
Girl 1: “Strange.”
Girl 2: ”...”
Girl 1: “And bonkers!”
We about died. I’m not sure what karmic payment this was payback for, but it absoluuuuuutely made our night. Maybe it was God’s way of saying he approves, and to keep it up. Sounds good to me. I just can’t enough of this icing.