As I drove over, I saw the storm clouds gather, and the first clap that at first made me wonder if something was wrong with the car before I realized that I was hearing thunder. When I got to her house, we decided to wait to see what the weather would do.
After 45 minutes, the crashing rains relented, and we decided to walk to see what appealed to us. The rain had chases away the oven-like heat of the afternoon, so it was a lovely walk.
My friend had wanted to go to the new French bistro that had opened, and we got to it first. They had a great early bird special: 3 courses for $26, plus a basket of wonderful bread and a bowl of cornichon pickles. Course 1 was salad or French onion soup (wonderful soup!), course 2 a choice of hangar steak, mussels, or chicken, and dessert could be sherbert or creme brulee (who would choose sherbert when you could have creme brulee?). We were still early enough, so we decided to stay there.
I got the hangar steak, which came with wonderful, skinny fries. But the most flavorful part of the meal was the French onion soup, although the strings of cheese made true enjoyment difficult. I always have that problem with that soup.
Actually, I'd have been happy to sit there with the bread basket and a hunk of butter. Or just to sip wine and watch the rain.
At the end of our time at the restaurant, there was a singer. She wasn't bad, but her speaker had a bit of a buzz to it. I was glad we weren't going to be there for her whole gig. I preferred the music they played when we first got there: an interesting mix of Elton John, Queen, and Earth, Wind, and Fire, those types of music. I have been hearing (in other places) snippets from the new Jay Z/Beyonce album, and I just can't understand why everyone is rapturous, because their vocal stylings just IRRITATE me--I want to say, "Quit mumbling and sing. And when you sing, open your throat and try to make it sound less guttural."
Nothing makes me feel older than trying to listen to modern music! But I digress.
We walked back to my friend's house, on sidewalks that had us pass by beautiful houses and canals. I don't always appreciate the beauty that South Florida offers, and I'm always grateful when I have a chance to remember why we moved here.
When we first started back, the rain fell in random, fat drops, but it soon turned into a drizzle. In my running days, I used to say that if there had to be moisture in the air, I'd prefer rain to humidity, and that's still true. As we walked, I joked that we should form a bistro club: our goal could be to try every French restaurant in town! I said, "It would be better than a book club."
I love the idea of book clubs, but they often disappoint me. I have so little time to read, and I often don't like the books that others choose. Or, I like them, but I'd have preferred to spend my time reading something else.
A French bistro club! Now there might be a club I could enjoy.
Last night was the kind of night I thought I'd have all the time as a grown up. But now that I'm grown up, I realize that I appreciate that kind of experience because it's a contrast to my usual home cooking, which has a coziness that I'd miss if I only went to restaurants. I feel lucky that I can have both.