For lack of a better title, that's exactly what this has been - comfortable. "Comfortable" is such a nice word....
We had some choices for what to do with our night. You see, with our crazy schedule, we've come to think of Thursday evening as the unofficial beginning of the weekend, so this is the night we'll hang a little looser than the other "school nights". Maybe we'll even get together with some friends, but more than anything, it has become our tradition to enjoy a bottle of wine. (Obviously, Thursday night isn't the only night that we partake in vino, but we do try to make this night consistently.) I worked a little late this evening, so Doug was considering picking up a pizza from one of our discoveries while he waited, but we also thought that either staying home or going to one of our favorite little places in the Lou would make for a fine evening as well. I left it up to Doug since it seems like I'm making most of these kinds of decisions lately.
Doug chose the last one, & even made reservations at our wonderful little find: Veritas Gateway To Food & Wine. Man, I hesitate to even write about the place for fear that any more publicity would take away our enjoyment. We stumbled across this tiny place in a strip mall in Chesterfield a few years back after doing some grocery shopping, & we're so glad that we did! About once or twice a month, we started heading to Veritas for their weekly Thursday evening wine bar, which entails a free tasting of about 6 wines & an ever-changing menu of small plates prepared in the diner-style open kitchen, surrounded by a small wine shop & a small shopping area for home & kitchen accessories. This place is so cool that is was voted "Best Dining Concept" for the Riverfront Times "Best Of", which is a magazine that heavily favors city establishments - quite a feat! Doug & I were worried...was "our place" - the place that we found before it was cool, where we didn't invite people unless we felt comfortable enough with their behavior, the place that we could go on Thursday nights & have a pleasant, quiet evening without phone calls, neighbors, etc. - in danger of becoming the place to "see & be seen"? We'd seen several local celebrities there already, but now the cat was really out of the bag. We were conflicted because the owners, David & Stephanie, were now friends of ours, & while we certainly didn't want them to fail, we didn't want Veritas to be tainted by popularity.
So far, so good. While it has definitely gotten busier - we now need to make reservations to guarantee a place - the feeling is still the same. There is still David's wonderful, hand-selected wine store, with some of the quirkier, less-heard-of labels, & Stephanie's gourmet groceries & upscale stuff for the crib - oh wait, this is Chesterfield, I don't think they use that term. The staff know us by name, we get special deals & uber-exclusive tastings on occasion...but best of all, there's the food. Veritas has the best grilled cheese sandwich in the world! Really! Couple that with the bison bites (think mini-burgers) with a variety of toppings, & you've got comfort food. There's some crazy stuff on the menu, too - for example, tonight there was Kentucky Thunder Scallops (do they have scallops in Kentucky, or is that a clever name for something scarier?), fresh salmon with avocado salsa on cucumbers, flat iron steak with blue potatoes (?) & grilled corn, & perhaps the oddest -- grilled lamb chops with roots & wine-soaked onions. I'll pass on the roots, but trust me, everything we've ever had at this place has been delightful.
After a tough week (strange, it's been a short one for me), we chose to go with the easy - grilled cheese & bison bites. We chose the 2006 Carmela Benegas Rose', a 50% Cab Franc/50% Petit Verdot blend, for our wine. Doug & his pink drinks, I'm telling you, people are going to start talking if they haven't already. Anyway, we always, always trust Benegas wines & find ourselves reaching for them again & again. They're fabulous & an incredible bargain, so you should do the same. (In other words, this goes on your weekend to-do list, ladies & gents.) Anyway, there wasn't a whole lot on the nose (but it's allergy season), but the color was beautiful & it was great on the palate. We had a hard time deciding what we were tasting - raspberry, maybe watermelon & some flowers - so we declared that what we were getting was snozzberry with just a touch of cream.
It's good to be us - we say it so convincingly that people might actually buy that BS.
So now, we are home with our wonderful pack of dogs. Bella is curled up on my feet on the couch, Charles is laying on the floor at my side, Piper is snoring across from me on the loveseat, Poppy is, well, wherever it is that Poppy goes, & Mattie is laying on her bed, lampshade-free for the moment & waiting for the magical words of "bed time, girls".
Those words are just minutes away, & I look forward to our comfortable bed. Tomorrow is Friday, & that's a beautiful thing...