Dinner and a movie, pretty hard to beat. Even (or especially?) on a bitterly cold, slippery-snowy evening. John and I hit a late-afternoon showing of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the intense true story of French Elle publisher Jean-Dominic Beauby. Beauby, at the age of 42, suffered a sudden, massive “cerebral event” which left him with “locked-in syndrome” – a fully functional intellect trapped inside an immobile body. He could hear, and blink his left eye…but that’s it. Dedicated therapists worked out an eye-blinking code so that he could communicate, and he eventually used it to dictate the memoir that the movie is based on. The story is far too grim and frightening to be uplifting, but it’s powerful, and redemptive, and I walked out feeling a little dazed. (John loved it.)
As often happens to me, the setting of the film stirred cravings for the featured culture and food, in this case French. (Italian movie, Italian food. Asian movie, Asian food. Heck, a strain of a Mexican tune conjures a hankering for margaritas and guacamole. I’m hopeless.) So off we went to our favorite little bistro, Cave Vin, for Gallic treats. To start, half-price bottles of wine on Monday nights, a particularly sweet bonus given their lovely wine list. Smokin-hot frites with crushed garlic (but of course). Plump, tender mussels bathed in a perfect lemony-garlicky broth (insert copious amounts of crusty baguette, soak briefly, sigh deeply). A crispy-roasted chicken breast, with fresh herbs stuffed under the skin, served alongside simple sauteed vegetables. A few decadent bites of a warm chocolate pot-de-creme. And with sips of strong coffee to finish, and chats with the tables on either side of us (we happened to know both parties, random), we rolled on out into the snowy cold, (temporarily) blissfully unaware of its nasty bite given the protective presence of warm food and drink. Oooh, bon, bon, bon. Date Night!
And tonight, more French fabulousness, this time with Stu The Wine Genius and his lovely wife Debbie. Stu belongs to the Twin Cities’ chapter of a Bordeaux wine-enthusiasts group (wine frat!) called the Commanderie de Bordeaux. Commanderie members host dinners and wine tastings, called parlements, and occasionally invite guests to attend. Tonight’s parlement will feature the wines of Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte. Tonight’s guest list will include – moi! John was invited too, but he wussed out because he gets too overwhelmed by multi-course, multi-taste dinners. I surprisingly (har) dig them wildly and can’t wait. Yay! I’ll check in with the details tomorrow.
Until then, stay warm, my friends!