The taxi took a right turn today instead of the left that usually takes me back to one hotel or the other. Five visits in the last eight weeks to this dry and sleepy town with some amazing people, before i decided enough was enough. Dine out, instead of just eating, was the mantra of the day. Google to the rescue as always, and then keeping the fingers crossed.
Less than three minutes into the trip, the scenery changed and how! Lush green on either side, the road seemed to have been cut through some prehistoric hills. Kelly, the uber driver confirmed, “my grandmother used to sing, we’re passing through the mountains.” Well, grandmothers are always right, aren’t they?
“You going to the Bistro? They serve some amazing food there,” she continued as she turned right on to a deserted road with more greenery on either side, not a building in sight. And then, on the right side, a quaint little cottage in stone that might have rightly belonged to one of the three witches.
“This is the place? Wow! “ was all I could manage.
Slowly pushing the green wooden door open, I peeped inside. The man at the counter looked middle aged and the beard was French. Most definitely.
“Sorry, I do not have a reservation. Need a table just for me,” a tone of mild apology in my voice.
“It’s all yours,” he replied.
It was true. I had the whole place, all to myself. Sometimes, owning a place has a totally different meaning, you see😉
Glancing through the menu, I knew a main course would be something that would be a little too much. And the desserts looked quite interesting. Extremely interesting, actually.
“Would you suggest the Tuna Tower?”
“Hmm, it’s slightly raw inside,” my Frenchman had recognized the Indian in me.
“I would suggest the Crab Cakes,” he continued.
It didn’t take more than five minutes. Two cakes on a bed of arugula leaves and two sticks of asparagus charred to perfection. How in the world do they do this, I wondered. Do they time it to the exact hundredth of a second to present it to be just so? The meat was shredded so fine, it felt like the fluffiest of clouds. A few pieces of tomato skins seemed to be the only additional ingredient. Again, fried to that millionth of a second’s perfection.
The Frenchman had started smiling by now. Did he recognize a glutton when he saw one?
“What do you think I should try for dessert?”
“The Creme Brûlée or the Chef’s Cheese Cake Du Jour,” the answer came in an instant. The Creme Brûlée arrived in what seemed like another instant.
A gentle touch of the spoon was not enough to break the barrier of the browned caramel crust. These guys seem to have invented the Holy Grail Of charring anything under the sun to perfection. Oh, the custard that lay beneath the crust! The eyes closed the moment it touched the edge of my tongue. What followed was a languorous, dreamy, waltz. Filling all the senses, one after another.
I was not ready to go, yet. “Think I’ll try that Cheesecake of yours as well.” The man was all wide grins by now.
Have you locked eyes with your lover across a room? Found yourself slowly drifting towards each other? Your arms encircling each other’s waists tenderly? Your cheeks touching ever so softly? Your lips searching for each other tentatively? Your tongues talking to each other in a language only they can understand? With all the passion you could muster, but with slow abandon?
Never mind. Have this Cheesecake instead. No kidding. This could be even better. Maybe.
I could see the goofy grin on my face. As if in a mirror. I could feel the warmth from the glow that spread on my face as the alcohol infused cake found its way down my tongue and floated down the throat. Bliss? Too mild a word.
I was still not ready to go back. The weather beaten wooden benches, the huge tree that guarded them, the rustle of the leaves, the cool breeze that caressed my face and tossed my hair aside, called out, “Come, sit with us. Breathe, let go, be you, just be.” And I could not but heed their words. For, those were words of wisdom. That we seldom remember.
So I sat there. Did something that I’ve been planning to, for a long time. Opened the notebook, took out the pen. And wrote a letter. To someone whom I love deeply. Forever.
The first born.
The uber driver asked on the way back, “Do you like trying out different kinds of food?”
“There is this place that serves excellent Columbian food….”
………to be continued next week 😄😄
(p.s. wasn’t it just a few days ago that I found someone saying , “it’s only witches and shamans that enjoy spending time by themselves”? Well…….😉 😉 )