Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dinner with an old friend.

Last night I headed to Sacramento to have dinner with an old friend.

When I was 21 or so I moved to Sacramento. I got a job at a trucking company as the receptionist. The ladies that worked there weren't very nice...except for Elaine. We met in the break room and hit it off instantly. We've been friends ever since.

Over the past 20 years, plus, we've kept in touch...with the time in between sometimes longer than others. This past time we allowed three years to pass...and we've decided that is not acceptable. The good part is that we always pick up right where we left if no time has passed. To me, that is the sign of a really great friendship.

Recently we got in touch again...and made a dinner date for a week later. So last night I hopped in the car and headed to Sacramento.

Say hello to The Governator....

This is the capitol of our state...and where Arnold works. It was Friday after 5 so I'm sure he was gone for the day. But I was watching for him!
I parked in the garage Elaine told me to, and waited for her to arrive. I saw her the minute she drove up...even though she had a different car from the last time I saw her. I just knew it was her. She parked. We squealed. And we hugged. And squealed a little more. It was so great to see her...kindred spirits shouldn't be away from one another for so long.
We headed to the restaurant, Paesano's, chatting and laughing all the way.
We got a table right by the window overlooking the outdoor patio. Perfect.
She ordered a glass of red wine. And I ordered a cherry coke.

We shared a salad of mixed greens, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, feta and, I believe, a balsamic vinaigrette. DE-licious. SO good. (My picture was you just have to trust me when I tell you it was beautiful...and, again, SO GOOD.)
We looked at the menu...and since Elaine had been there before she told me all of the items she recommended. And really, nothing on that menu did NOT look good. I could have ordered anything and more than likely would have been in culinary heaven.
But...what caught my eye was one of the Daily Specials: Chicken and Portabella Mushroom Raviolis with Sherry and Cream Sauce. Mmmm. That sounds good. I'll have that. (Can you name that movie?!)
And THIS is what arrived. I'm salivating just telling you about it! It was very good. And very garlicky. Very. But worth it. (although I'm not sure those around me today will agree...I'll just be sure to chew lots of gum.)

When I go out to eat I try to order something that I can't cook at home. And so far I've not tried to make a ravioli. That's not to say that I won't try someday. I think I will. But until then, ravioli is always a good choice for me. I love ravioli...and have since I was a little girl. We used to go to this Italian restaurant in the Bay Area, Banchero's, with my grandfather. And I think we must have ordered the Family Dinner Special because it seemed like the food just kept coming and coming! We'd sit in the bar and wait for our table...the adults drinking adult drinks...and my brother and I drinking Shirley Temple's and Roy Rogers. Then we'd sit down for dinner...antipasti platters, giant bowls of minestrone, garlic bread, family size bowl of salad...and then, as if all of that wasn't enough, the main course! And I would order ravioli every time. Creature of habit? Maybe. But that's OK, because those chicken and portabella mushroom raviolis were worth not being too adventurous!
Elaine and I met at 5:30. And we sat down to eat around 6:00. And I don't think we left the restaurant until after 8:00. We talked and ate and talked and ate and talked and talked. It was great.
But eventually, the line for people waiting to be seated got to us and we decided we better give up our cozy table by the window. So we headed out to find a cup of coffee.
We decided to walk about 4 blocks or so to Starbuck's. Old faithful. Along the way we played with our cameras while there was still a tiny bit of light.
Yellow chairs...
Lonely bike...

And finally...our destination. Here's "Patrick" hooking me up with lots of whip cream and a caramel drizzle on my iced latte. Because, really, after that cherry coke and cream sauce I just hadn't had enough richness. Or calories. Ahem.

What a FUN evening. We didn't leave the parking garage until after 10:30! Five solid hours of conversation, delicious food, creativity and wonderful company. Five hours...but it seemed like five minutes. It went by way too fast.
That just means we'll have to do it again....real soon. I love you, Elaine!

*Elaine has her own blog...go pay her a visit!


Sojourner said...

Wow! What a wonderful recount of the evenings events. You're a fabulous journalist! Your pic's are great. I love the cherry coke.

I love you too. It won't be 3 years until I see you again!


pinkpeppercorns said...

Sounds and looks like a wonderful evening!

Anonymous said...

great pictures of a great night.

Shannon - said...

love the photos!!

Megan Wahl said...

Catching up on your April posts... I can name the movie! Dumb and Dumber... next time pick a harder one!

Louisiana Laura said...

I'm in the south now, but I was born in Sacramento.. spent lots of time in Napa. Northern CA is a magical. And that pasta dish... magical applies there too. I have a friend like Carol, its so special to reconnect, right where you left off. I feel like I've had an evening out. :) thanks!