Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Most Awkwardly Amazing Non-Dinner

So tonight was the birthday of a girl - let us call her Girl X.  Girl X works with Ben.  Ben is engaged to Fionna.  Fionna works with Chad.  And I'm friends with Chad.  Such was the relationship-chain that led to a rather strange evening.

Backing up a bit - the evening started out pretty normally.  Chad just got promoted (congrats buddy!), and he, his fiance Carter, and I went out for drinks to celebrate.  Nothing crazy, just a few beers and some good pizza at a new restaurant called the Portrait House in Carytown.  Halfway through dinner, though, Chad's phone started to buzz.  It was his friend Fionna, who had been invited to a birthday party for her fiance's coworker, and was now inviting us as well.  It seemed a little odd, and really I kinda sorta just wanted to go home, but I've been pushing myself lately to be less of a homebody and actually have a social life, so we piled into Chad's car and off we went.

It was at a Fan restaurant called Heritage, which I'd walked past a few times but never actually went inside.
See that giant table in the middle?  That's where we crashed.
 It's a pretty nice place - great ambiance, kind of a throwback to the old classy bars of the 20's before prohibition, with (as you'd expect from a bar living in the 20's) a really great eclectic cocktail menu where every-other drink had egg white as an ingredient.  Ambiance was blown away, though, by the sudden realization that this wasn't really a "party", so much as a "dinner party".  At a table.  That had been reserved.  For a specific number of people that the birthday girl (never did learn her name) had invited.  Which did not include myself or Chad or Carter.

Eeeeyup - turns out that Fionna had invited us to a specially arranged sit-down dinner party for the birthday girl, whom none of us had ever met.  I never did find out whether that was ok or not, but judging by the strange looks we were getting and the very direct "um, and you are?" lines of questioning, I don't think they were planning on us.  The restaurant certainly wasn't, since 10 minutes after we sat down they had to add another table with more place settings for the 3 people who came in AFTER us, hugged Birthday Girl X, and who then got very confused when she said she didn't know where they were going to sit.  Awwwwwwwwwwkward.  Eventually we got into good conversations with our side of the table, and Fionna & Ben certainly seemed to think it was fine, although Carter and I were mortified the whole night.  Chad just sort of plonked himself down at the table and had his usual I-don't-give-a-damn good time.

But the food.  OOHHHH the food.  It. Was.  FAN-TAS-TIC.  We never ordered; instead the restaurant did this thing where they just kept bringing out tasting portions of the entire menu.  Everything was great, but my personal favorite was the pork belly.  I've had pork belly before, but not like THIS.  You didn't even need to chew it - you'd put it into your mouth and it'd just sort of  evaporate on your tongue.  The bourbon sauce that they had on it was smokey and sweet, but not so sweet that you couldn't taste the pork, and ooohhhhh it was just that awesome.  They also made this incredible seared tuna with a really good corn succotash (oddly enough not on their menu, but pictured on the website).  I will definitely be going back at some point in the future, hopefully with a bit more planning this time and with people I know.  :)


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