Monday, February 14, 2011

Sastre EATS!

  I’m not a food blogger, but from time to time I dabble in eating. I find food more of a hobby than a nourishment. I like to cook, but perhaps, as we all do, I like to eat even more.
I found myself with nothing to do on a Friday night and a little extra cash burning a hole in my pocket. We’ll explore the sadness surrounding my isolation on a Friday later but for now please just ignore that small pathetic reality. While many women like to buy themselves clothes or have strangers pick at their feet and finger nails when treating themselves, I prefer gluttony over vanity.

My mother discovered this relic of a restaurant my first week in town. Adelmo’s, an Italian restaurant located in row house that is the last remaining in the series. Progress has seem to taken hold of everything surrounding Adelmo’s, yet it still stands strong. I suppose my mother thought that a restaurant that humble looking couldn’t serve bad food and still exist.

Inside the walls are an 80’s-ish peach with random prints in brass frames adorning them. The first floor has no more than 10 tables and almost a 1/4 of the space is consumed by the bar. Not that there’s a bar to sit at. That’s just how much space it takes to store the booze selection. Sure there are about 12 inches of “bar” space at which the owner once graciously let my brother and I drink Camparis while we waited for a table, but let’s not pretend this qualifies as a bar

I’ve eaten there about half a dozen times and the food is consistently good with sporadic dishes that soar. When I think of the top 5 things I’ve eaten as a adult, 2 are from Adelmo’s. One is from this past Friday night while visiting solo.

On this particular occasion I was feeling a little glum. Dallas was frozen over, the reality of the Peace Corps was setting in, and the boy I had a crush on hadn’t called me. Clearly I needed a night out. But this ain’t Sex in the City. I don’t have a gaggle of available single girlfriends to suite every mood. Somethings a girl has just got to do for herself.

I talk myself into going out alone. Partly because I think of the rations I’ll be limited to once I leave America for 27 months of poverty.  Going to dinner solo is not the easiest thing in the world. The owner and the wait staff kept staring at me. They either felt sorry for me, or thought I as a food critic.
Nonetheless, I got great service.

I started with the baby clams in white wine with leeks. (This is one of the two.) The clams were tender and sweet, coated in a blanket of goodness, while the leeks danced amongst everything. As with any steamed clams dish, it’s all about the broth. The broth was briny and acidic with a subtle creamy finish. The onion flavor of the leeks complimented the clams, and quickly I found myself slopping up the broth with large hunks of bread and even using the serving spoon to shovel the blessed liquid in my mouth. The waiter saw me take a breath and tried to take my bowl away; he almost lost a finger.

There is this scene in an episode of Anothony Bourdain’s No Reservations, when while eating with a food critic friend, Anthony is going on and on about a meal using words like ‘etherial’ and ‘sublime.’ Finally, Anthony gets tired of narrating the scene and asks his food critic friend, “Hey! Mr. Food Writer, what do you have to say about the dish?”  His food critic friend looks up and simply replies, “YUM.” During my pillage of Adelmo’s clam dish, my brain was both characters in that scene. I was thinking about how succulent the little nuggets of clam were, while simultaneously not able to think of a better adjective than “Mmmmmm.”

Despite my solitude, the money spent was well worth it. I felt satisfied and with spirits lifted the world was no longer so scary. I went home finished my night alone, but was not lonely.