I have a lot of friends that consider the act of dining alone to be a horrifying experience. Some think eating fast food alone is ok, I guess because of the whole ‘on-the-run-can’t-be-bothered’ nature of it…but certainly not fine dining. No way. Well I’m a fan of both and tonight I’m wearing my fine dining hat. Earlier I threw in the towel on a happy hour and a work dinner in favor of going out to eat by myself. Wasn’t a hard choice really. I’m avoiding happy hours and the like lately and I was pretty certain that I wasn’t going to get the kind of experience I was looking for if I went out with Florida work people. Not a dig on them really…I just know I’m more food obsessed than most people and I’ve been to Orlando before. You can get a decent meal, but it takes a bit of digging. Most of the people that would have gone to dinner weren’t even from Orlando, so local recommendations were out. I’m fairly certain that had I not called an audible like I did…I could have very easily ended up at a Red Lobster. Thanks but no thanks.
So here I am, all by my lonesome at a place called ‘Moonfish’. There are two distinct ways that I like to spend dinners alone. The first is alone/social. That’s when I go somewhere, usually a nice bistro type place, and sit at the bar, ready to engage. I’ve met tons of interesting people over the years… businessmen who hate their jobs, newlyweds, writers and a gaggle of cougars looking for prey. The other way I’ll go out by myself is alone/working. That’s when I decide to write or work during dinner – like I’m doing now. In times like these I sit at an actual table, sometimes wearing my ipod, and most of my conversation is spent on my server, usually having her detail the menu to me.
Behind me are what I believe to be the epitome of Florida tourists. Now I’m in Orlando which, in my opinion, has a much higher white trash factor than other Florida cities. That said, this is a high end restaurant so they probably don’t fit the economic part of white trash. That said, the degrees pickiness I heard when they were ordering and now the number of ways they are trying to get the server to split the bill, paying close attention to make sure she gets her 10-15%, is absolutely excruciating.
Cory just called me as he was stuck in traffic in Commerce City – a shitty industrial part of north Denver. I laughed and asked him if hearing where I was would make him feel better or worse. Anyway, making sure to add that before coming to dinner I went swimming in a ginormous swimming pool under palm trees… in a warm breeze… in 82 degree weather. He laughed and told me to go fuck myself and then we quickly deliberated when we would see each other next. Miss that guy.
Now I am definitely excited about what’s going to be hitting my table shortly. I ordered a truckload of food, including a few oysters from four or five places around the country and a whole, wood fired red snapper, which my server was quick to tell me comes with everything. I mean…like the head, tail…all of it, she told me. Wouldn’t have it any other way, I assured her. She was nice and initially I felt bad because I was taking up a whole table to myself. Then I considered what I’d be ordering and got over it quickly. In addition to the snapper and oysters, I ordered some sushi, including toro blue fin – the fatty underbelly of a blue fin tuna. It’s one of the more rare and sought after cuts and a single piece of it at Moonfish was going for the discount rate of $20 (ha). Better only I have two. Heh heh heh…
I washed it all down with a small sampling of Pinot Noirs and paid my $105 tab (pre tip) and went home fat and happy. Oh yeah…then I went to a deli and got a mint chocolate chip waffle cone. Then I went home, called my wife and was asleep by 10. Still fat. Still happy.