A recent post was about fine dining restaurants and face masks not going well together. Well I have an admission to make. About ten days ago I went to a restaurant. AND I wore pants! My wife and I met our very good friends and my former business partners for dinner in Connecticut about halfway between us. My friend Bob is 84 and in pretty good health overall. We figured if the 84-year-old guy was willing to drive and meet us for dinner, we’d take the chance too. Because it is a chance, right?
We ate outside with protocols of face masks to enter the ‘reservation only’ restaurant which could then be taken off once the party was seated. All servers and restaurant personnel wore masks. Almost all of the outdoor tables were taken and even a couple of them turned over while we were there. The indoor area which allows 50% capacity was nearly empty. There was a table of eight closer to the street that was being seated and they all got up and hugged one another. With face masks on but not for the people that were already seated. That was a bit unsettling.
How was the experience overall? It was fantastic! #1 thing, somebody else cooked the food, served the food and drink, picked up the plates and did my dishes. The food itself was excellent and I ate it all. I had begun to lose touch with why I enjoy dining out so much.
Then a week later we did it again. Went out to dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We were led in with wearing face masks mandatory. As was the case the week before we ate outside near the water – covered, which was good since we watched a raging thunderstorm drop an inch of rain while we dined quietly and with plenty of social distancing. The meal was excellent, and we savored it and stayed much longer than we might have normally since there was not a reservation behind ours.
The thing is, that despite the fact that we felt about as safe as one could in these times, we’re not in any hurry to do it again in the near future. It’s just too uncertain and we feel that there is risk even though our area of Connecticut has one of the lower incidences of Covid-19 cases even since the reopening of restaurants.
This week we went into Manhattan to check into the office that I’ve not visited since early March. We drove in with no problems, and parked right across the street from the office in midtown at a very inexpensive rate compared to what it usually is. There’s good reason for that, Manhattan was pretty empty. Light traffic vehicular as well as pedestrian. My office itself is a shared office and we saw one other person working. There can more than 100 at capacity. It was eerie.
Finishing the work for the day, we drove downtown to Katz’s deli in no time at all, parked on the street and had a pastrami on rye with mustard with the dill pickles and cole slaw on the side. A Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda is always the perfect complement. We ended up sitting outside on Ludlowe Street at tables set up against the wall on the sidewalk which was quiet. Seems simple. It’s worth it.
But every time we go out like that we feel as if we are rolling dice. I think we now both feel that it’s time to put the dice down and just sit it out for a while. I hope that we’ll feel more confident as time goes by. Until then, it’s cooking and dishes. With an occasional glass of wine.