December 20, 2012

Last night I ate at Restaurant Alma, and it was some of the best food I've ever had. Ever. Dear friends mailed us a gift card for helping with their wedding. The timing nicely paired up with Christmas-aversary-- the celebration of our first date. So, there we were. (I was reminded, though, that I'd like more meals like that without a reason to celebrate.)

Alma serves a 3-course tasting menu-- mix and match to create a meal of your choosing. I ate swordfish served ceviche-style, homemade pasta with greens and a tomato sausage sauce, and then a short rib with kale and potatoes, all paired with wine.

There's something special about eating like that-- the time to breathe between courses in a relaxed atmosphere where everything has been carefully considered but nothing feels pretentious. All of the focus was on the act of eating. Slowly. Because, you don't want to miss any of the carefully considered combinations and flavors. Snow started falling outside as I noted a hot pepper oil and some cilantro on the swordfish. Something clicked into place and I started to feel the magic of slowing down. 

Slowing down: something I'm awful at. I have more lists than I have space to put them. And the holidays, which are supposed to be full of merry and cheer and carols by the fireplace feel full of deadlines and one more thing to rush for. 

After the meal we went home and walked around our neighborhood. Each house had a Christmas light display that seemed to attempt to one-up the next. My favorite was simple: a large, arched window with a white-lit tree shining through, coming from the second floor. It echoed the quiet of the meal, making me breathe a little deeper. 

See you in 2013.


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