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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

three years later or more...

a number of years ago we went to a Chicago Gourmets dinner at Tallgrass - a renown restaurant on the far southwest side in a town called Lockport.  The dinner was our second event to attend with the Chicago Gourmets and we didn't really know too many people.  Seating assignments are made in this organization so we found ourselves seated with some woman we didn't know and made virtually no connection with. She spent the evening telling us about how her house was "underwater" basically because she had used it as an ATM (my interpretation not hers) and depleted all the equity in it.  She was forced to leave it when the bank took it over in a foreclosure.  Now this was not a rare occurrence at the time but it was rare in the circles we travel in.... and we were perhaps less than sympathetic about her plight when she spent a the next segment of the evening telling us about how we should join this high end dining organization (the Chaine des Rotisseurs) that went only to the top restaurants in town and did so in tuxedos and formal wear (Check Please!!!!!)

Phil told her in no uncertain terms that he would NEVER wear a tuxedo again in his life except for his daughter's wedding - if she were to ever get married and have a formal wedding ceremony.  She harped on and on about how much "fun" it was - we were beyond skeptical. We are old hippie types who believe in comfortable casual clothes to fit our lifestyle or living life the way we want rather than by someone else's idea of the appropriate way of dressing.  Despite sitting on three Boards of Directors I still managed to never wear a dress for the last ten+ years of my career.  To say we completely dismissed this woman out of hand would be giving her more than she was due- we simply paid no more attention to her (despite sitting at a three top that night) and went on our merry way....

LOL- years and years and years ago - long before that dinner I just mentioned, I had a spiritual teacher who used to frequently tell his students "what you judge you are stuck with..."

I mention this because time went on - we didn't give it much thought - occasionally someone would mention the Chaine to us - and we would nod politely....  

And then this happened... several years back we went to goosefoot for new year's eve and at the NYE party I saw a man who was clearly enjoying himself and I said to Phil "there's somebody we should meet, he clearly knows how to live life!"  And so we stalked the guy (LOL) not really-  but we did ask Nina Nugent the next time we were in about the man.  I told Nina I thought he might be Thai- and he was at the NYE dinner having a great time and before I went any further she said she knew exactly who I was asking about and that he and his wife were dear friends of hers and she would make sure we would be introduced....

time went on and fortunately we ended up at goosefoot , celebrating brother Steve's birthday the same night these folks were celebrating the wife's birthday. I went up and boldly introduced myself to the guy with a bottle of wine to pour from - with his party of eight hooting at him when I called him "boyfriend" (which is an expression I have used for years with my doctor/client/insureds and I use "girlfriend" too...)

this is getting to be an awfully long story but we did exchange cards and low and behold - he is the head of the local chapter of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.  (LOL- see it does all tie together)  We promised to get in touch (which of course means nothing) but after about a week I heard from Beth (my new boyfriend's wife and my new girlfriend) about going to Schwa. The Shwa night Phil had other plans so I went and met Mon, Beth and their friend Rene for dinner.  We had a very nice evening and then I think one more meal before we headed off for the winter to SRQ.

fast forward now two years more and we are back again to Chicago for the summer and have been to a couple of Chaine events as guests of our now good friends and over the course of time have met a dozen more members at one event or another - some at A10, some at Yusho, some at Cai etc... so I suggested to Phil that it was finally time to reconsider our "written in stone" position and at least one of us should join rather than continue to be guests of our friends. And so- we found ourselves last night at my first Chaine event (with my guest Phil LOL) as an inductee....

So things go full circle in the way of the world.... The event was held at Eataly Chicago - and here are the details-  but first a food photo to start you thinking about eating----







the menu for the evening- starting with the salumi above- and then moving on to the menu items...












we got a full tour of the various food halls/stations - including cheese and pasta and fish etc...







and here is the funny thing -  the other guy who was being introduced with me as our first Chaine event - I knew from more than thirty years ago (small small world)

so while Phil still won't have to wear a tuxedo - we will be able to participate with the events and look forward to many more lovely evening with friends old and new...


I was stuffed before we got to the fish course - LOL - so there was waaay more than enough food! And we met some new folks along the way as well as renewing some acquaintances... tomorrow night next: Tappas



so always more to see and do.... stay tuned!

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