Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rednecks Go To Dinner

The Island King and I had birthdays last week (his is the day before mine) and my parents gave us an evening out to dinner as our gift. They came over last night and took the Island kids out to a fun restaurant for dinner while the Island King and I went to a VERY fancy restaurant. My dad picked a restaurant that he knew I'd been wanting to try and I was very excited about getting all dressed up and having dinner alone with my husband. My parents came over yesterday afternoon, got the kids and headed out on their adventure and I was left to dress in peace (just that is a gift in itself LOL) I spent extra time on my hair and makeup and was really enjoying getting ready for my date. Just as I was about to get dressed the Island King came in to get dressed as well. We were laughing and looking forward to our evening out and then it happened. I was trying to get myself squeezed into a pair of pantyhose and he was trying to button his dress pants and we realized that we are FAT. Both of us. His pants didn't fit and he had to drag all of his dress pants out of the closet and try them on to find a pair that fit. All the while I'm rolling around on the bed trying to squeeze my fat self into the hose and realizing that I've outgrown this size hose and should actually be trying to squeeze myself into a much larger size. We finally manage to pack ourselves into our clothes and we both agreed that we felt like sausages stuffed in casings that are way too small LOL I wanted to get a picture of us all dressed up but the kids were gone and since we'd taken much longer than expected to dress we didn't have time to get the tripod and figure out how the auto shutter works on the camera so we have no pictures of our fat selves. Once we were dressed and had regulated our breathing (you have to breathe different in clothes that are too tight ya know) it was time to go.
I've wanted to try this restaurant for a while now so I was pretty excited. My parents had given us each $60 to spend and on the way to the restaurant the Island King says that he doesn't think that will be enough. Not enough? Are you kidding? We don't need an expensive bottle of wine so $60 each should be plenty. At least I hope it's plenty because we are broke at the moment and I really don't want to pull money out of our checking account right now.
We pull up to the restaurant and there's no where to park. There is a valet parking sign but we don't see the parking area anywhere. We are both funny about valet parking since on several occassions we've had things stolen from the car and at least once we got our car back with a big gouge down the side so we really just want to park our own car - and on top of that we're just cheap LOL So we pull up and ask the valet where the regular parking is and he tells us there is no regular parking. Well, ok, I guess the valet will be parking our car.
We go inside and the restaurant is gorgeous. Soft lighting, beautiful artwork, expensive wine bottles on display, soft jazz music playing - just incredible. We were both feeling a little uncomfortable in our too tight clothes and let's face it, we're basically rednecks so this is not an environment we're in very often. The hostest shows us to our table and we try to sit carefully so we don't pop any buttons or anything and immediately our waiter comes to welcome us. While he's telling us about the chef's specials for the evening a waitress shows up with 2 large bottles of water on a tray. She stops next to me, smiles and tells me about these two bottles of water. One is a mineral water from France and the other is a sparkling water from Italy. Now I may be a redneck but I wasn't raised in a barn and I have been to nice restaurants before but I've never encountered this. Being the intelligent person that I am I did realize that she wanted me to chose one so I mumbled something and she said "Oh the Tuscany sparkling water is an excellent choice!" and she poured each of us a glass. While this is happening the Island King has interupted the waiter and is asking me if I recognize the waitress with the water. I'm still trying to process the whole water experience and I don't recognize the woman at all and of course her, the Island King and the waiter are all looking at me now and I have to say "No, I don't recognize you" which is embarassing enough but then her and the Island King start laughing and she tells me she is my sister-in-law's next door neighbor. NO WAY! I know that woman pretty well and this can't be her. She was very polished in her uniform but at home she is sort of a frumpy person with frizzy out of control hair and no makeup LOL She laughed and told me that most people don't recognize her at work. She pours the water, wishes us a nice dinner and leaves the waiter to finish his spiel about the specials. We tell him we need a minute and he leaves us alone. Whew! I'm a little overwhelmed by the water, the waitress and the specials and of course I feel like if I sneeze every seam on the dress I'm wearing will split wide open LOL Right about now I hear the Island King make a choking noise and look over to see him looking at his menu with his mouth hanging open. Literally, hanging open. This can't be good. I open my menu and almost fell out of my chair. The cheapest appetizer they had was $21 and the most expensive one is $35. I turned to the entree page and saw that the cheapest entre was $42 and $85 for the most expensive one. Well ok we're in a 5 star restaurant so I knew things wouldn't be cheap but what blew me away was the fact that everything was a la carte. Which meant if I wanted a salad it would be $9 (that was the cheapest salad), if I wanted a potatoe with my steak it would be $9, if I wanted a second side for a veggie that would be another $9. So I can pay $42 for their cheapest steak (this is a steakhouse and they don't have anything but steak and some shockingly expensive tuna)but I don't get a salad or a side order at all unless I order them extra and then pay almost $10 for each? Something about that just rubs me the wrong way. I wouldn't mind paying the $42 for the steak but for that much I should get a salad and a side, right? Not at this restaurant. Meanwhile the Island King is in shock (he gets freaked by the prices when we go to McDonalds LOL)and tells me to look at the wine list. We know from looking at the menu that a bottle of wine is going to cost not much less than our car payment so we look at the by the glass wine. The cheapest by the glass wine was $27. That's right folks, $27 for one glass of wine LOL Just then the waiter shows back up to take our drink order and the Island King blurts out "What kind of beer do you have on tap?" LOL The waiter tells him that they only have imported beer in the bottle and then rattles off the kinds they have. The Island King is a die hard Coors man and doesn't recognize most of the names and Coors isn't on the list so he ordered a Sam Adams, which he knows he likes. The waiter looks at me and I'm still stunned by the prices of a glass of wine so I tell him that I'll take a glass of tea. He explains to me that they only have a special imported tea and he points to it on the menu. It's $10. I really just wanted a glass of good old fashioned Lipton iced tea and I have no idea what the $10 tea tastes like so I settle for the Tuscany sparkling water. The waiter leaves and the Island King and I burst out laughing. He said "Ok we've have some decisions to make. Do we want to break out the credit card and order whatever we want or do we use only the money from your parents?" Well, we're on a tight budget right now and we would not have come here if my parents hadn't given us this money so we both agree that we can't blow the budget and we'll have to eat on the money they gave us only. That ruled out pretty much everything but the steak and one side order, which we shared. We were laughing pretty hard by now because it was so obvious that we couldn't afford to be eating there and yet there we sat all stuffed into our good clothes and truly feeling like country come to town LOL I have to say it was the most fun we've had in years. We giggled like teenagers and had to sit really close to each other so no one else would hear us talking about the prices. The Island King cleans up well but he is a true redneck and so he's sitting there trying to use his best manners and drops butter on the table and spilled a little of his water and we laughed even harder. Then it was like being in church or at a funeral where you should not be laughing and you start giggling uncontrollably and can't stop LOL Every once in a while he'd look over at the bottle of water and say "Damn, I hope that's not a $30 bottle of water you ordered!" LOL I swear the first time he said it I burst out laughing and almost spit that water across the table LOL
This restaurant is famous for it's steaks and they are served on a hot plate so they sizzle. Well the waiter brings our plates out and tells us the plates are 500 degrees and to be careful. And of course I promptly reached out and grabbed the plate to move it a little and burnt my finger. The steak looked good and I took a bite and because it was still hot from the grill and then served on a plate that was 500 degrees it was way too hot and I burnt my tongue. This is great, I've ordered the most expensive steak I've ever had and won't be able to taste it LOL The Island King puts some brocolli(the side order we split)onto my plate and tells me that it's not too hot. It might not have been, but after sitting on my 500 degree plate for a minute it heated right up and I burnt my tongue a second time. I have to say that our steaks were so tender they melted in our mouths and the flavor was good but in all honesty I don't know if they were that good.
While we were eating the manager stopped by to welcome us and see if we needed anything. We chitchatted for a minute and then he pointed out the "Wine Room" In the middle of the restaurant is an enclosed glass room with a dining table in the middle and a few wine bottles around the walls. The manager tells us that the wine room is a special dining experience because the room is chilled and you can dine in your finest fur and of course dining in this room is a bit more expensive because of the wine tasting you experience when you arrive. What?! I tried not to burst out laughing and luckily the Island King recovered faster than I did and was able to make nice remarks about that type of dining experience. The whole thing struck me on several different levels. First of all, who would want to eat in the cold? I'm a beach girl and I don't like the cold and I can't imagine paying extra to eat where it's cold. Second, I don't have any fur to wear to keep me warm while I eat in the cold room and I doubt they'd let me in wearing the big army jacket I wear all winter. Third, I'm not a PETA fan and I think in certain situations fur coats are beautiful but the whole concept seemed a little politically incorrect to me. The manager left and I told the Island King that I don't have fur to wear so we'll have to pass on the cold room and my husband, the redneck hunter, was so sweet. He said that he'd be glad to make me a squirell fur coat next hunting season LOL LOL As fat as I am he'd have to kill just about every squirell in the South LOL
After dinner we sat waiting for our ticket and both of us were sweating bullets. How much was this going to cost? How much was that Sam Adams? How much was that Italian water? If the water costs did the bread they brought out cost too? We were giggling so hard by now that the people behind us started looking at us funny LOL The bill arrived and ta-da we spent $103.99. We tipped the waiter $23 and then had to tip the valet another $5 so we only spent $12 of our money. Turns out the water was free but the Sam Adams did cost $10 LOL On the way home we talked about it and we spend $100 on dinner all the time when we go out but when we spend that we each have a coctail or a glass of wine, an appetizer, and we get a salad as well as a side order with our entree. At this place all we got was one beer, 2 chunks of meat and a small dish of brocolli to share LOL We did get 5 star treatment and there is a big difference in that so what we actually paid for was a little food and a lot of ambiance.
It was definitely a fun date and we're still laughing about that water today so it turned out to be a good birthday present. I can say that I don't think we'll be going back. I feel a little like a fish out of water in those kinds of places. I like eating on the deck while the sun sets and while I do like to be pampered I don't need to be 5 star pampered LOL

And ya know what else? Our little fat selves were hungry again not long after we got home LOL
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