Let's talk about the dinner we had last night in Cleveland's Little Italy.
One of the best meals of my life, but not only because of the food...
First came this fresh, hot bread that I'll just let you see for yourself. An herbed butter sitting in a pool of olive oil?! Flavor explosion.
Our waiter told us of a "special salad" of the night on the starter menu, and when he got half way through describing it, I stopped listening. (I had already found the one I wanted. The one with basil, tomato, and fresh mozzarella. Fresh, delicious, safe.) Darin perked up somewhere in the midst of this man's monologue of le salad and re-described it to me when he stepped away, asking if I wanted to split as an appetizer. There was a sparkle in Darin's eye (I knew he wanted it - he loves weird stuff) and his cute side grin he gets when he doesn't know what I'll say. I threw caution to the wind and surprised him with a "why not"!
Shortly after, arrived THE salad: winter persimmons wrapped in prosciutto on top a bed of mixed greens with goat cheese and walnuts, tossed with lemon juice and a pomegranate vinaigrette. It sounds extremely pretentious, I know. But goodness gracious sakes alive, where can I buy me a persimmon tree?! I'm taking this salad back to Oklahoma!
(Wouldn't you know I forgot to take a picture of it? And it was so pretty!)
Then came our entrees. Darin got a fettuccini carbonara and I got the cheese tortellini that won all types of awards. When I took the first bite I was blown away. It was creamy yet spicy, hearty yet smooth, precisely al dente yet almost melted in my mouth.
It was perfect. It all was perfect.
That meal, last night with my fellas, was one of those "moments". You know how life is comprised of countless minutes, but there are the moments that you experience that stand out and give life such meaning, but you can't really explain why? A place in time you never forget and can relive in a heartbeat, almost as if the world stood still. "Moments", for me, bring insurmountable peace. We shared a beautiful meal in a small room of a 100+ year old building, watching the snow fall in the moonlight, eavesdropping on the tables next to us because we were so close together, laughing and reminiscing, and simply enjoying.
Levi was sitting next to me, and kept leaning over to kiss my cheek and tell me he loves me. I think he was having a moment, too. :) Ezra .... well, he tore his bread up into tiny pieces and started lapping them up like a dog off of his plate, laughing with glee all the while. He was certainly having a moment of his own. Oh, life with littles is an unpredictable one!
The food was excellent, yes, but it was the entire experience that made it one of the best meals of my life. It may seem silly to describe this dinner with such sentiment, but when you're so far away from family and familiarity, sometimes the minutes are long and overwhelming and hard. It is these moments with my husband and kids that keep me going. And I'll cherish every one.