Friday, February 01, 2013

The Charles F. Lucas Confectionery ...

Do you know that line from that movie where one of the people, let's say the guy, says to the girl something like "You make me want to be a better man."?   I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think it involves taking psychiatric medication.

Anyway, the Charles F. Lucas Confectionery and Wine Bar, which is a mouthful (they should just call it The Chuck), makes me want to be a better Trojan.  Throw away my orange University of Virginia hoodie with the stains on the front.  Lose some weight.  Wash my car more often.  Dress better, if for no other reason than you should always look better than the restaurant you are standing in.  Which, in this situation, is easier said than done.  It's a beautiful place ...

This particular photo barely does the restaurant justice, but it does speak directly to one of the things I always think about when I go there.  That being, who was in charge of cleaning that ceiling?  I mean, the place dates back to 1795 and so, I'm assuming, do all those joists and floorboards.  I'm no expert, but it feels like untold person-hours must have been invested in just cleaning, sanding (?), polyurethaning (if that's even a verb) that ceiling.

Maybe they sandblasted it.  Regardless, the result is amazing.  It's like the Sistene Chapel of joists and floorboards.

Me?  I like to wander over in the 4 pm range and sit on the lower level, near the front window (which you can't see from the photo, but it would be in the foreground if the photographer stepped back a couple of feet) and drink a glass of Churchill's port, maybe a cup of coffee, and eat a truffle or two.  I like the ones made with chili oil best, and I like to read a book on my iPad while doing so.  I specifically say iPad because the lighting is a bit too dim to read regular books.

If I'm flying off the handle, or the painting is going particularly well, or a friend joins me, I'll sometimes order a selection of cold meats and cheeses.  They come on a slab of slate, instead of a plate, with the names of the cheeses neatly written in chalk next to the cheeses themselves.  Which is helpful.  They do the same thing for the meat, although most of the time I can tell the duck breast from the sausage without prompting.

All this while letting my painting dry.  Then I go back up to the studio, throw down another layer of paint, then head upstairs to watch Pardon the Interruption.

For me a pretty good schematic of a productive day goes something like this:

Wake up.  Get out of bed.  Drag a comb across my head.
Make my way downstairs and have breakfast at the Illium Cafe.
Go to the studio and paint.
Go upstairs and watch the first hour of Morning Joe (the rest is filler).
Go downstairs and paint.
Go upstairs and have some lunch.
Go downstairs and paint.
Take a nap on the sofa.
Paint.
Go to The Chuck, drink some port, eat a truffle.
Come back and paint.
Go upstairs and watch Pardon the Interruption.

This, for the record, would be a highly productive day for me.  For less productive days, substitute "experience self-loathing" for "paint."  Which is the mode I'm in right now, although this too shall pass.

Anyway, back to the Wine Bar.  Most particularly, the Wine Bar this Sunday.  Super Bowl Sunday.  During which they will be holding an Anti-Super Bowl Party.  The idea is that you go to The Chuck instead of watching the Super Bowl.

I can understand some blow-back against the Super Bowl.  I mean, all that hoopla is a load of shit, no question about it.  But somewhere in there a football game is hidden.  So the Anti-Super Bowl party troubles me.

Two reasons:  First, this could be one of the really all-time good SBs. Second, if you went to the Wine Bar, you wouldn't have a chance to make the super nacho recipe recently found in the New York Times.  The kicker is that, in addition to the usual stuff you put on nachos, the Times person has suggested adding a chili made with braised short ribs.

This from the article ...

But these aren’t just any nachos. These are topped with a mountain of soft, spicy, chile-braised short ribs; valleys of molten cheese; hillocks of guacamole; rivers of salsa; and creamy pools of sour cream. They are as over-the-top as the halftime show.

God almighty, my mouth is watering so hard I'm worried about shorting out my keyboard.  You can read the whole thing here.

Or you can just watch this video ...



The Charles F. Lucas Confectionery is fabulous.  This, as they say on Game of Thrones, is known.  But on Sunday I'll be home eating nachos and watching the game.

On tape delay, because the whole myth about Super Bowl commercials is bullshit.

I've got my dignity.

Go Ravens.

I like how you presaged the chili recipe with the chili-oil truffles.
Thank you.  That was nicely done, wasn't it?
Elegantly is the word that comes to mind.
Thank you.
Deft might serve as well.
Please.  You're making me blush.
There's a term for that, isn't there?
Blushing?  I dunno.  Transient dermal inflammation maybe?
No.  What you did with the truffles.
You said it yourself.  It's called presaging.
I could be wrong.
Foreshadowing?
Maybe.

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