i've recently been seeing V, and the more time we spend with each other, the more our relationship is beginning to traverse the line between "casual" and "committed." but anyone who knows me knows i am not a person who jumps into relationships lightly. it takes me a long time to decide whether i am ready to fully commit to a person i.e. forego all others and risk the possibility that this relationship (and my time) will crash and burn like my past attempts.
the whole point of that spiel being that, yes, i go on dates with other people as well.
which is how i found myself at a dinner date with Awkward Guy at Dieci on Saturday night. ever since i found out about this place, i've been dying to go. about 1/3 of the menu items contain uni, one of my favorite food items.
upon arrival, the first thing you'll notice is how tiny the restaurant is. a long communal table sits on the right of the entrance adjacent to the half-open kitchen, and a few small individual tables sits on the left. late-reservers and those who don't specifically request it, will find themselves seated at the communal table, and it is a very tight squeeze. the girl sitting next to kept brushing my bare shoulders with her very voluminously curly hair every time she turned to face the companion sitting to her right or to address the waiter. uncomfortable. the service is also very attentive, and slightly formal, which would be great except for how intrusive the changing of the silverware for each course can be in such a tight space.
but all is forgiven once your food arrives.
AG usually lets me order our appetizers, although i usually do defer to him to see if there's anything he specifically wants to eat (he is footing the bill after all). perhaps sensing how excited i was to eat at this restaurant, AG deferred to me completely. which is how we ended up with the Uni Scrambled Egg with sturgeon caviar ($18) and the Miso Seared Foie Gras (duck miso; simmered daikon) ($15). both of these dishes were heaven on earth. the egg was softly scrambled with a hint of dashi broth to keep it most. paired with the richness of the caviar and the uni, the flavors were delicate and creamy. the foie gras was nicely seared, maintaining the rich soft center and counterbalanced with the well simmered daikon, which maintained it's firmness but was permeated with the light flavor of the simmering broth.
for entrees, i ordered the Fettucine (creamy sea urchin, sauce and calamari) ($24) and AG ordered the Japanese Red Snapper Chazuke (grilled rice ball and hoji tea soup) ($22). the pasta was perfectly cooked al dente, with a little toothsome feel to hold onto the light and creamy uni sauce. i could've done without the calamari, but it was cooked well and remained tender so it didn't distract from the overall dish. the chazuke was also very good, the rice swimming inside the broth was a good melding of subtle flavors and the snapper was well cooked. when AG went to the bathroom, i kept sneaking bites of his dish.
although i was eyeing the Earl Grey Creme Brulee for dessert, i let AG pick and he went with the Molten Chocolate Cake with Bourbon Ice Cream. great combination and well executed, it will satisfy any sweet tooth.
the night was young and AG hoped to continue our date. which was slightly problematic for me. AG is a great guy, but i just don't think we click overall, including our sense of humor and our conversation flow. he's a great listener and remembers just about everything i tell him, but it actually overwhelms me when that happens vs. impresses me. he often talks about our future vacation trips and getaways together and when i'll meet his best friends and family. #overwhelmed.
so i plopped us down at Bar Veloce (the scene of a previous crime) to have the dreaded "talk". but how to do that? which method to employ so that i could let AG down gently, especially after he took me to one of the best meals i've had this year?
i decided to disclose that i was also seeing V, and that we had been seeing each other for the past few months-beginning with the time that AG decided to "drop" me per the sage advice of his sister. i figured, with the time, money, and investment that AG was putting into me, and the fact that he isn't seeing anyone else, he would've decided to cut his losses and move on.
of course that didn't exactly happen. instead, AG took it as a gauntlet being thrown and a healthy competition. ::shake my head:: but we'll see, he might be blustering about wanting to step up to the challenge.