Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Running and Fine Food

Tonight was a build on the regular Tuesday night tempo.  I still haven't hit the distance that Coach John has set out, but each week has been a build on the last one, so I am going in the right direction.  Tonight I ended up doing 40 minutes at 3:40/km pace and it actually felt much better than the previous weeks.  I settled in pretty quickly and the run didn't seem as arduous as in the past weeks, but it still wasn't easy.  I guess that is the point of the run, isn't it?

In other news, I have become good at pouring antifreeze into the radiator of my car.  Things are working well on that front (knock wood).  And it is a good thing that things were going well with the car because it was to be our transportation to Lumiere this evening.

Dine Out Vancouver is in full swing and I now know that Sonja and I were unaware of our luck in getting a reservation at Lumiere.  This is one of the top rated restaurants in the city and has been highly ranked/rated by international dining publications.

So after we dressed up in our "goin' out" clothes, I took out the antifreeze and opened the hood of my filthy dirty Toyota Corolla (I am having trouble finding a car wash in this town).  After topping up the radiator, we made our way to Kitsilano, hoping that we wouldn't have to use the Valet parking.  

Fortunately we found some street parking and were spared the embarrassment of having the Valet have to wash his hands after touching our car door.  We made our way into the restaurant, unsure of what to expect from such a well heeled establishment, but to our surprise everyone was very kind and sincere.  Our coats were taken from us and we were shown to our table, alone in a large room full of set places.  We weren't sure if we were being hidden from the other diners, but we came to realize that there was the "bar" area in the front (where most people were), and we happened to be in the more formal dining area.  Our servers were perfect, as one would expect at a place where your meal may end up being $200 per person: formal yet personable, with exquisite attention to details.  When Sonja went to the washroom, they refolded her napkin and straightened her chair so that upon her return everything was back in place.

The service was great, but the food was divine.  I had arctic char and Sonja had a risotto.  Both were unbelievable and our Pinot Noir and Shiraz were equal to the meal.  But our desserts were the proverbial icing on the cake.  Mine was an apple millefeuille and Sonja had an addictive chocolate fondant.  It was a great experience and we were very happy to have the chance to sample their menu at a reasonable price.  However, not only was the food unreal, the service made us feel welcome even though we were on a Dine Out menu.

After basking in the aura of good food, good wine, and wonderful ambience, we snuck back across the street to our dirty Toyota and quickly drove off into the night, back to our more reasonably priced meal existence.

One more note: If you ever go to Lumiere, to best appreciate the experience you should eat dinner before you go.   After my run tonight, I had two eggo waffles and a bowl of alphaghetti.  But man, was that not the best decision I have made in a while.  I went to Lumiere comfortably full, allowing me to appreciate the delicate nature of the smaller portions, rather than fantasizing about a pizza on the way home.  Highly recommend the pre-dinner dinner on these occasions.  

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