Apr 242013

Mr. Olive Crazy and I’ve made Friday night our official ‘date night’. Tom flies in from wherever on the planet he’s working and I make reservations for us on Open Table while I wait for him at the train station.

Over the course of the last few years the selection of restaurants for our Friday night outings has shrunk to a favorite few. Last week we decided, again, to go to Highland Tap in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta. We are fond of its atmosphere, which is below street level and feels like a faded, gentlemen’s club. We are also fond of their food: The menu offerings abundant and every item ordered, well-prepared and delicious. We even developed a fondness for the wait staff, all of whom have been there for ages. I can even name most of them, except for the lady with the bun.

We arrived at about 9:30 pm, a little early for us, and the staff seemed out of sorts. I didn’t look down at the menu since I was waiting to engage in my pre-food-ordering ritual, the summonsing of the cocktail. At last, cocktail in hand and glass on lips I glanced at the menu. “Oh no!” I said aloud. “It’s just one page.” With the assistance of my phone flashlight app, I looked hard at the words. I didn’t really see anything missing even though it was obvious many things were. All our favorites where still listed. That was good. So we placed our orders and sat back for a comfortable evening.

Tom and I had already begun catching up on the events of the week when a warm, fragrant, fresh-baked loaf of bread arrived. “This is new,” I said to Tom. Then our waiter plunked down a small plate and requested our attention to the bottle he was displaying in his hands. We didn’t order wine, I thought. I glanced at the bottle and let out a sort of squeak. It was a bottle of the Georgia Olive Farms latest extra virgin olive oil offering. Delightful, I thought and goodbye butter.

There was still plenty of evoo left after the dipping and sopping, so I poured it on my meat and vegetables. The waiter saw what I was doing and bumped up the volume a bit. What a sweetie.

After dinner I asked the waiter about the menu change. He said that regular diners had mixed feelings. I asked if it was causing some ‘work flow’ issues and he said it was. That explained the feeling of wait staff tizzying that I detected earlier.

All in all, Tom and I were content. The menu was different, the staff hadn’t settled into it’s new groove yet, and the newest addition to the menu, the Georgia Olive Farms extra virgin olive oil, was a welcome surprise.

May the sun shine through your branches.