Disposition Changing Dinner at Custom House Tavern

March 26, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Can a single dinner change one’s disposition? I sure hope so.

If I ever needed a readjustment in attitude, it would be right about now. March’s foibles and follies have left me these days with a perma-frown, one that not even good chocolate could turn upside down. But something about last night’s dinner seems to have (hopefully) shifted something.

While March’s madness for me involves disintegrating houses and life-altering break-ups, for my husband, it’s all about the brackets. Every single living being in our household has to fill out a bracket sheet, even the dog (known at Mike’s law firm as Samuel the Spaniel). Thus, any dinner during the last three March weekends must be spent at a restaurant with televisions.

Just yesterday, we sent Thor on a flight to Florida with his grandmother opening up the opportunity to explore more the adult-oriented dining pleasures of Chicago. Adult-oriented with TVs? A bar, of course. This seemed like the perfect time to try out the newly transformed Custom House. With a tv at every table, my hoops loving husband was satisfied.

At the bar, you can order from either the dining room menu or the small plates menu intended for the libation-loving patrons. We chose a hybrid. Enjoying an extraordinary South African white blend, I started out with the Swan Creek Devilled Egg, a delicious indulgence. My Arctic Char with Chick Pea Spaetzle and Sea Greens couldn’t have been better. It was right after I had finished up my very Springy White Chocolate Mousse with Candied Celery and Rhubarb and was about to devour the paper thin crackers that paired Mike’s cheese plate, that I realized that we had just experienced the effortlessly flawless restaurant meal in year. In large part, this was due to great service by our server who was doing double duty as the room’s bartender, no mean feat. Portions were perfectly sized and so when we departed, despite the richness of my selections, I felt just sated.

Something about this dinner, perhaps it was the promise of Spring, has been something of a disposition changer. When I departed for my first meeting this morning, the day seemed somehow brighter. While cold, I had remembered my pink gloves, and I recalled why I love the color salmon, which made me forget the cold. My meeting went swimmingly and fast – as a partnership opportunity was quickly identified. So fast, in fact, that I was able to fit in two needed errands before a parent-teacher conference. Said conference yielded good news – our favorite piggy bank was doing swimmingly at school. The day went thusly, parking spaces were easily found, lines were short, and things in general were just simple and smooth, an experience that I’ve not had much of in March.

Tomorrow may be a different story, but for at least today, things seem to be looking up.