One of my most favorite things in the world to do is go to nice, expensive restaurants. I love noshing on delicious food, most of which I cannot pronounce and haven’t the slightest idea from where it comes. The experience that comes with fine dining makes me feel elegant and accomplished, and I adore it. Planning my perfect outfit, looking forward to Wilson chivalrously holding open my car door and standing when I leave the dinner table — it just seems so right.
Wilson, on the other hand, despises going to fancy restaurants. He finds them stuffy, unnecessary and generally uncomfortable. While he loves to wear a tux, he hates wearing a sport coat. His idea of a grand dinner growing up was going to Lonestar, getting a steak medium-well and throwing peanut shells on the floor. Sometimes I wonder why we even like each other.
I really have come a long way in convincing Wilson of the joys of fine dining, however. His eyeballs no longer bulge uncontrollably from the exorbitant prices and his enormous sigh of disgust at the miniscule portions has lowered itself to small “herumph!” He has learned that he, in fact, is not a picky eater at all and really likes almost anything — like me — but just has to be goaded a tad to try it. When we first started dating, he had a laundry list of things that he never — ABSOLUTELY NOT, don’t even THINK ABOUT IT — would eat. Six years later, he has come to realize he will eat just about anything that doesn’t eat him first — again, like me — but still, don’t even think about asking him if he wants ketchup.
My point in this diatribe is to say that in an effort to compromise our restaurant eating preferences while accommodating our budget of $0, we often indulge in the oh-so-trendy pleasure of brunching. Brunch is the perfect mix of our external dietary requirements because we can dine at the fancy restaurants that I love without spending nearly as much as we would on dinner and Wilson doesn’t have to wear a jacket. He still is annoyed that he doesn’t get to throw peanut shells and napkins on the floor, but I have my limits.
We also get to drink — and early too! — the nectar of the gods — mimosas. Mimosas are the most amazing drink ever created. Ever. I could write an entire liturgy about my adoration of mimosas, but I’ll spare you the drama.
A few Sundays ago we went to a fabulous restaurant in downtown Charlotte called Halcyon. Located inside a museum, this farm-to-table gem collects North Carolina eating delights to prepare magnificent food. The dinner prices are stupid. The brunch prices? Much more reasonable. We noshed on the Southern Grit Bowl and Shepherd’s Benedict — with a side of LOBSTER FOR THE SAME PRICE AS WITHOUT THE LOBSTER — and slurped the whole delicious meal down with a slew of mimosas.
Wilson looks like he just woke up and isn’t pleased with what he’s seeing. IT’S ME! YOUR WIFE! HOORAY!
That Shepherd’s Benedict side of LOBSTER didn’t stand a chance.
While in The Big City a few months ago, we happened upon a delightful brunch spot in NOHO whose name is escaping me because I was too hungover to remember.
This is forgotten-name-restaurant’s bloody mary bar! I didn’t indulge but it was so Garden-and-Gun-meets-urban-chic that I had to document it. We gobbled down a delicious BLT with a fried egg and side of sweet potato fries drizzled with blue cheese aioli. And a few mimosas. The bill was much better than the one from dinner the night before.
To really round this brunch discussion out, here are some very important people in my life drinking mimosas over brunch at my bachelorette party in VEGAS last year. To the left, Emery, to the right, my sister Laurie.
Even though Wilson was not with me at this particular brunching session, it was his suggestion to go to this restaurant called Wicked Spoon. Located inside the fantastic Cosmopolitan, the Wicked Spoon serves an unbelievable brunch buffet for the bargain price of $40. If you are like me and demand mimosas with brunch — or with anything, for that matter — then you can purchase the endless buffet with bottomless mimosas for just $50. Do NOT be deterred by the buffet-in-Vegas scenario, either — this stuff is so gourmet. Lose the slot machines and go brunch.
So in long, if you are running short on munz but still want to dine out and feel fancy, just go to brunch.