Last night was our inaugural dinner on the patio, which means we are about a month late doing the normal in Chicago.
And because it's been a year since we were doing the same thing with family in southern France, I felt moved to whip out my Eiffel Tower candle holder. (Amazing what one can find at the Kane County Flea Market.) The glass jars are yogurt containers from the store Monoprix.
And while our menu wasn't exactly the magret de canard rôti au feu de bois that we savored at the restaurant L'Oree d'Opio, it was pretty good, especially the grilled Vidalia onions (tossed with green beans, Yukon gold potatoes, and Herbes de Provence. I like one-step stuff on the grill. Fewer dishes.)
It was a relief to be outside and at leisure. Usually, we are huffing and puffing over the hostas, or weeding, or watering, or debating how ruthless we can be/should be when it comes to the chipmunks. (They are, to paraphrase Carrie Bradshaw, just rats with better coats.)
The evening was still and relatively unbuggy. In short, the kind of day we yearn for in the bleak of winter. In spring (or this year, nearly summer), we emerge blinking and stumbling into the sunlight and warmth. And turn on the grill. And invite friends over for dinner.
Bandit was particularly taken with the Baja Chipotle chicken. The portions, however, were too conservative for his taste, which explains the pout.