I hope you can't see the shame on my face, but I made a reservation for Mother's Day with my Aunt Tillie only the day before. We landed a 5:00 p.m. spot, which was perfect for my 91-year-old dinner companion and fine for me. Probably one of the last reservations for that special day, I understood and accepted that our table had no sea view. It being next to the restrooms was fine, too. Our server was smiley, sweet, helpful, and professional. She showed no visible bother when it took us a while to figure out our choices and seemed unaware of other restaurants' unwritten rule that when a table isn't ready to order, the server takes a long vacation! (You won't find it in the restaurant rule book that says when guests have been waiting a long time to order, their server shows up only when a guest at the waiting table has gone to the restroom--you know the book I mean.)
My aunt ordered the New England clam chowder and the prawn cocktail, and our server helpfully brought the soup only when my aunt said she was ready so she could enjoy it very hot, the way I like soup, too. She liked the chowder very much (I prefer Manhattan) and loved the generous serving of big, sweet shrimp. I ordered one of my favorite foods, fried calamari, as an appetizer, and seafood gumbo for my main dish. My calamari dish was perfection: delicate, fresh tasting baby creatures with a light breading, very crisp and not greasy at all. I think these calamari were the very best I've ever tasted! The gumbo was seasoned perfectly, and the shrimp in it were large and delicious, but the rest of the fish in the rest of the very soupy dish were pretty much disintegrated and indistinguishable. The taste was good, but I've had gumbo elsewhere with a much lovelier texture. I didn't eat the separately served rice (still working on those last few pounds). Oh, did I forget to mention the wonderful bread. Oh yes, I had a slice of the fresh sourdough, and it was worth the calories with some Challenge butter (but the bread could have been even better if it were served hot).
Both of us nixed dessert, but I had freshly brewed decaf, which had good flavor (for decaf).
My aunt called me the next day to say how very much she enjoyed the meal. I did, too.
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