July 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
Sometimes life just gets boring. Sure you spice it up with Monday margaritas, Tuesday TV night, Wednesday spin class (torture is a way to spice things up too) and so on, but sometimes all that living can get monotonous. SOMETIMES however, life is like a movie.
One of these times occurred just last weekend when I got dressed fancy for a surprise evening and was picked up by a man wearing cologne and dress khakis.
First, we pulled up to El Arbol, literally called The Tree, named after a 150 year old Live Oak that is surrounded by the interior dining spaces and tiered patio. It’s the South American restaurant on 35th St. and it is oh so pretty! I’ve passed by it so many times and always wanted to try it.
We didn’t have to wait at all and got seated upstairs on the outdoor patio. Our waitress offered insight on the Spanish and Italian influences without being too snobby.
I ordered the Pollo Frito, which included pecan smoked & fried half chicken with a marsala vinaigrette, barley, orange and green olive puree.
The gentleman ordered two of the most delicious empanadas I’ve ever tasted plus a salad that didn’t look particularly fantastic, but maybe it would have to someone who likes salads! Our drinks, palomas and red wine, were also satisfying and went well with the meal.
Pretty outdoor lights and everything, the atmosphere was perfect for a romantic Austin summer night.
While this was a lovely start to the evening, the second portion of our night was truly Blockbuster-worthy.
We drove down to East 6th, while I started to wonder where we were headed. I like all of the bars down there, especially the Grackle and Violet Crown, but I wasn’t exactly in an East 6th kind of mood. Those places are fun when you’re okay with your feet getting dirty and you’re dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, but not when you’re wearing a pretty outfit. Much to my surprise, we walked into Eastside Showroom. This cocktail bar is truly one of the most magical places I’ve ever been in. Dimly lit with a vintagey-welcoming air, the bar seemed like something out of an old film. We had just seen Midnight in Paris, so maybe I was still in that mindset, but it made for a beautiful scene.
Our waiter, or magic man, kept bringing us drinks that were exactly what we were looking for. First, I tried The Aviator, which was unique and subtle. I’m no good at being able to tell what’s in a drink, but it was a nice first drink! Then I switched to the fruitier variety and our waiter brought me a few variations of the classic Mai Tai.
As if the drinks weren’t delectable enough, a Spanish-Russian band wooed us all night. The belly dancer was a fun twist and was only a bit of a distraction when she sat down next to us. We got up and danced at one point, and maybe it was the drinks, but that is when I really felt like we had been transplanted onto a movie set.
Go to this magical bar. Do it. Bring a date or bring a group of friends. Read up on the bar’s history and the ingenuity behind their cocktails before you go.
For now, back to reality and the treadmill.