on October 4, 2008
Another gust of wind descends its wrath upon us. Diners across the patio hold down wine glasses, table clothes and wire baskets filled with rolls. A cheer of camaraderie resounds as no rolls tragically drown in the swimming pool, this time. Wind aside, Casa De Lourdes is the most magical place in all of El Valle to dine. Making a reservation is important, as the seating is intimate and limited, ensuring that each guest is given the utmost attention. Our professionally pleasant waiter showed us to our outdoor patio table, already set just for us, thanks to the reservation we had made earlier that day. I was even more enraptured, when I had to discreetly brush a gecko from my chair before sitting down. Speakers played light piano music, which was enhanced by the natural sound of chattering tree frogs. From the patio, I soaked in the clear view of the night sky, and watched as the patio lights performed a reflective ballet dance on the pool’s surface. My attention could only be drawn away from this beauty by the menu, a menu where everything on it seemed to have the potential to bring me great pleasure. There was a dish to please everyone from seafood lovers to hard core carnivores to vegetarians. Our waiter seemed pleased with our decisions and promptly returned to ceremoniously uncork a bottle of Chilean wine. We sipped our wine and nibbled freshly baked rolls and in no time our entrees were served. As I bit into my first piece of Grand Mariner shrimp, my mind swirled as I tried to put a name to the familiar flavor. After consuming several more shrimp, it came to me, the sauce tasted exactly like a heavenly orange creamsicle. The shrimp was accompanied by cilantro rice and it all matched perfectly with the wine. My counterpart, enjoyed beef medallions in mustard cream sauce with string beans and potatoes, and even though I was only able to steal a small bite it was equally delicious. We ordered coffee and desert and as we waited Lourdes herself appeared on the patio in a lovely green dress and a colorful glittering shawl that gave me the impression of a bright beautiful butterfly. With wine glass in hand she gracefully swooped from table to table making certain that everyone was having an enjoyable evening. She was gracious and charming and as I sipped my coffee and ate my crème brulee, I suddenly felt as though I were a very welcomed guest at an enchanting outdoor dinner party. Our total bill with dinner, wine, dessert and coffee came to $52.90 and we would have gladly spent more for such a happy evening. I’m not sure if it was the atmosphere or perhaps the very drinkable Chilean wine, but we left with our stomachs full and our hearts euphoric.
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