Frequently, my first night in DC, I'll have dinner at Bistrot du Coin. This trip, I'm staying at Topaz, so it's an easy walk across the circle. The weather is perfect. After the mugginess of the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, this refreshing coolness, just below seventy degrees, is a delight.
On a Tuesday night, the place is buzzing, but not jammed. It feels comfortable and homey. I know what's on the menu and I know what I'll have -- the hanger steak with shallot sauce (which includes a large roasted shallot), and perfect pommes frites. I order a bottle of Gigondas from a waiter who has served me many times before. I write a letter to Lynn and he stops by to admire my fountain pen and bemoan the fact that no one writes letters anymore. But I do. She could make a separate collection of letters from this restaurant.
I eat slowly, I read some of Rilke's Letters on Cezanne, I watch the crowds, mostly young and out on dates, a few singles reading, like me. A cheese plate for dessert, of course, and then back across the circle to my comfy room and game 3 of the World Series.