On an unusually warm Friday evening, Wendy and I ventured into Bethesda to experience what the rest of the world calls date night. Amidst the bar vultures at Houston's, we lingered over drinks - she of a French martini, me of a Campari e soda. We had front-row seats for a couple of guys looking to impress their dates, best part witnessing their bumbling efforts to validate their manhood. Asking the bartender in a quizzical, uncertain way, "What do you think of a scotch and soda, you know, to show the women that we are real men?" they got a bemused response from behind the bar: "So, I know that you cannot drink that. You might want to try something with vodka in it." She went on to mix the gentlemen vodka tonics while delivering up Pinot Noirs for their dates; it turns out the women knew much more about libations than the men.
But that was only the opening act for the main event, namely the comfort food that followed back in our cozy booth away from the bar. Tucking in to some gooey spinach dip and and a fat cheeseburger was just the sort of thing that made up for a long, stressful week at work. Which was no match for the ultimate finale - the signature apple walnut cobbler. A simple mound of vanilla bean ice cream surrounded by caramelized walnuts on top of an apple cinnamon cobbler, tastes that blend smoothly together to create a brief moment of bliss.
Ah, such a wonderful moment to let the taste buds transport me to a place far away from deadlines and wedding planning. Of course, apple walnut cobbler cannot fully match gelato in Roma and cherry blossoms in springtime, golf shots hit flush that find tight pin locations. But suffice it to say when I think in this way, Houston's apple walnut cobbler is one of my favorite things.