I scoped out a few restaurants. Some were too busy, too formal or too touristy. Some didn’t have a bar, which would have put me at a table alone – a thought I couldn’t bear at the time. But Pasta Beach, on Memorial Boulevard, was a good fit. It was casual, had a bar, served great food and wine, and was a short walk from my new place.
Sometimes I’d walk there just full of nerves about who I might see, and worse, that they might pity me for being alone on a Friday or Saturday. How would I explain that this was by choice without crying in public, like the people in this hilarious video? But no one ever pitied me. Of course they didn’t. Why would they? But when you feel that raw and that vulnerable, it’s difficult to believe it’s not written all over your face.
When I was feeling self-conscious, I reminded myself that it was important to embrace my new life, even if I had to fake it now and then. I was testing myself, but making the test more inviting with the promise of good food and wine. Overtime, the freedom in dining alone became delicious to me again. My nights at Pasta Beach became a time for me to celebrate my new found autonomy.
Of course, if the food wasn’t so good I would not have kept going. Some of the best things I’ve ever eaten have been here, like the Foccacia Stella, or the Bruschetta Verdure, both of which are as delicious as they are beautiful The creamy pappardelle pasta dish with asparagus and prosciutto threatens to destroy any concern I’ve ever had about my cholesterol levels. Sometimes they have a dessert called Torta Delizia, which is so amazing that the world seems a sadder place when the last bite is gone.
|Torta Delizia. The crust is made of almond
paste. ALMOND PASTE!
I had a date here last week. It was my first official one since the break up. Despite my nerves, it was a pleasant, normal, proper date. I felt proud that I didn’t throw up on myself, drink too much, or make a total ass out of myself. Frankly, I was proud that I even showed up.
At some point during the night I thought, “Wow, this is a full-circle moment!” And then I thought “Oh Jesus, I just used that stupid phrase Oprah coined! What is wrong with me?” But seriously, a year ago, the me dining alone at the bar could not even consider going on a date. My confidence had been chewed up and spit out by the beast that a breakup can be. But here I was, a year later, finally able to function on a date! I could not believe that I made words come out of my mouth that made sense. I felt a moment of relief for the progress I’d made. The rest of the night I just felt sort of, I don’t know, contented? But then that is exactly the effect a great meal with a handsome man should have on a girl, right?
More food, less pain,