First, let me say that Butch and I rarely go out. If we get food from a restaurant, it is take-out. The reason for this is not just economic but the fact that the vast majority of restaurants in Roanoke Rapids are chains. The menus don't change and the food is not necessarily (!) good for you. However, several of Butch's family members opened a restaurant called 1020. That is actually the address on Roanoke Avenue. The building used to house The Jewel Box, a RR landmark. Butch's relatives readapted the historic building into Timeless Tea, a wonderful place with a vast and beautiful collection of teapots, cups and saucers. Unfortunately, they found that men were a bit put off and didn't come.
The owners and the chef decided to start a monthly supper club. A man named Steve, a baritone of incredible talent, performs every Friday night and also at the supper clubs. 1020 is a FB friend of ours so we know what is coming up. When they announced that March 3 would be a 6-course meal with a choice of rack of lamb or chicken cordon bleu, I was instantly attracted. I will admit that since being unemployed and then the shoulder disaster I have not left the house very much at all. That means for 5 months, unless I am letting the dogs into the yard, I am in our home. Very reclusive and probably some agoraphobia involved. This opportunity struck me as a great way to let my husband take me out in public so we made reservations. Mary had a little lamb and we were going to eat him!
We didn't know what to expect but the dinner was sold out. The restaurant is small. The evening started with wine and light hor deurves. Steve was singing and the place is filling up rapidly. People came up to us to introduce themselves or to say "hi" to Butch and meet me. One of the first people to pull me into a conversation, an outgoing and delightful lady, turned out to be the wife of the partner, Dr. Moss, at my orthopedic surgeon's office. I've seen him in the halls but never met him. And when he came up, Charlotte, was telling us about their church's St. Patrick's Day dinner and inviting us to come. Now a fun fact is that the wife of my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Holm, is the Episcopal priest at the local church. And the St. Paddy's Day dinner we were invited to was at the Episcopal church! We had met her as we came in and after we sat down, Butch said that he had run into Dr. Holm, Rich, in the hall. I wandered down there, caught his attention and said "They'll let anyone in here, won't they?" We laughed and before I knew it I had reintroduced myself to his wife, Marjorie. She said, "We already met but it is hard when there are so many people", causing me to swat away any embarrassment I immediately started to feel.
Who knew it was going to be a raucous, fun evening with the tableful of doctors leading the way. Steven was wonderful, accepted requests and at one point Dr. Minielly stood up and sang "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" with him. And actually quite well, thank you very much!
One of the best parts of the evening was the fact that the Tarheels were playing Dook (Duke but who cares). And we were all away from the TV screen. So John Moss would go up to Steve every so often to give us a sports report. The first was 4 minutes until halftime and the score was 36 to 20, Heels, playing at the Duke house!!! The place exploded and after that John would come up and give us reports from his phone. It was awesome! You have to understand ACC basketball to get the import of this but believe me, it almost like religion! In actuality, if a lot of people had known when they made reservations that the game was the same evening, the crowd might have been smaller. And, let me add, the Tarheels beat Dook in their house!!!! We are now the regular season ACC champions.
Couples frequently got up to dance during the meal and Steve would go a capella walking through the room. The atmosphere was so special and the wait staff was incredible, moving at lightening speed. Here is what they served us: An amuse bouche of shrimp in a shot glass, a salad of mixed greens with pears and walnuts, vichyssoise which was amazing and then a cleansing lime sorbet (yummy!). Our lamb plates were two little racks of lamb with their bones crossed, asparagus wrapped in a little carrot ribbon and phyllo cups filled with mashed sweet potatoes. Dessert was either an incredibly decadent strawberry cake with whipped cream frosting or creme brulee. May I say that my blood sugar has been off the charts today. I'll be paying for last night for awhile but it was worth every single bite!!! The lamb was exquisitely cooked medium rare and gorgous to look out.
And last but far from least, we were seated with Mr. Hager, one of the owners who happens to be engaged to the chef after being together for 20 years. Mr. Hager attended Marshall College in West Virginia, "We Are Marshall", and, as another service brat, developed a love of traveling and has traveled extensively all of his life. Our conversation was so great. He was the perfect dinner partner. He is a theater buff so we had a great deal to talk about!
We now have a standing reservation for each month. The evening was special enough that I can't even express it. Steve's standards were the perfect touch and many times we were all singing along. I even got a kiss from my husband, in public (!), during one particularly romantic song. The furry babies were not happy that we had both been gone for several hours but you know what? We will be doing it again, over and over. Thank you, 1020.