When lunch leaves you hungry

On a recent weekend I celebrated Christmas with my girlfriends from home. We met in Kingston, an excellent midway point between the three different counties in which the four of us reside.

I was late for lunch, (although it turned out that they all were, too) and arrived a little breathless, but with my hair looking great after the morning’s appointment. I had inadvertently overshot the restaurant where we had a reservation and ended up parking about a block past where my friends were settling in around our table.

The walk from my car gave me a moment to exhale and feel the sunshine on my face. It was lovely. I passed the diners sitting outside to enter Le Canard and was immediately directed to the left to join the ladies.

We had enjoyed dinner in this intimate French bistro a number of years ago, but this was our first time lunching here. The menu is fairly small, yet filled with promise with numerous salads, a few sandwiches and access to the entire dinner menu, as well. I nearly ordered the Niçoise but at the last minute veered to a more Asian inspired plate of gingered carrot salad topped with an excellent crab cake.

I wished for more carrot salad, but filled the void with a fistful of piping hot pomme frites from the order for the table we shared. Other items enjoyed were the Salade Lyonnaise, a tasty looking crock of French onion soup and the simple tomato garlic bisque. We finished with various coffees, along with slices of both the pear tart and a tarte Tatin.

Every bite of lunch was delicious. Beautifully prepared ingredients were served with competence and attention to detail. The meal was satisfying in every way. Or, more accurately, what we consumed was completely satiating.

Driving north after a remarkably fast couple of hours spent together, I realized that my belly was comfortably full but that I felt an emptiness nonetheless.

I’m not 100% sure what prompted my sensation of experiencing loss. It wasn’t a single large thing I was missing. It seemed more a cumulative collection of small things that I can’t imagine ever taking for granted again.

Things like hugs and shared plates, sunny drives to pretty destinations and French accents and food.

We’ve had 12+ months of this pandemic. Saturday afternoon was the first time since it began that I was able to comfortably sit indoors at a table with some of my oldest friends and enjoy a terrific meal. The sky was blue and the sun was warm. It was a fantastic day. I felt normal – and hungry for more.

A friend’s magical laboratory!

4 thoughts on “When lunch leaves you hungry

  1. can’t wait for my second vaccine and then the 2 week waiting period so I can experience that feeling…have already made plans to meet my Zoom group in person and celebrate!

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