My sister and brother and I had dinner last night at Terzo Piano – the lovely restaurant attached to The Modern Wing of Chicago’s Art Institute. A prix fixe meal, each of us selected beautiful appetizers, entrees and desserts. David and I split a bottle of a crisp Gruner Veltliner, which paired perfectly with the food. The meal was delicious, the service entertaining yet refined and the ambiance was open and airy.
What made this meal in particular so remarkable, however, was not my heirloom tomato, watermelon and fresh feta salad or the plump mussels floating in a chili-spiked broth festooned with fennel and grilled corn. Nor was it our server, who seemed to have a witty yet quirky quip whenever visiting our table. In fact, even though we were able to see the celebrated chef Tony Mantuano from across the room, it wasn’t being in a room with greatness that took the night to platinum.
For the first time in longer than I can remember, my siblings and I sat down together – sans parents – and were able to catch up properly. We weren’t rushing from one family holiday party to the next. We weren’t laying around the den stuffed to the gills with chocolate sheet cake while watching Coming to America (a Walker family holiday tradition…don’t ask.) We weren’t cheering on the Razorbacks with a load of crazed Arkansans. It was just us – plain and simple. Telling stories, sharing updates, laughing, offering advice and catching up in the true sense of the words.
It’s rare Caroline, David and I are free at the same time and in the same city to orchestrate such a gathering, but I’m so glad we were able to do it last night. We had a splendid time – no morsel of food or work of art could match it.