Today I had one of the best dinners of my life. The appetizer was New England clam chowder and the main dish was Shrimp and Garlic tossed with linguine. Sounds like an everyday meal, but the clam chowder has been served at every presidential inauguration since 1981. The Bloody Mary was smooth, the horseradish tangy, and the celery fresh. The service was great and the ambience crowded; and what’s more, the little people behaved themselves.
I am talking about a famous Boston seafood chain restaurant called Legal Seafoods. Walking around the Prudential Center, I had felt my stomach rumble and found myself staring at the stores hungrily. One thing was obvious: if I stayed hungry, I was bound to buy stuff I would later regret buying and thus have found myself insisting that we eat before I walked around the mall.
Aaman suggested Legal Seafoods, a restaurant that we had passed by just as we had entered the mall. The place was dimly light and when I looked in, all I saw were adults, but I had a feeling the food there would be scrumptious, and in we went.
Surprisingly, we got a table just as we entered despite the fact that we were there at about 6.30 in the evening, which is the early dinner hour for most Americans. As we sat at our table, a bear of a waiter strolled over to take our order.
Aaman ordered a mixed seafood platter; Aayan had lobster, corn on the cob, and fries from the kids’ menu. I had my Shrimp and garlic linguine, but it was the appetizers of lobster bisque and clam chowder that stole the show. The clam chowder was piping hot, creamy, and the chunks of crab melted in my mouth. I loved the chowder but liked Aaman’s bisque even more. As we began to enjoy our appetizers, the waiters brought our dinner and caught us off guard.
We were rather surprised. How could such an upmarket restaurant make such a big mistake? We kept Aayan’s dinner and sent our entrees back. Since the kids were in a good mood and we were enjoying our soups, we decided to forgive them. But then our waiter strolled over and said that parents generally liked all the dishes to come at once as they were often pressed for time thanks to the short attention span of kids. We were touched by the extra attention provided and found ourselves enjoying our meal at a leisurely pace.
Parita was chewing at cucumbers followed by lemons, and Aayan was digging away at his lobster. Our waiter looked in on us once in a while and made a few suggestions that I should have a little pepper sprinkled over my linguine to give it that extra zing or get more cucumbers for Parita.
Halfway through our meal, the kids decided to act their age and began to fidget and have mini meltdowns, as it is way past their bedtime. I obviously stopped eating and took care of my nine-month old while Aaman distracted Aayan, our three-year old.
Our dinner had come to an end but I did not begrudge my kids for acting their age as the restaurant had made us feel quite comfortable and the people around us gave us sympathetic smiles and some even complimented our kids for being generally well-behaved. Since I had barely touched my entrée, I asked the waiter to pack it as Parita had parked herself on my lap and wouldn’t let me eat. He smiled and replied it was all sand slipping through the hourglass.
It was then that I realized the truth behind his words. Time has a way of flying when we enjoy ourselves and these were the moments that I had to treasure the most as my kids would grow up at a blink of an eyelid and the chances of me getting good lobster or big plump shrimps in India would be rare.