I'm not normally the type of girl who rushes to dine at the hot new restaurant, but since Baker and Banker, which took over Quince's old space on Octavia and opened on December 1st, was only a block away from our hotel this weekend (The Queen Anne in case you haven't been paying attention to my rave reviews about this one-of-a-kind B&B) and since I was somehow able to score an 8:30 p.m. reservation on their first Saturday night, I decided to check it out.
And of course, because it's me, my experience was, well... anything but typical.
When you walk into Baker and Banker, you immediately feel at home. Sure there was still a bit of a new paint smell, but the interior is completely classic with dark wood bar and tables, dark leather banquettes, chalk board walls featuring the daily wines and cheeses, all set off with gold accents.
The gracious hostess informed us that there would be a bit of a wait; this being their first Saturday night, they hadn't quite planned on how long people would linger (blame the cozy feel), so we took a seat at the bar (which is reminiscent of a kitchen island) and toasted to the weekend with a sparkling wine from Spain.
We were seated shortly after and it truly seemed the only issue of the evening would be what to order. I'm a pretty hard to please girl (that's a nice way of putting it) and I seriously wanted to eat every single thing on the menu. But after sending our accomodating server away several times ("just two more minutes"), we finally placed our order and settled in to enjoy what looked like it was going to be a pleasant and relaxing evening.
We were savoring our first bite of warm homemade bread when suddenly the voices at the table next to us grew to a soft rumble.
"I just can't do this anymore. You're always out of town. You NEVER want to come skiing with me and the kids and I'm just DONE with this whole thing. I'm just done."
Oh good. We were mere inches away from a full-on middle-aged Pacific Heights husband and wife Saturday night spat. Suh-weet. (Also, "You never want to come skiing?" Really? THAT'S something people actually fight about?)
It was during our starter, a Dungeness crab salad with Satsuma mandarins, watermelon radish and homemade black sesame crackers (SO GOOD) that the couple... who, by the way, had just spent ten minutes happily schmoozing with friends they bumped into... decided to get even louder.
"The kids are still so small," Pacific Height husband said in, what I think was intended to be, a sweet moment towards his wife.
"No," Pac Heights wife rebutted. "They're not. They're quite big. But you wouldn't know that since you haven't seen them in TWO WEEKS."
Fast-forward a few minutes later and The Boy is taking a bite into his entree: dayboat scallops with sunchoke puree, brussel sprouts and asian pear and hazelnut salad, when Pacific Heights wife suddenly gets incredibly heated and starts alluding to her fork as a weapon by stabbing it repeatedly in the air as she tries to drive home her point of what a horrible husband Pac Heights husband is.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to enjoy my perfectly cooked hangar steak with bone marrow-red wine butter, wilted spinach and the most delicious cast iron potato gratin I've ever had the luck to put into my mouth when...
"You're just an angry person," Pac Heights husband says to his wife as she continues to berate him. "You're just an angry Mom."
"No," she spits while stabbing her food, "I'm just an angry wife."
More wine please!
"I don't know what you want to call this thing we're doing," Pacific Heights husband said. "This separation..."
"I call it a HIATUS," Pacific Height wife replied. Because clearly what really matters is what they call the time they're taking before they finally realize that the best thing they can do for themselves, their kids, and their fellow diners is just get a divorce already.
The best part? The actually contemplated dessert. Luckily for us, they just got the check and we were able to enjoy our peanut butter fudge brownie, roasted banana ice cream and salted peanut brittle in peace.I highly recommend they order the same when they return in a few months... with their Match.com dates.