Tuesday, April 15, 2008

St John's - Last Night

I can safely say that there is one thing I won't miss about St John's and that is the mercurial weather. Changeable doesn't begin to cover it.

Tonight it was WINDY. The kind of windy that pushes you sideways, like it's in a bigger hurry than you are. We bundle up and head out.

Earlier in the week, we'd noticed a sign outside of the local Mexicali Rosa's indicating 2 for 1 margaritas on Mondays. This was our first stop. Mmmm. Just as good as Hernando's back home, once we convinced them to rim the glasses with coarse instead of table salt.

A couple of stools away, a little further down the bar, were a couple of guys who were also enjoying the 2 for 1 margaritas - two at a time! They had two rounds of two each while we were there, followed by a Corona each. When we left, they were attempting drunken come-ons to the trio of very pert, very young, very pretty bartenders.

We'd been craving steak, so we went to Christopher's for our last meal in St John's. It was a good choice! Christopher's is run by two friends - one is the chef, the other is the maitre d'. The maitre d' also provides table service - Christopher's is small enough not to warrant any other staff - and he was sweetly attentive, clearly proud of his restaurant and his food.

After a starter of scallops for my Man and a Gazpacho salad for me, we each ordered the 6oz "Sissy" cut steak - cooked rare. It came to the table on a bed of beautifully nutty linguine, tossed in olive oil with perfectly cooked fresh vegetables, and dressed with the chef's special wild game demi-glace. Perfection.

We couldn't finish the steaks, they were so enormous, so we asked if we could have our leftovers wrapped up, along with some of their special cheesy bread. These makeshift sandwiches are sitting in my carry-on bag right now, ready to be consumed once we're in the air.

After dinner we met the Actress at the bar in the Fairmont Newfoundland, which is just across the street from our B&B. The decor in Fairmont bars, in my limited experience, seems to be always violently outdated, and this one was no exception. Nothing matched or was coordinated; the carpet, the chairs, the upholstery, the tables, the bar all looked like all they had been purchased and installed at different stages in the hotel's history, each at least a decade apart. Which can work if everything is comfortable, well-made and well-designed, but can be disastrous if not. The Fairmont Newfoundland has none of St John's charm, romance or humour- it's a faceless, anonymous nonentity that could be in any city in any part of the world. Disappointing.

It was our last night in St John's, though, so after a nice communal rant about the decor we focused on more interesting subjects and enjoyed a couple of drinks before it was time for my Man and I to turn in. The Actress had a rehearsal the next day, so she wasn't up for a late night either.

We'd considered a little "pre-packing" that night, but between the margaritas, the wine at dinner, and the wine at the Fairmont...well, lying down became really the only option.

The bar at the Fairmont.

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