Strange fact about my husband and me: we’re birthday twins! We were both born on March 13, although please note that he is older. This all works out really well for me, because, as I get older, I find myself not liking my birthday at all. It’s nothing new (kind of like me?), just the ole notion that at 16 you can drive (or, at least it was 16 for me)! At 18 you are an “adult” and can vote! At 21 you can legally drink! At 25 renting a car is cheaper! At 31, well, you’re a lot closer to “middle age” than “teenage” and left wondering how everything is flying by so quickly.
Lucky for me, then, that my husband and I share our birthdays, and that he is older – but with a much better attitude about the whole thing. So, to
drown my sorrows celebrate, the hubby made us reservations at one of his favorite places, Maude’s Liquor Bar, a French inspired restaurant known for its cocktails and speakeasy kind of vibe. It was perfect.
The place was busy but not overly crowded on a random weekday night, with folks both having dinner and hanging out at the bar. We were seated by two delightful hostesses, and while no one could accuse our waitress of being overly friendly, service was just fine.
As expected, the cocktails were spectacular, especially the pleasantly smooth Whiskey Smash with mint and citrus. I also loved the beau soleil and sea cow oysters that the hubby and I shared. I’ve heard some folks complain there’s too much bread at Maude’s, and I see what they’re saying: our salmon tartar special, chicken liver mousse, and mussels all came with a large side of bread. Still, in Maude’s defense I cannot imagine those dishes without bread – maybe the salmon tartar could have been served with a water cracker. And Maude’s was great about our request not to butter the bread (we were trying to at least make some good decisions that night). I think, though, what might be helpful for Maude's is to simply decrease the amount of bread served on the side (I can’t believe I just said that). Because, as we know, if it’s bread and it’s there, it will be eaten.
Another, somewhat unexpected highlight of the night was the rich, velvety chocolate mousse. I swear, there’s something about adding salt to sweet (salted caramels anyone?) that makes delicious desserts even better!
So, despite my general dislike of my birthday, getting to spend it with the hubby (our 7th birthday celebration together…our first was before we were even dating!) and at Maude’s made it not only palatable but special. And now I have 364 days until the next one.
Try Maude’s at 840 W. Randolph St.