I thought we were a happy pack. I did. Sure, we had our occasional disagreements - did I have to come in right now? you don't want that last piece of bagel do you? - but all in all, I was content and I thought they were content as well. Sure they left all day long, but they always came back eventually.
And then one night they came later than usual. They did this sometimes. Maybe they worked late. I didn't think anything of it. But then ... I got a whiff of something. Something different. Something like ... ham. Really good ham.
I looked more closely. They were dressed particularly well. They seemed suspiciously pleased with themselves. And yes, on closer smelling, it was definitely the scent of ham. Expensive ham.
I tried to ask them where they'd been. As usual, they wouldn't tell me. I pretended that nothing was amiss, but I suspected something. Maybe it was nothing. I should trust them. I wanted to trust them ... but I had to know for sure. So I'm not proud of it, but I looked at their cell phone records. And that's where I found the pictures. Incriminating pictures that left no doubt about what they had done.
They had spent the evening with some Lolita.
I should have left it alone, but I had to know more - all the sordid details. So I listened in on their little private conversations they have between the two of them.
Ladygoat's butternut squash ravioli was delicious, but paled in comparison to Foodgoat's sea scallops, which were tender and luscious and flavorful. They went wonderfully with a side of rich creamy polenta. Even the bread sticks - much like big soft pretzels - were very good.
But the highlight of the evening was starting with the "Big Board for Two", a sampler of cured meats that included salami (made in house), sopressata, and three different kinds of prosciutto, along with pickled fennel and a sweet apple salsa-like thing. Served on a wooden cutting board, it was like a sushi plate, but of meat - each item was bite-sized, flavor-packed, and perfectly complementary in flavor.
The prosciutto was made by La Quercia Artisan Cured Meats in Iowa, and while the Berkshire prosciutto and the spicy prosciutto picante were absolutely tasty, it was the smoked prosciutto, the Speck Americano, that blew them away. Smoked with applewood, this prosciutto was not just good - it was memorably good. It had a yumminess that was on a whole other scale of measurement. Slightly sweet, slightly smoky, complex and just really tasty.
You should have heard them go on and on, the shameless hussies. They know perfectly well how much I adore ham, how much I love prosciutto. And they go off and eat prosciutto - the very best prosciutto - without me.
It was of little consolation to find that they had never been there before, that it was their first time. They had planned it, you see, they had planned it for a long time. And they were planning on going again. Without me. Just because the food was delicious, the prices reasonable, and service impeccable.