Friday, May 26, 2006
A garden worth getting intoxicated in
And we did. (More on that later.)
Buffalo is not the Snow Capital of the U.S., and we residents get very tired of explaining what our weather is really like: i.e., the beauty of the four seasons; the fact that parts of Michigan, Minnesota, and other states get much more snow; the fact that Buffalo doesn’t even hold the New York State record; blah, blah, blah. But yes, it is cold here for a good six months or more of the year—so when the balmy weather hits, boy, do we ever love to hang out on restaurant patios. Many of us are connoisseurs of the al fresco experience. In my view, the Rue Franklin, a downtown French restaurant, has the loveliest patio I’ve ever seen. It’s really a secluded back courtyard, to be precise. The most notable features are a large, very elegant fountain against the back wall, three flower beds, a Kousa dogwood and a wisteria trained as a tree (shown above). The area is lined with a variety of flowering shrubs. No hanging baskets, no plastic planters. This restaurant garden is in a different echelon entirely. And I really admire their spring and summer bulb choices.
Having said all this, I must add that I don’t really like to eat dinner outside. But a glass of wine in this idyllic spot before and/or after dinner is perfect. And it was perfect yesterday for an open bar fundraiser I and some friends attended. Rue has a small but well-selected wine list. For the open bar, they poured a crisp, very nice white Bordeaux, much better than the gasoline-like chardonnay the bar two doors down was serving for the same event (this was a party where you circulated between three venues). So I had to switch to G&Ts, and from there to tequila was a short and predictable step.
If I replaced the cherry tree in my front garden, it would definitely be with a Kousa dogwood. The flowers last all summer and the trunks and branches are wonderfully twisted.