Walking into the restaurant I was immediately transported to a Nordic sauna, which was great. Who doesn’t love a good sauna? Despite the completely rational thought that you would probably sweat out all the calories you consume, I am not sure, however, that I would ever want to eat in one. The restaurant, Avec, in Chicago’s west loop, is decorated with long horizontal beams of wood that run the length of the room. After I got over the notion that I had somehow stepped into a teleporter and ended up walking into an in-home sauna room belonging to someone in Finland, my eye was immediately drawn to to the very back wall, which was made entirely out of wine bottles. My list of life goals now includes making a wall of wine bottles in my future house, something to which I feel everyone should aspire.
Take a moment, close your eyes, picture the scene. You can even use the picture above to help you. Sitting at one of the communal dining tables of this hip, sauna-esque restaurant is where my idea was conceived. Like many twenty something millennials, I have been spending the last few years of my life, post college graduation, working in an office at a job, not a career, that I am only just satisfied with. There comes a time in everyone’s life where a decision must be made. That inevitable decision of what to do with the rest of your life.
To digress slightly, I recently read an article analyzing the meaning of Robert Frost’s illustrious poem “The Road Not Taken”. Probably one of the most recognizable poems in American literature, David Orr discusses exactly why it is that so many people misinterpret the poem to be some sort of anthem to individualism. Perhaps it was my recent reading of this article (which I highly suggest if you have any interest in poetry or literature of any kind) that caused this poem to immediately come to mind as an analogy for my life. Maybe that is why the poem is so timeless, everyone can identify with the necessity of choice and the unavoidable reflection back on those choices.
For years I have felt like I was standing at a fork in the road, always starting taking one step forward, then another step back. But it was here, at Avec, that I finally chose a road to take. I have transcribed the decisive conversation between my friend, my mother, and myself below (to the best of my ability, since I am not in the habit of recording all of my dinnertime conversations):
Me: “I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life”
Mom: “Well, what do you enjoy doing?”
Me: “Drinking wine” *takes large sip of tempranillo*
Mom: “Well, um, ok then. If you could pick anything to do, what would it be?”
Me: “I don’t know, probably become a sommelier or maybe a food critic”
Mom: “Well do it, then!”
Friend: “Could you pass the bottle?”
…and there you have it, the moment when I decided what I would strive toward. It seemed clear that, in today’s climate of modern technology, the first step to take on my way to becoming a sommelier and food critic would be to start a blog about wine and food. So, here it goes!