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Went out for dinner last night to the new Lettuce Entertain You restaurant downtown, Osteria via Stato. It was great. We all had a fabulous time. That's impressive,  because in double-digit years of going out for dinner with the same group I don't think there's ever been a restaurant that everyone was happy with. 

This place is a little bit different in that you can order ala carte or you can get the prix fixe dinner (for $36).  If you get the dinner you get five  eight different antipasti to share, then two kinds of pasta, and then a choice of one of six "petite entrees" which come with side dishes. It was fun because there was none of the usual haggling over which appetizers to order and who was going to get what. Also, they said they would bring us more of whatever we wanted (except the entree).  They served us  prosciutto with crumbled parmesan, salami, caramelized onions with gorgonzola (?), baby fresh mozzarella, roasted radicchio salad, warm from the oven onion-olive focaccia bread, salmon with radishes and jardinière.  After the antipasti we had two kinds of pasta,  one without meat in a white sauce and one with meat in a red sauce (I missed the descriptions). Then our "petite" entrees came out with two side dishes, fingerling potatoes fried crispy and (hack-ptui) brussel sprouts.  Even after all that we still ordered dessert and coffee (Illy).  After trying the burnt caramel gelato it would be worth a trip back there just for that. 

They have what's supposed to be a fabulous option called "Just Bring Me Wine", with three price points, $15, $25, and Unlimited (Sommelier's choice). The birthday girl misheard our sommelier and thought he said the cheapest choice was $50, so we had  two bottles of primitivo instead, which was very good. (I can understand her mistake, the guy had just tried to sell us a $200 bottle of wine. We said, 'no thank you.') 

There were seven of us, we were there for three hours on a Saturday night and we did not feel rushed at all. While that should never happen, I fear it's all too common-- restaurants and servers make money by turning tables so once you're done with dessert out you go.  The only things we weren't completely thrilled with were the noise level which was due to lively conversation, not overly loud music, and no refills on the coffee. I should say no automatic refills, I'm sure they would have if we'd asked but we hadn't had to ask for anything else all night.

Today I met two former co-workers at the movies. We saw "Ocean's 12" which I enjoyed (again) and then went to Applebee's for some appetizers and dessert. They had quite the chuckle over my latest Netflix mishap. Monday night I went to Oak Brook shopping center for dinner at Antico Posto and since I was a little early I went to the basement concourse of the professional building to mail two thank you notes and two Netflix movies. There used to be a post office down there which would be closed but there should be a mail slot of some sort. The PO was gone completely but there was a mailbox in a different area. I checked the pickup times (missed the last one for that day), then deposited my mail. Now it's Sunday and the thank you notes have not made it to Lisle and the Netflix haven't gotten to Carol Stream. Both of them should have arrived by Thursday at the latest. So Saturday I went back to Oak Brook to check the box and make sure there were no indications it was not in use. There weren't. I wrote down the mailbox ID number and will be calling the USPS customer service line tomorrow. I can only imagine how that will go.

Now I can't believe it's Sunday night and the weekend is over.

Back to work tomorrow. I don't want to go. They fired two people Friday afternoon. One of them had been there for a couple years and the other one had worked in the warehouse for 17 years. I felt really bad for him, he'd had a number of different jobs over the years. They should have made an effort to keep him if they weren't happy with his performance as a filler. He was capable of more and they knew it, but having been there seventeen years he was also expensive.

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Elephants That Are on FIRE

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