And when it comes to food, Chez Melange has been the Match.com of restaurants. There's something for everyone, and you can wear your LBD to a resto francais, have a casual-chic chat at tiny tapas bar, and slouch in jeans an a t-shirt over gastropub beer all in the same night.
There's someone for everyone too, they say, but I have yet to find something that clicks. But Match does seem have someone for everyone, I just seemed to find someone who was better suited for a deaf mute.
When I first saw the sophisticated setting of Chez Melange with the intimate ambiance of Bar Comida, I was instantly hooked. A mix of every type of food with every level of laid back had almost as much potential as my nerdy-yet-witty email exchange with my potential suitor. His first email made peals of laughter escape my lips as readily as the rich, creamy Lobster Bisque slid down my throat. A seamless appetizer, full of promise for the entrees to come.
It initially bothered me that his professional success was contingent upon my professional failure - I'm a doctor and he is a salesman of caskets - but I still decided he deserved a chance. After a couple of emails-turned-late-night-text exchanges had as many textures and layers of flavor as the Blue Point Bay Mussels. Our conversation topics were as tried and true as this popular menu staple, but what could have been an easily forgettable creamy sauce had elements of white wine to spice it up while the garlic packed a punch. Combine that with savory chunks of bacon for layers of flavor, and we had a conversation we just had to continue in person.
At first glance, I wasn't exactly a fan of his looks, but he was by no means facially impaired. Like the Maine Lobster Roll, I had hoped that the unremarkable buttered brioche exterior was hiding the sweet lobster within.
Unfortunately, the brioche overpowered the lobster, and despite our initial in-person convo, which was full of crisp banter, quips peppered with parm pizzazz and just enough truffle to have a little swagger, unlike the Truffle Parmesan Fries, his true colors started to show.
We had started with the pleasantries and the positives, remarking on the night air and all the amazing places we've traveled. Everything seemed to fall into place like the perfect blend of lamb sausage, olives, and feta of the Mediterranean Pizza.
Our shared interest in Game of Thrones lit up our eyes like the perfect salty, smoky salmon of the Smoked Salmon Crostini, and our mutual adoration of Oberyn Martel was the sweet candied lemon on top. But the lemon didn't balance the salmon well - the sharp sweetness was a bit too much for the fish, and things went downhill from there.
Like all failed dates, there were some snags where things just didn't quite click. He started the downhill slide by boasting that his cooking was now far superior to the crap his mother makes. (Apparently he told her this!) But he really put the nail in the coffin when he went out of his way to watch my favorite movie the day before our date so that he could point out all the parts he thought were stupid.
At this point I realized that ordering this date was even more regrettable than the side of Kale. I love a good vegetable, but like him, this supposedly supercharged side dish was only good in theory. Once you got into the details of the dish, you saw that it was barely properly cooked and lacked any seasoning or flavor beyond a pinch of salt. Not the worst thing in the world, but I'd never sit in a restaurant with it again.
He later went on to praise his own humor, which he definitively rated as superior to mine. His humor was as dry as the “not quite chicharones, not quite carnitas” Crispy Pork Bits, and although I usually do like my humor dry, this guy had the charm of an undertaker and the humor of a corpse. It's hard to stomach tough pork with a side of jerk.
I had high hopes for online dating, but Match.com lived up to my reasonable expectations about as much as Chez Melange lived up to my culinary dreams. But despite spending most of this date wishing I was IN a casket, I'm sure this guy had SOME qualities his mom found redeeming. And despite my criticism of the Chez Melange trifecta, I do love the ambiance of Bar Comida. So unlike my relationship with this guy, which is deader than all his clients, my relationship with Bar Comida is far from over... but over my dead body would I consider it anything more than the occasional booty call.