March 16th, 2012

If you travel a lot for business, and chances are if you’re reading this you do, then it’s also pretty likely that you eat out way more than you want to. And if all this is true then maybe you feel a bit like I do about mealtimes: Bored.

When I was growing up, eating in a restaurant was exciting. We barely ever got to do it, so it was always a treat. Plus it was generally linked with some kind of event, like a birthday or a guest, which made even another layer of special around it. Now, though, it’s just something I do because my life is too instable for cooking and, as a result, restaurants can kind of lose their charm. Is anyone relating to this?

A couple of weeks ago, though, I went with my sister to a place called The Basin for her birthday, and, suddenly, there was that feeling of being in a special place that I hadn’t had for kind of a while. At first glance The Basin is a pretty average “nice” restaurant. It’s on the main drag in Saratoga, serves pretty food on pretty plates and is priced just a bit higher than actually seems fair. But watch out for the details! There is, for example, a pretty huge tree that got built around and so sits in the middle of a dining room. The wait staff is not just generically friendly, but even eccentrically charming. Plus they had my favorite French wine, which may not excite you, but what if they have yours too? All in all, the night felt surprisingly exceptional. I don’t want to go every week and ruin it, but my own birthday is coming soon enough and The Basin might just be the place. What occasion will you save it for?

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