Saturday, March 29, 2014

Last to Know


We stumbled into Orchid's, a restaurant on the ground floor of the Omni Netherlands Hotel a couple Fridays ago.  It's one of those places in downtown Cincinnati you should know about, but Bill and I are always the last to know somehow, which is the way I like it.  That way you're always amazed.  It's a 4-star restaurant with a plush art-deco interior, all smooth maroons and creams and marble and brass, and when you enter you feel both charmed and on the verge of disappearing.  It has ghostliness, a feeling that something has been lost and never replaced, but it's that very lack that makes the atmosphere plush, spilling over into your thoughts while you drink you drink and start to feel encapsulated by the presence of what used to be here and kind still is but not.  We sat at the bar and a middle-aged man played "Someone to Watch Over Me" on the guitar on a marble-ensconced stage, and it was heaven.  You want to sink into that moment, first sip, first slipping away.  It's dark, the lighting old-school elegant, frosted and  blurry so that every bottle and glass seems to glow.  You could just slide into that light, the alcohol vaporizing into your blood in that preliminary tingling, and then there you'd be again, perfectly still, satiny, like a pillow on the floor in one of the beautiful hotel-rooms above.