The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 128

gracefulness of the server as she took
our napkins and handed them to us to
lay across our laps, even the fibers of the
napkin cloth itself; all of it slowed me
down and focused my senses-thus, my
attention-to the time at hand. A time for
fellowship. A time for feast.
It was a slow feast. A nearly three-hour
feast. The smell of my wine before each
sip, the sparkling of flavors on my palate,
every clink of my fork against my plate.
The expanding space for conversation
with my husband. It was a time soaked
through with beauty. How could I not
help but become soaked through with the
beauty of it, too?
Here is where fine dining does its
best work. I remember the owner of
Chateau Morrisette once telling me when
they seat guests at a table they expect
that table to be taken for the evening.
Their greatest desire is for diners to be
fully immersed in the food, wine and
fellowship in which they are partaking.
The only way to do this is to slow down.
Inhale the aromas. Take slow bites of
food. Taste the harmony of textures and
flavors. Consider the miracle of land,
animals and human effort involved for
this single meal-at this very moment-
to be set in front of you. Take time.
Fellowship with others at the table.
Share.
We are blessed in Roanoke with places
to dine which help us slow down and be
fully present to the beauty of life. Places
like Frankie Rowland's and Chateau
Morrisette where abundance of time is
given for each course. Attentive servers
who quietly orchestrate the flow of dishes
and drinks, creating an atmosphere
whereby our minds and emotions quiet
while our senses are stirred. And where
experts in food and wine pairing guide

128

MAY/JUNE 2019

us in selecting the perfect wine to
complement each course; drink notes
harmonizing with food flavors, bringing
out tastes we might not have recognized
otherwise.
We have places like Carlos Brazilian
Cuisine that offer beautiful views and
help us celebrate the ethnic diversity
of our area in a slow, sumptuous way.
And places like River and Rail and Local
Roots (more casual, but no less fine),
committed to connecting diners with
our particular land and the local farmers
dedicated to stewarding it. Through the
creativity of chefs committed to using
local ingredients in season, we become
ever more rooted to this bountiful place
of Southwest Virginia.
There is the intimacy of dining
spaces at Lucky's and Fortunato (not
to mention their fantastically creative
cocktails and dining menu). And the
celebratory abundance of the Regency
Room's brunch...I could go on. These are
the kinds of dining experiences where
we are brought into a special kind of
relationship. One that ultimately pulls
us out of our inward gazing and into
fellowship with others.
In truth, my claim is more of a
commending. I wish to commend
fine dining to us as an engagement.
A participation, if you will. Even as a
meditation and communion.
When we participate fully in the fine
dining experience we may be surprised
to find ourselves filled with something
more than food and wine. This something
more is beauty. It's the kind of beauty
that heals and makes whole. Beauty
that holds communion at its core. It is
true partaking of and sharing; one with
another and with the community in
which we live. I

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The Roanoker - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - May/June 2019

The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Intro
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover1
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover2
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 3
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The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover3
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover4
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