The Punchbowl and Me

I experienced something for the first time on Saturday, something unexpected, perhaps slightly risky, and in the end, quite delicious.

I was waiting in line at Lona’s Lil Eats, an excellent restaurant here in St. Louis, when I noticed something on the bar. Now, I’m not a big drinker, especially at this point in my life. So the bar isn’t usually an attraction for me.

But this bar had a full punchbowl on it, and I felt both intrigued and comforted by it.

I was intrigued because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a punchbowl on a restaurant bar before. And even more surprising was how the punchbowl made me feel like I was at someone’s home, not at a restaurant. I think that’s because the rare occasions that I see punchbowls are at small, warm house parties with people I care about.

So I embraced the warmth and bought a glass of punch. I’m not quite sure what was in it–maybe bourbon, grapefruit juice, and something else? It wasn’t too strong, which was good.

But it wasn’t really about the drink; rather, it was all about the punchbowl. I almost wish we had sat in such a way that I could see it for the entire meal.

Have you ever encountered something like this? Perhaps not specifically a punchbowl, but just anything at a public venue that made the place feel much more intimate, comforting, or private than you expected?