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I’m going to take a time out to rave about a couple of things.  Not crazy rave, but enthusiastic rave–although I leave it up to you to determine whether I am crazy ;)

The first is La Bête, a sweet little restaurant on the West slope of Capitol Hill.  When I showed for our reservation on Sunday, I found myself hoping that the food would live up to the decor.  Whomever designed this place is a master.  The moss greens and browns blend nicely, the art is modern and provocative without overwhelming, and I simply love the grates covering the windows, New Orleans style.

It is a place of smaller, shared plates.  I know at least one of us were worried there wouldn’t be enough.  Not so!  We had oysters on the half-shell, pork rinds with pickled red onions and rabbit and chicken liver pate to start, then followed with the softshell crab, a spring vegetable salad, baked romanesco, the morel mushroom tart, house made merguez sausage, and one of the specials–rabbit wrapped in bacon.  I won’t describe each to you but I’ll give you a couple of bites.  The flavors were very complimentary. The crab was fried perfectly and was creamy and crunchy and yummy. The pate came with a date and apple jam and curly endive on walnut toast.  The oysters were fresh and were some of the best I’ve had, including those I ate in New Orleans. The spring vegetable salad had young garbanzo beans and a perfectly cooked poached egg.   The only thing I didn’t care for were the pork rinds, but I have a feeling that has more to do with me than them.  It was also a great place for a group dinner and the service was excellent.  (P.S. Thanks Dad!)

My second rave was for Gregg’s Geenlake Cycles.  I have window shopped there before and bought a couple of accessories, but the price of their bikes has always kept me a little at bay (I’m not saying they are over priced, just out of my range).  However, I had gotten a look over on my bike from another shop during the bike to work celebration, and I wanted to see what Gregg’s said.  I walked in at 8:20 (they close at 9) to ask if they had time to do an estimate.  The guy behind the counter was seriously friendly and instantly set me at ease.  He hoisted my bike up on the rack and looked it over.  His estimate was much less and less expansive than the other place, he lubed up my chain and break line and made a couple of adjustments.  My ride home was sweeter than any I’ve had on that bike, maybe on any bike.  I am definitely going back to get a new chain set, chain and cables.  Hopefully next week.  It’s amazing what a little excellent customer service and honesty can do.