Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mas and more Mas

My previous visits to Mas in Charlottesville have all been exercises in controlled gluttony. You finish your meal realizing you have eaten perhaps double what you should have, but the food has been so good that the satiation feels grand.

 Tonight, it was just the kid and me.

 We scraped into the parking lot behind Mas with barely an hour to spare before The Avett Brothers concert. The wait was far too long, but the hostess had a bench with a not-really-table table that she could spare. Next thing you know, she is asking the kid which kind of juice soda she wants and what beer I want, and we're settling in at the nook in the corner. Not exactly perfect planning, but things were working out.

The kid was tired and distracted, but we covered the menu and put orders in. Anchovies, spinach and manchego salad, hummus, lamb sausage, and empanada with Caremont chevre. The dishes came out with remarkable speed, particularly considering how busy the restaurant was.

 The kid tried the anchovies; she wasn't sure about them, but it was a start. She liked the hummus though it was a tad spicy. The spinach salad? She hated the dressing. Hated it. One of the servers stopped by, and I took a step I rarely take which was to say that the salad wasn't to her liking. Next thing we know a comped spinach salad with oil and vinegar arrives. She wolfed it down, and minutes later we were paying the tab to get to the show.

How were my dishes? Terrific. The empanada with Caremont chevre, jalapenos and applewood smoked ham chunks was delicious. The merguez with a habanero-cider chutney was delicious. The anchovies were as delicate as they could be. And I could only finish the empanada.  As I told the excellent hostess, one of these days I will remember to order half of what I want to order.

The real win there wasn't the food, however, it was the service. They took care of us in ways that will be sure to bring me back. Kudos.