JONESIE: Finally found a great local restaurant and the inevitable happens | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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JONESIE: Finally found a great local restaurant and the inevitable happens

 


OPINION


We’ve been dining out a lot recently. Partly pandemic support, partly our age (I like paying for two, not four and we couldn’t locate the kids if we wanted to) and partly out of boredom.

We’ve been all around the Okanagan trying to not eat at the same place twice and realized we rarely ever stop where it’s truly local, where we live: West Kelowna.

There’s good reason for that. This place is Dullsville. Lamestown. Nothingburgh, B.C. West Kelowna is a city of 35,000 people who all want to be someplace else. They line up every morning to get the hell out of here, slink home after dark.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s got a gem or two. Some high end winery places. The Pepper Pot Grill is one of my faves for its own reasons. One of the best meals of my life was in the old Amerigo’s Nuraghe but otherwise — no. When I think appetizing, West Kelowna isn’t often on the menu.

We had had a great meal at Theo’s in Penticton and realized we hadn’t tried the new(ish) Greek place in West Kelowna, the Lost Horn. We once stopped by for lunch, not realizing there was no lunch. We wanted to get back but instead we... just passed by every time we went out for dinner.

So we booked a table for a small celebration. The renovations looked great, contemporary. Well laid out, plenty of privacy and space, pleasant reception. It was about three-quarters full early in the evening. All encouraging signs. We beamed as we sat down and wondered if we finally stumbled on a real diamond in West Kelowna coal.

We tried to figure out when it had opened. Was it before COVID?

Then the lovely server arrived.

“Have you been here before?” she asked. She had a kind of frenetic feel about her. Said all the words, did her job perfectly, but anxiety she was struggling so hard to contain occasionally tweaked a muscle.

We nodded: no.

“Okay then,” she said. “So this will be your first and last time ever eating here. This is our last night, we close tomorrow."

It was like a balloon popped. Our excitement drained. Suddenly there was a pallor about the place. We wondered if the big table over there was the soon to be former owners, given the amount of booze they were drinking.

That’s when the guilt set in.

I have no idea what came over us, but we ordered five dishes between the two us. Sure, they were all tapas. But we could have fed half the restaurant with our order. We spent the whole night wondering what happened, how we missed this place. Why did we never come eat here before? Would it have made a difference?

We tried to pry information from the server and she offered us only this, with a sympathetic look: “It’s just one of those things."

It was our fault, clearly, she was just being too polite.

Such was our shame that when our chicken souvlaki came back a tad underdone, we argued for 10 minutes about if we should send it back.

"Tonight? On their last night? You’re going to send it back?”

Feelings were at stake here. But yes, I sent it back.

We had to decline dessert on account of the metric tonne of food we couldn’t possibly eat. We finished our wine, tipped generously and left for the first and last time.

Overall, it was wonderful and now it’s gone.

There’s a lot of this going on out there. Presumably COVID The Disruptor did its damage. I have no idea if other factors were at play.

All I know is little places like this make a difference, especially when you live in West Borington and they need to be supported. Others will come to replace them, but who knows if they’ll be any good.

If you have a favourite local restaurant, book a table tonight. Before it’s too late.

— Marshall Jones is the Managing Editor of iNFOnews.ca


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