Two old friends meet two new friends

We (Will and I) decided we wanted to have ribs for dinner (Saturday 7/14/07) and didn't know where to go. We looked online and found your restaurant and I immediately said "let's go there" because I recognized it from the movie Return to Me. We arrived to a one hour wait list and during our wait, we struck up a conversation with two ladies from New York who were also waiting. They were in town visiting until Monday and mentioned they heard about your restaurant from a guide book and our conversation went from talking about New York to Chicago to Seinfeld (Will and Paula quickly learned they were both huge fans of this show). The hour went by quickly, needless to say, and it was then that we finally made our introductions to one another, we also learned these women had been friends since birth as they grew up in the same building in Brooklyn. Shortly thereafter, Paula and Joan were called in to be seated. We thought how great that we just spent an hour talking to close girlfriends from New York, who we would have never met had we not decided to come to your restaurant.

Almost immediately after being seated, Paula and Joan sent out the hostess to say that we are more than welcome to join them for dinner but if we said no, they would not be offended. We had had such a cool conversation with them outside that we took them up on their invitation and spent the next hour chatting about traveling, families and backgrounds over ribs. We found out that Paula makes some mean rainbow cookies, loves antiques, movies and history while Joan will be moving very soon with her husband to Oaxaca, Mexico. Toward the end of our dinner, I noticed the card on the table about submitting a great story and the prize was a dinner for 4 - we laughed at the idea that if our story won, they would have to take a trip back to Chicago again to reunite where we first met. We then exchanged e-mails and took a photo together and said our good byes. I think I speak for all of us when I say it was a great dinner among great company. I should hope they will always remember this as a great memory from their visit to the Windy City.  For me, it will always be the greatest first experience I've had at any restaurant! And when they get back home, they're going to watch Return to Me!

Jennifer Buchanan

IITA Inc., 164 Market Street, Charleston, SC, 29401, United States