It all began with me sleeping until the angry, loud alarm function went off on the clock. The one that's the last ditch effort to wake me up. Which it did, right from a deep sleep that made me feel like I was swimming to the surface, slowly, through water that weighed about as much as lead.
Must have been the restless night the night before that did me in. In any case, I've been in a pretty bad mood all day.
I'm looking out the window at the perfect blue sky, and can still feel the frown creasing my forehead.
In a lame attempt to cheer myself this morning, full after a nice omelet prepared by hubby for breakfast, I had a sugar cookie from the Cookie Shack in Peoria, which said husband was kind enough to get me when he found himself in the neighborhood earlier this week. Very tasty. Yesterday I had a peanut butter one for my morning snack, and a snickerdoodle for my afternoon snack. I've waxed poetic about the Cookie Shack before.
I thought maybe some lunch out would cheer me up, but where to go? I didn't want to drive too far, since I'll soon need to fill the gas tank again, so I headed down town and ended up at Rizzi's on State Street.
The decor was soothing as I walked in and waited to be seated; kind of a bistro meets Italian feel, with the green patio umbrellas suspended from the ceiling, the murals on the walls, the dark wood paneling and the red and white checkered tablecloths. The Italian music playing was subtle, but nice.
The lady who seated me was also my waitress, and told me that the special was shrimp ravioli with mushrooms and peas, served with soup or salad; the soup being potato leek.
Normally, I wouldn't dream of ordering that special. I'm not a huge shrimp fan, or really even a big pasta fan. But I felt an impulse to go for it. For some reason, a line from Seinfeld just now popped into my head: "No, no, no, wait a minute, I always have tuna on toast. Nothing's ever worked out for me with tuna on toast. I want the complete opposite of tuna on toast. Chicken salad, on rye, untoasted ... and a cup of tea."
I didn't go quite that far. Order the special I did, along with a salad topped with the tomato basil dressing, which I love, but I went with my typical iced tea. Even though a nice bottle of red wine was strategically placed on my table.
Soon, my salad arrived, accompanied by a basket filled with about four large pieces of bread. I used the olive oil on the table and some Parmesan, and enjoyed a piece with my salad. Very good.
Next came my shallow dish of ravioli. There were four large, round pasta pillows of shrimp and cheese, topped with a thick and creamy tomato-based sauce, sprinkled with peas and mushrooms, and topped with a dash of herbs. It tasted wonderful.
The lunch, before tip, set me back $12.60, but the food, service and atmosphere were a worthwhile respite. I've been in before, and will certainly be back.