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|KC Eats and Greets: Gwen Whitney @Cafe Trio|
Words by Jabulani Lefall
Still in the Renaissance period, it seems, as centuries of Latin themes pervade Country Club Plaza. Ghosts with romantic names, Spanish, French inflections, and the outdoor air all whisk thoughts into the cloud above. Right now, The Plaza is for my money the best outdoor, public mixed-use retail space--where things come in threes--in the entire world.
The word is Trio: three. Cafe Trio, to be more specific. Friends, Family & Food is what’s on the back of both Executive Chef Leon’s card, and who known as the proprietor, Christopher Youngers.
Don’t know if Gwen Whitney is my second or third cousin still after all these years. Known her since 1994, a blast from the past and we’re back to the future as we sit down at Trio. She’s a big wig now in pharmaceuticals, HIV medicine, in particular. She's headed to San Francisco to one of my haunts I call “Frisco Disco” because there is so much dancing on the cable cars, to the BART and to the financial district where my sons romp with daddy, laptop in tow.
She’s moving there, though. Looking for a good school for her own daughter who is, coincidentally, the daughter of my fraternity brother who has been married then divorced and is now married again to my surprise and delight. Wow. It’s a merry-go-round among the pledges of our secret but public societies.
We have Trio's hummus, apropos of three. One’s spicy, one’s mild, one’s biting me back. She has a Riesling while I wrestle but then dance with the first server, hot tea or cold tea. It’s going to get cold soon with a sweeping wind from Ponce De Leon condos and the Marriott, up the sweat-bead-inducing hill where Gwen is staying--at the concierge level no doubt.
I’m impressed by her sign-on bonus and her search for a lovely condo on the left coast upper peninsula, and she’s awed by more Latin phrases in regards to yours truly. Loco, she says, because of my specs, scarf, slim cut jeans and white tee. Picasso says great artists steal. I’m just bartering. The board of trade is up the street. Still dwelling on that, still trading food and convo, swapping stories, being conspicuously derivative among these canals and brooks.
So were are on teas now, more alliterative dancing versus wrestling. Iced Tea, lemons, sweet. More Greeks at the table with food fit for gods and goddesses. She’s my cousin this time, part of the off-shoot of the Leffall clan and she’s famous for the phrase: “yo azz is crazy,” when referring to me.
She’s fresh from Bermuda with her sisters. She’s a runner for exercise. She runs like the wind, Gwen does, but like many women in this blogger’s life, she doesn’t like holding the weight.
She wants me to call another brother from another mother, the North American marketing manager for Warner Bros., who is busy taking meetings about meetings about meetings about meetings. I text him; he’s in meetings. Meetings are toxic when they are about more meetings.
Air, real air, fresh air is good, like something called Dr. Loosen R GIs, on our menu, the greens in our gastrointestinal tracks. I ask them to take out the bacon from the leafy green Swiss Chards because I don’t like cheating on food and with food diets.
And a courtesy of Chef Leon, who comes from another party to our table, Mardi Gras, Red Snapper, Fat Tuesday strikes again, the holes in Internet Explorer aren’t patched but, the palate is satisfied. Cajun Rub. Loco.