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Small Indulgences

Expense accounts...

It is rare these days, with four children and the many expenses that come with them, that I have any extra money left over after paying for the essentials. I had a day this week where that did not apply, because on that day I had an expense account. I attended a hearing in the morning in Lindsay, Ontario and the hearing ended at noon. My obligations back in the city did not resume until 3 pm so I had time for lunch. Money and time...ah the luxury of it all.

Lindsay is a town of about 20,000 people. A 90 minute drive from Toronto, the last half through pretty country roads, it is charming. The main drag is primarily brick and beam buildings with retail at grade and residential above. I drove to Kent Street then did a bit of walking...not too much because it was bitterly cold, but enough to choose a restaurant called Pane Vino which translates from Italian into Bread and Wine.

Pane Vino's chef is Ms. Eelkje Visser and its owner and Sommelier is a man named Louis Elias Karkabasis, who was in the restaurant on Tuesday at lunch. It was obvious that Mr. Karkabasis' restaurant is a destination point for Lindsay residents. A police officer came in when I first arrived to reserve a table for a special dinner he was hosting that night for his wife and her family. There were four tables of two to four women enjoying each other's company. There were three men at the bar talking local business. And there were two moms with their daughters having a fancy lunch over March Break.

I ordered the squash soup to start, served with toasted buttered bread. The consistency of broth was thinner than I expected and brimming with flavour. Pane Vino sources its ingredients locally and you can taste the freshness. My main course was an arugula, goat cheese and pear salad with grilled chicken on top. It was large enough that it filled me. The pears were delicious and the combination of all ingredients made for an immensely tasty meal. I could have stopped at that point...but the dessert menu offered a fresh chocolate mousse with salted caramel on top so obviously I really couldn't. It was fabulous.

I paid $40 including tip and felt enriched in experience leaving the restaurant. It was one of those small indulgences that make you realize the luxury of life is in enjoying the little things, not requiring the grandiose to bring you joy.

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