Stirred and Shaken

The rose-colored marble bar and the small tables in front of it form a cozy nook under an enormous painting of a voluptuous reclining lobster at Pesce [3029 Kirby Drive, (713)522-4858]. The redhead and I take a seat at the short end of the bar, in front of a hard-boiled egg rack. I crack an egg and dip it in salt. My date says the fabric on the padded chairs in the elegant dining room looks like a Kandinsky pattern. I say, I thought it was KA-dinsky. She says that when she was attending art school at the University of Houston, they called the Russian abstractionist Vasily Vasilyevich KANdinsky, but I can call him anything I like. She is also amused to point out that I have some egg on my face.

Pesce's Scotch old-fashioned: Bartender Ashok Natar lamented that he bought the makings for every cocktail under the sun, but all anybody ever orders at Pesce are wine and martinis. So I asked him to make us a couple of Scotch old-fashioneds. This made his day. Scotch is actually considered an unusual choice in this drink, but that's the way my father drank them, so it's a sentimental favorite. The classic old-fashioned dates back to the late 1800s and is made with bourbon.

1 orange slice
1 cherry
Splash of soda
1/2 shot Angostura bitters
Sugar cube
2 shots Johnnie Walker Black

Combine the orange slice, cherry, soda, bitters and sugar in a rocks glass and muddle. (That means mash the fruit with a blunt-ended object until it's juicy.) Fill the glass with ice and add the Scotch. Serves one.


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