When I first opened the box, I was intrigued. Then I saw the card with the monogram "Lee Ellis" at the top, and I became concerned.
It's no secret that, though I thought there were a few outstanding dishes at the new Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette, the upscale restaurant owned by Ellis and Lance Fegen, my overall impression of the place was not as great as I'd hoped it would be. I'd been wowed by a dinner at the original Liberty Kitchen, and I'm such a regular at Petite Sweets that I can probably attribute at least two pounds of weight gain to that perfect custard. I didn't hate Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette at all. I'd just hoped for better from a talented group of people.
It's also no secret that many of you, dear readers, were displeased with my assessment. You called me whiny, passive-aggressive and "whack" and were upset that I compared the dining area to the home goods section of Anthropologie because of all the owls. And because it's beautiful. I happen to love Anthropologie.
At any rate, I was worried, when I saw Ellis's stationery, that he might have mailed me rotten vegetables, dog poo or gas station taquitos.
What I got was much more terrifying ...
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Just kidding, it's awesome.
Ellis and company mailed me one of their beloved owls, hopefully as a peace offering (and maybe a veiled effort to flip me the bird). It seems to be a cookie jar, which is ideal for a restaurant critic, seeing as how I'm always eating. On the card, Ellis wrote that people have been sending him owls for years, so he wanted to send me one to start my own collection.
He also sent me a limited-edition print made by local artist and co-owner of Burning Bones Press, Carlos Hernandez, that commemorated the Heights location's first anniversary in 2013. It's a beautiful image of an owl, and it's now hanging in my cubicle. It will probably come home with me someday, get framed and end up on the wall above my burgeoning owl collection.
So I'd like to thank Mr. Ellis for my lovely gifts, for having a wonderful sense of humor and for not yet creating stickers with my name on them banning me from his establishments. But if you do make stickers, I want one of those, too.