The stuffed peppers at The Odd Duck.
The stuffed peppers at The Odd Duck.

The adultlike birthday party

I always know it's going to be a good night when I get every single thing on my to-do list done before heading out for the evening. This was the case when 7:30 p.m. rolled around and it was time to start the birthday celebrations for a friend of mine. I gave myself a big pat on the back and flew out the door just in time to make it to an 8 p.m. reservation at Odd Duck, 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

This particular birthday excursion marks my second trip to this to-die-for restaurant. There were about 10 of us, so we called ahead for our reservation (highly recommended). We didn't have to wait long before the host guided us to our table. We were seated smack dab in the middle of the restaurant, but not once did my chair get slammed into or did I feel overwhelmed by the neighboring table's conversations.

Our server, Joe, walked us through some of the specialty cocktails and got our order over to the bar. Considering most of our group ordered from the cocktail menu, I was surprised at how quickly the drinks came back to our table.

I sipped my champagne as I anxiously waited for the food to arrive; I survived on carrots all day to justify my attempt to devour every last bite of food available. A friend and I chose to share plates, ordering salmon, stuffed peppers, spring rolls and a tomato-based salad.

There's no way to describe the ecstasy I experienced with every bite of food. I mean, if I could marry a restaurant, this would be it. I never wanted to leave, just keep eating all night, and forever.

Alas, I finally realized I was going to explode. One too many stuffed peppers maybe. At about this time, the group was ready to head over to our next destination. We split up and traveled a few blocks down the road to Boone & Crockett, 2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., for part two of the birthday festivities.

While leaving, our server unexpectedly sprinted out from the restaurant. Apparently the birthday girl had left a gift bag (filled with wine). I wanted to hug him and give h…