How do you write about a place you haven’t been to for ages?
The consensus is that fresh memories, like fresh ingredients, are best for blogging. I often find myself writing effortlessly about a meal I just finish or an event from which I just depart, when the details have yet to sneak out the back door. If I wait two weeks, the tastes are still there, the ambiance is still there, but the minute corner-of-the-eye observations are gone. If I wait a month, expectations creep in to fill the fuzzy spots: I write what I think should be true as pictures trigger the taste buds, but reality can certainly outplay expectation anytime. When I wait a year, even the ambiance is nothing but a flimsy strain of smoke. Notes may take care of facts, but when memory fades, so does the flow to glue the facts together into a comprehensible piece. I’m now in such affair with Cenare.
I remember Cenare as the cozy white-table-clothed Italian restaurant with affordable under-fifteen-dollar plates where I had my twenty-first birthday dinner. I remember that they didn’t mind pulling together extra chairs when we had more guests than we reserved. There were salads for my vegetarian friends, pizzas and calzones for those who don’t mind getting their hands oily, chickens for my Hindu friends, red meats for those like me, all in portions big enough for twenty-year-old boys.
I also remember Cenare as the crowded yet orderly place where I had my graduation dinner. With plenty of parking, less than ten minutes away from campus and no turns, Cenare offers nothing but convenience for the non-locals visiting their kids in caps and gowns. They had a special graduation menu condensed with the best pastas, meat and seafood for the occasion. There were plenty of fresh crisp bread to appease the hunger, wine and coffee to keep the conversations warm, crème caramel, triple chocolate silk cake, and tiramisu to reward us after the long drive and many hours of sitting.
So even if I can’t remember the exact tastes of the tortellini, the lobster ravioli, the fish, the chicken, the lasagna, the decor on a quiet late winter evening and a hectic early summer afternoon, it doesn’t really matter as long as I remember my friends and families who dined there and enjoyed it with me. It was a good restaurant because I was in good company.
Address: Cenare Italian Cuisine
404 University Drive East
College Station, TX 77840