In the time before COVID we loved parties.
There is no proof to my wife’s allegation that I once forgot her birthday, which is . . . sometime in October . . . I believe. However, at Peg’s suggestion, I have long celebrated her birthday starting in September and carrying on through October and perhaps finishing up by my birthday in mid-November and our anniversary nine days later. This was further complicated when we operated out of our video production studio in downtown Tacoma. We had a Birthdays Celebration on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We celebrated Peg’s October birthday, my November birthday, our wedding anniversary, and our youngest son’s birthday at the end of November. Aside from our offices and my editing room, we had an 80×80 square foot space for sets and equipment. For parties there was plenty of room for a band, dance floor, a keg or two, and food. Thank god we had two bathrooms with multiple stalls.
We had experts show us all ballroom dance steps at one party. We had numerous bands including Daryl and the Diptones. At another party Stan Boreson (the “King of Scandinavian Humor” and host of the ‘50s King Channel 5, King’s Klubhouse) entertained during intermission. At one celebration a friend/relative broke her hand dancing (don’t ask), and after one party our son Patrick proposed to his girlfriend Wendy. They are still married . . . to each other.
With COVID, this year I was a little behind on celebrating Peg’s birthday. Our kitchen table faces Puget Sound and Vashon Island. We have binoculars hanging on a hook by the window, but I thought one of those little telescopes that can see miles away might make a nice present for Peg. I ordered one and then another from eBay just to make sure. One was delivered to our home about a week ago and the other was delivered to someone in Florida. I’m not through with the presents, yet.
Sitting at my desk I received an email from Joeseppi’s Italian Café declaring “as loyal customers” and a VIP member, until the end of September we could buy one meal and get one free. Within hours we were celebrating Peg’s birthday at Joeseppi’s.
Owner, Joe Stortini was just leaving as we walked toward the door. We waved to each other and went inside. We were the first people to be seated in the bar.
The waitress was new, but the service was still excellent. Soon I was sipping my first Shirley Temple of the dinner, while Peg enjoyed her one glass of Merlot.
As regulars, we have our favorite dinner items. Although Joeseppi’s makes great salads, Peg loves their chicken tortellini soup. Tortellini are ring-shaped pasta historically from the Italian region of Emilia, stuffed with chicken, Parmigiana Reggiano cheese, and served in chicken broth.
I really enjoy the thick Sicilian sausage soup with its sweet Italian sausage, chopped onions, Italian tomatoes, and other veggies and pasta. The bread sticks were hot and soaked up our soups nicely.
For dinner we chose the rib-eye steaks, which were delivered perfectly medium rare with a huge pat of herbed butter on top with a nice helping on spaghetti along-side. The bread sticks were hot and perfect for spreading the butter around. We really should ask about the spaghetti sauce. I don’t think it is the original Mama Stortini’s sauce any more. Peg and I agree it has morphed into something better, darker and almost like our favorite sauce from Bimbo’s. And we always order the whole wheat noodles.
We chose a slice of caramel cheese cake for dessert. We had a fantastic dinner. By the time we finished, the lounge had four other parties with empty tables in-between. We had a nice early birthday dinner to celebrate, and with the discount and tip it only costs about $55. We heartily recommend Joeseppi’s.
Visit Joeseppi’s online, where you can sign up for VIP status. Take a look at their offerings – joeseppisitalian.com/menu
Larry King says
The proof that you never forgot your wife’s birthday is that you are still alive and married.
Don Doman says
Thanks for commenting.
Well . . . my wife did explain the real world to me once: “I don’t believe in divorce, but I do believe in murder.” I take her at her word . . . still.
Thanks for sharing . . . I like smart people.
Jaynie Dillon Jones says
Charles and I want to extend our birthday greetings to Peg — and early best wishes to you, Don — for your birthday. I enjoyed reading about the memorable combined celebrations you’ve hosted over the years. This year is definitely different and has been drastically affected in every way by the pandemic. I’m thankful that Joeseppi’s is open again for inside dining. We have always enjoyed the warmth and intimacy of the bar for dinner seating, almost like it’s a private room, and that they’re still serving sizzling steaks with warm memories. Long live Joe Stortini! He truly makes you feel like you’re a welcome member of his own family whenever you show up at the restaurant — and it has always been that way — whether at Mama Stortini’s in University Place in the past and still today at Joeseppi’s in Tacoma. (University Place lost a real treasure when Mama’s was forced out IMHO)
Don Doman says
Thanks for commenting.
You and Charles would have enjoyed the Birthdays Parties in our old studio. They were great gatherings of friendly people. You would have felt at home.
The lounge at Joeseppi’s is always where Peg and I choose to dine unless we are with friends or family . . . needed larger tables. We often enjoyed their Thursday special of Prime Rib!!!!!!! Of course personally the Shirley Temples with “lots of cherries is a must.
Thanks for sharing about Joe and Joeseppi’s.