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Reporting from deep inside the French Gourmet: Da Goils (Carla, Linda, and Eva…see “How Do You Say ‘Halloween’ in French?” blog last Friday) finally said I could come, seeing as how they were talked out about my shortcomings anyway.

Eva drives. It's her car. Gets a park right outside.

Man, haven’t been in this kinda luxury since happy hour at McCormick and Schmick. And that was just at-the-bar happy hour.

Here we’re sitting among murals of vineyards...


...and wine barrels...


...with the clink of wine glasses and the burble of suavecito conversation all around us.

We’re on this $25, three-course meal deal. Yes, I know that no way is it going to end up $25 per person.

Drinks, number one. I can’t resist a glass of vino tinto. That’s about $7. Then lobster is a $6 surcharge, and the ladies all have that.


Eva's lobster

I have the steak with béarnaise sauce.


And with veggies and truffle fries (they drip truffle oil on it -- they tasted more cheesy than truffly, whatever truffly tastes like). But together -- fries, béarnaise, veggies, steak -- it’s delicious, even though the steak’s not totally tender.

Plus, before, frog’s legs in some rich sauce, and after, a rich chocolate-cake affair. And after that, Carla insists we share a Grand Marnier, that orange liqueur.

Another twelve bucks, but oh-so good with the last bits of the chocolate dessert.

Must say, heckuva meal. Most delish? Toss up between frogs’ legs and some chunks of lobster (and the lobsters were whole, two halves each) that I traded with the ladies.

But $25? Ha! When you put extras, tax, and tip in, for Carla and me, it’s exactly double. Hundred buckeroos. About $50 each.

Worth it?

Actually, yes. Because what it did was hit the refresh button with Carla and me. All of us. Lotsa laffs. Lotsa sentimental moments when we remembered things we’d forgotten we’d forgotten. Carla came out like she’d just been through a hot-stone treatment in a walk-on-your-back massage spa.

“Sweetie pie, why don’t we do this all the time?” she says, coming down the steps.

Apart from the money, I can’t think of a reason.

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