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Naturally, we needed to go out to eat for my birthday. We usually like to choose a nice dinner spot, but thanks to the pandemic, that’s become a more complicated endeavor. For instance, last year, Bill took me to Ente, a Michelin starred restaurant in Wiesbaden. I liked Ente fine, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to eat there again.

We decided to have lunch over dinner because when we made the decision, I was legitimately hungry. So was Bill. Hanging out at the Therme had brought on an appetite. We went on OpenTable.de and I found Lucullus, in Konigstein im Taunus, an adorable little town we had not been to prior to yesterday. It specializes in fine Italian cuisine, which is definitely not necessarily what many Americans think of as “Italian”. The dress code said “smart casual”, so we got cleaned up and slightly dressed up. Bill wore a nice shirt and pants and I wore a dress. And then we went and sat on their very nice terrace and proceeded to enjoy a beautiful two hour lunch.

Lucullus was somewhat different in how it handled the contact tracing requirements. There’s a QR code on the table. You use your phone to scan it after you download an app (or Bill did, anyway). It records your info and that’s that. Very simple, and takes only a couple of seconds. With that done, we had some fizzy local water, a beautiful, leathery, tobacco-ey Montalcino, and warm bread while we decided on lunch. The menu is on a piece of paper that doubles as a placemat. Here are the photos:

The wait staff was very attentive and friendly. Everybody working wore face masks, but at one point, I got up to pee during their pause (we were finishing up) and the waiter laughed and said I didn’t need a mask because there was no one in the indoor part of the restaurant. Awesome! I really liked the interior of the place, too. It was very stylish and homey, but in a cool, Italian way.

For dessert, against my better judgment, I had the dreaded lava cake. Lava cakes taste good, but everyone does them. I give bonus points to restaurants that serve a regular slice of cake. They didn’t have that, though, so I gave in… it came with a scoop of caramel ice cream, which was a bit melted by the time it got to me. Bill loved his choice, a caramel creme with a scoop of mandarin sorbet scented with a hint of sage, which gave it a fascinating flavor…

The bill came to about 150 euros. By the time we were done eating, it was getting close to 4:00pm, so we didn’t need much for dinner. I really enjoyed our lunch. I probably loved it even more than usual, since we’ve not been able to dine out in so long. The town was full of people, too. Many were walking around maskless. I did see one elderly lady with a face shield as opposed to a mask, as well as a restaurant worker with a shield that covered the bottom half of his face instead of a mask.

I got lots of photos, too… of people just enjoying life and the beautiful sunny weather and mild temperatures.

After lunch, we went back to the hotel. Bill did a German lesson, and I tried to read a news article about Tiffany Trump and promptly fell into a deep sleep. I guess the lunch and the sudden exposure to society wore me out… But it was a delightful afternoon, followed by another night at the Panorama Bar, where we were warmly welcomed. We drank beer instead of cocktails, which seemed to disappoint the wait staff. But we had a light dinner and tipped well, and as we were leaving, the waitress asked if we’d be back tonight. We told her we live only twenty minutes away… and you know, I think I would go back to that hotel for a night or two of fun. Why not?

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