Drink of the Week: 2007 Farnese Trebbiano, The Terrace View

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click to enlarge The Terrace View in CityGarden - Ian Froeb
Ian Froeb
The Terrace View in CityGarden
The cloud of existential funk that hangs over the jury-duty holding pen on a Monday morning is like a thick, black fog. Not one person wants to be in that room, least of all the people who work there. The sighing. The grumbling. The bitter, blank staring. The announcements over the p.a. followed by a slow, morose death march to the door by those who have the chosen numbers. At noon a stern voice announces, "You are now released for lunch -- you must be back in this room by 1:15."

The Civil Courts building is at 10 North Tucker Boulevard. I quickly index my options: One place is eight blocks away, too far; another is closed on Mondays. As I walk toward the exit, I hear a security guard direct someone to a nearby hot-dog stand. By God, if I'm going to spend the day locked in an airless room, I'm sure as hell gonna eat good for lunch. As I emerge out the east side of the building, it shimmers and glistens like a mirage just one block away: the brand new Citygarden.

The sun was rising on my way downtown this morning, hanging low and shining uncomfortably in my eyes. It was colder than I expected, and I hadn't worn a coat. Nor had I anticipated the frigid temperature they keep bureaucratic buildings, so I spent the whole morning clutching my thin sweater across my chest. The day is a different thing entirely, a wide open expanse of blue, the temperature having climbed into the low seventies, with a soft breeze -- a perfect fall day, a glorious last gasp before the cold really sets in.

I wander through the sculptures looking for the Terrace View, the recently opened restaurant overlooking the garden. A friendly hostess guides me to a table on the bright patio. My waitress approaches and greets me with, "So, I hear you've got jury duty today." So addled was I by my stint on the world's most boring episode of Law & Order that I just blurt out, "You're allowed to serve me wine, right?"

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