Cottonwood Grille 

'Twas the month before Christmas and all through the Grille, not a table was empty, not a waiter stood still.

The diners were seated all snug by the fire, as bread and libations stoked their desire.

And I in a coat with pen hidden from view, settled down in my booth to start my review.

When out from the kitchen the waiter did ask, "bottle of wine, or drink by the glass?"

I pondered my options and picked a Chimay, then turned my attention to specials of the day.

When what to my hungry eyes should appear, but fish, roast pheasant and ahi—seared.

I knew in a moment what I wanted to eat, but the options were tempting from pasta to meat.

More rapid than eagles the waiter he came, so I looked at the menu and read them by name.

Now Caesar and anchovy, and elk made to chili!

Then on to the entree of sun-dried tomato capellini!

Be off to the kitchen and do not stall, now dash away, dash away, dash away all!

And then, in a twinkling, fresh from the chef, the start of my dinner, hunger soon bereft.

The salad how refreshing! Its dressing how yummy!

Anchovy and lemon made it welcome to my tummy.

Then on to the stew, that elk did bestow; a welcome warmth from the early season snow.

My hunger was great, despite a full belly, satisfying as it was, that bowlful of chili.

In a wink of an eye, the waiter returned, pasta in hand, my starving deterred.

I spoke not a word, but went straight to work, finishing my dinner with a satisfied smirk.

Coffee came next, hot and strong, ending an evening I wished to prolong.

But I had to go, and sprang to my auto, reflecting as I walked, on the season's mottos.

"Peace and good will at the Cottonwood Grille," a title perhaps as I drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

—Waj Nasser is counting down the days until next Christmas.

913 W. River St., 333-9800, Mon.-Sun.: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

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