Gymnopedie & Diavolo: an evening of weird titles for epic experiences

I know that I tend lean towards the goofy side sometimes, but my evening last night was so ridiculously, sophisticatedly mature- you’ll just have to pardon me if I slip into a little serious. You just have to understand, we were forreals what you might call artsy fartsy last night. And artsy fartsy grown-ups tend to be serious people. It is what it is.

Welcome to Gymnopedie. This seemingly humble threshold marks the portal to a totally unique dinning experience. Seriously, I have never in my life eaten somewhere quite like this. Gymnopedie is a recently opened, vegetarian restaurant that focuses on using local, organic ingredients. If I had to describe this place in one word-which I would never do, being that I’m kind of a wordy lady- but if I HAD to, that one word would be “clean.” Atmosphere, food, presentation, floors…all of it, just impeccably clean.

Does that not look clean to you? That my friends, would be fresh-baked bread with olive oil: flour, water, salt, yeast. That’s it. Keeping with the one-word game: wholesome. REAL wholesome. Gymnopedie has one dining room, roughly the size of my living room, holding 3 tables…meaning only 16 folks at a time. 3 tables, 1 chef, 1 server… I felt like I was invited over to someone’s house for dinner. A really cool,chic someone.

I ordered garden eggplant burgoo. Burgoo is a great word. It was the bomb.

Please let me tell you about the mastermind behind Gymnopedie. Her name is Sarah Dunning. She’s from New Zealand, I feel like people from New Zealand are typically really cool. Anyways, I had the pleasure of chatting it up with her for an article I’m writing and this is a lady who straight up loves food. I mean really loves food…not like “hey give me another Twinkie” food love, I’m talking passion. She believes in starting with quality ingredients, then pairing those up with some more fresh stuff,  and highlighting everybody’s best qualities so you end up with this super stimulating flavor wave of deliciousness, basically sending your tastebuds into a state of ecstasy, like BAM! That was a terribly poor sentence, but it’s cool…rare occasions where you can actually taste every element of a dish in such a harmonious manner allows for poor grammar. Everyone knows that.

My friend Amanda was a grown up with me. You can call her Mandy-poo or Amandy-pants, that’s what I do. She doesn’t eat vegetables, but she ordered the local veggie platter. If you don’t say to yourself right now, “Dagum, that is seriously beautiful,” then you are dead to me.

No you’re not. I take it all back. You’re never dead to me. but let’s get real…don’t you just feel fresh looking at it? Sweet potatoes, okra,  pickled watermelon rind, oh my!


We may have had to order both desserts…you know to get the full experience. Applesauce cake, subtly sweetened with maple syrup and wrapped up in cinnamon, cream cheese frosting isn’t a horrible way to close out a meal.

Neither is luscious coffee ice cream, made with Jittery Joe’s ice cream and cashews atop a sea salt brownie. Nope not bad in the least. Did you know that you can make ice cream from cashews? I sure didn’t. I’m sure glad someone knows you can. You can thank Amandy-impatient-pants for totally demolishing our beautiful brownie decadence before I could take a decent picture. THANKS.

Moral of the story- Real food is naturally real good. Gymnopedie is a different dining world; if you have any sort of culinary appreciation, you’re gonna wanna check this place out. People from New Zealand are awesome. Shout out to Sarah Dunning for being a total food artist.

Okay, I am fully aware that this isn’t food related, but we did go here after dinner…so it kinda is. Sorta. I’ll make it brief, mainly because this show is something you need to experience yourself to’s rather indescribable. However, in a world that deems Justin Beiber a performing artist, an exhibit which reminds you that true art, vision, and genius still exist deserves a little recognition. Diavolo meshes dance, with gymnastics, acting, and extreme props to create a breathtaking display that stimulates one to contemplate the world in which we live. It is emotion put in motion. It is the movements of the mind physically manifested. It is  a powerful illustration that talent lives and thus, sets a precedent for anyone who considers themself an artist. Obviously, I was impressed. Go google it, their website does a way better job of describing the phenomenon.

I’ll stop being serious now, it’s kind of draining. Me and Mandy-poo are having artsy fartsy nights more often though. Brace yourselves.


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