A Hidden Gem and an International Pianist

Second Saturday in a row that Chloe's social life has taken her away for the night. Ron wanted to try somewhere new for dinner, and he'd read about a Greek place in Carmichael that was supposed to be terrific. Date night, on.

Off we drove, all the way down Fair Oaks Blvd, to Yianni's. Swanky it is not, but soul? Yes, plenty.


Promising we wouldn't be "campers" we were given a great corner booth, right next to the keyboard. Old-timey bar strung with Christmas lights, Greek key crown moulding, plastic covers over the table cloths, red carnations in each glass vase.

The food was delicious, as promised, the staff friendly. But the best part? This guy...

I think he has the absolutely best title I've ever seen, International Pianist. I love that. We got to chatting, and found out that growing up in Greece he learned to play piano by being paid per song. He practiced sixteen hours a day, from a thick stack of sheet music, until the tips of his fingers bled. But it served him well, because he grew up to play all over the world...from Europe to Africa to Sacramento. He'll take any request, and play it for you, no sheet music required. It's all in his head and in his hands.

Ron requested "Yesterday" and I got a little snip of video...

And then, as a kindness, he took our picture.

We would have hung out longer, and listened to more songs, but after "Sunrise, Sunset" and a couple of others, our allotted time was up. Our booth needed to go to the folks with the reservations!

Sometimes you do find a gem. We lucked out tonight.

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