Saturday, October 19, 2013

Jockeying for a table...

Standing reservations
As a creature of habit I prefer to
hang with the old guard rather than
huddle with the masses at the latest
hot spot. While that may seem old
school, I've been this way since
I was a boy. Maybe it was those
many luncheons with Auntie at
The Colony Club. I prefer a refined
aura of complacency rather than
the harsh din of popularity.
On the line
I've always been old for my age.
As a young executive, I hosted
a posh business luncheon at the
venerable 21 Club. Trying my
best to impress, I arranged to be
called. With pomp the maitre d'
plugged a large black phone into
the booth jack. After apologies
to my guests, I took the call.
Picture this
Ken Aretsky ran 21 for many years.
When it was time for next, he opened.
Patroon on 47th Street just off Lex.
An elegant oasis, it's simply one of our
favorites. The walls are adorned with
Ken's photography collection which is
certainly museum quality at best. I can
think of no better dinner than sharing
a broiled stuffed lobster and perfectly
rare cote de boeuf with friends there.
Gone but not forgotten
I must not forget to lament an old friend.
Sadly the Oak Room Bar has been closed
for sometime. Nothing makes me sadder
than to walk past it's shuttered windows.
A melancholy reminder of times gone by.
As a junior honcho I loved to pop in for
a quick lunch of corned beef hash topped
with pair of perfectly poached eggs. All of
course... accompanied by a Gin Martini,
straight up with a twist, VERY DRY.
Strike a cord
There's nothing I like more than
a cold cocktail and slab of steak.
Upon moving to Chicago I
quickly found my comfort zone.
The Anvil Club is located in an
old stable in Dundee Illinois.
A members only dining club,
I spent many an evening at the
bar, standing before the piano,
singing my sloshed heart out!
Most popular
Crickets at the Tremont was my
Gold Coast haunt. A blatant 21
knock off, the dining room had
Chicago ephemera poised above.
An impostor at best, it was chic.
Bartender Al held the title of the
Windy City's Best. Trust me...
after sipping his libations, you
would have voted to give him
a lifetime achievement award!
Comforts of home
No matter where one dines, good
company is what delights. Last night
we supped with the lovely "C.A."
After cocktails at her elegant abode,
we adjourned to Swifty's on Lex.
Even before being seated we were
mellow and ready for an evening
of laughter, confidences, fine food,
and subdued lighting. Leaving only
one question, same time next week?