Thursday, August 24, 2017


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 to bask under
the aura of complacency instead of
amidst the harsh din of popularity.
On the line
I've always been old for my age.
In my youth I hosted business
luncheons at 21. During which
I'd have my secretary call at an
appointed hour. A waiter would
plug a black phone into a booth
jack. All to prove that I was as
important as I wanted to be.
Picture this
Ken Aretsky ran 21 for many years.
When it was time for next, he opened
Patroon on 46th 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. I can think
no better evening than sharing a fresh
broiled stuffed lobster and absolutely
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, EXTRA DRY.
Strike a cord
There's nothing I like more than
a cold cocktail and slab of steak.
Upon moving to Chicagoland I
quickly found my comfort zone.
The Anvil Club was located in
an old stable in Dundee Illinois.
A "members only" dining club,
it insured me a captive audience
once I stood next to the piano to
sing 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.
While an impostor at best it was
chic. Bartender Al held the title
of the Windy City's Best. Trust
me post sipping his mixes who
wouldn't have voted to give him
a lifetime achievement award?!
Home comforts
No matter where one dines, the best
recipe for success is good company.
At this point I'm over anybody trying
to impress me. Rather to me what is
most important is having a good time
with people I actually like being with.
Booze and food are no more than just
support players to the main attraction.
Where one dines isn't as important
as what one consumes in the process.
Thus my preference is for tried and
true old favorites. No surprises but
guaranteed to show us a good time!