The Distinguished Gourmand: Beauty & Essex
Well, well, well. Would you look at that? Dinner Club (nèe For Day People) actually managed to string two meetings together in two months! This marks the first time we’ve accomplished that feat in…I don’t know, a year? Here’s hoping David picks our next destination soon so that we can go three-for-three in successive monthly meetings.
Amanda was tasked with choosing our most recent destination, and she picked Hollywood newcomer (by way of New York City) Beauty & Essex. How hot is Beauty and Essex right now? Well, on Wednesday night our party of seven was seated next to a certain A-list celebrity whose fame literally owes itself to her getting plowed by a no-name rapper on camera. Of course there was a film crew there capturing her meal for her family’s TV show. Yuck.
Amanda’s special guest for dinner was none other than…her mom! For the first time in five years, I think, one of our +1 guests was a family member. Come to think of it, Kelie didn’t bring a special guest with her to Here’s Looking At You, and Maryn didn’t bring a special guest with her to Manuela. That’s crazy! That means the last guest to attend a meeting was Erin way back in April of 2016 when I picked Odys + Penelope. Amanda’s mom was a spectacular addition to our crew, she came dressed for success and kept up with us drink-for-drink.
Amanda – like General Patton several decades before her – soon gave us our marching orders. Everyone was commanded to pick two dishes. No two people were allowed to select the same dish. “GOT IT?” she shouted down at us, like the General to our Third Army before the Allied invasion of France back in 1994. “Sir, yes sir” we muttered. God, could ordering BE any more of a process?
A minute or two before our server returned we went around table and checked off our dishes. Nobody picked the same two dishes! God, could ordering BE any less of a process? Maryn and Mark each picked one dish only. Our server chose the final two dishes for us to cover for their laziness.
MARYN HURT HER HEAD. After winning a new hover-board, Maryn took it for a spin around her living room. She fell, and bruised her tailbone, and the entire thing was caught on camera. E! Entertainment TV (as they were on hand filming) is currently mulling over a new TV show called “Who Fell Better.” The pilot episode will feature Maryn’s fall video and my own drunken fall video. Who fell better? America will decide!
Are you looking to invest? Need someone to manage your 401K or IRA? Look no further than Amanda’s baby cousin (I think?) Jake, the financial planner! Somewhere someone probably has his contact information. I wasn’t really listening to that part of the conversation because I already have a financial planner back in Allentown, PA. He got me in early on Alibaba (and by that I told him I wanted stock in Alibaba when they went public, and he remembered to buy me some shares when it was down a bit, so I’ve trusted him implicitly ever since.)
Around this time I noticed everyone was coupling off. Nate and Kelie, Amanda/Maryn/Mama, Mark/Evan. Three different conversations. No one seemed to want to group chat tonight, except for when BIG TOPICS arose. Like when Mark and Nate and Kelie started talking about the housing market in LA and when we can expect a drop in prices. OH MY GOD WE’RE SO OLD.
Uh oh, Nate and Mark are talking about their Z-holes. That’s not a sex thing, in fact it’s pretty much as far removed from sex as can be! It’s ZELDA. They started talking about Zelda at the dinner table. I quickly told them to shut it down. That’s not Dinner Club material, that’s Brunch Club material.
Somewhere around here Mark and Amanda ordered a bottle of white wine. I asked for a glass of Argentinian malbec that was way better than the pinot. Oh, and Amanda went to use the restroom and informed us that – no joke – there’s a bar that serves rosé in lieu of a bathroom attendant in the ladies’ room. Kelie immediately shot up out of her chair to investigate and apparently it’s true! While both men and women had bathroom attendants in their respective restrooms, only the girls had a BAR that served glasses of ROSÉ while they waited. How cool is that?!
Mark noted that the music selection at Beauty & Essex was the best of any dinner club yet. I have to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever noticed the music playing anywhere we’ve eaten before. Meals by Genet certainly didn’t have any music playing. Did Lazy Ox Canteen? Did Kinjiro or Simbal? I don’t remember! Anyway, do you want to know why Mark declared this the best music selection ever? I’ll tell you: Because they played an Aaliyah song that Mark called “maybe the best pop song ever written?” I asked if everyone remembered where they were when the heard that Aaliyah died. OF COURSE Mark was the only one who remembered.
Mark then asked if we should go around and air any grievances we might have, but since nobody harbored any resentment for anybody else at the table we skipped ahead to the WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR segment of the evening. So many cheers-es. Film crews and A-listers and Hollywood scenesters be damned, we were the life of that dining room! I said that I was grateful for Amanda’s mom’s presence, as she was easily the most beautiful, best-dressed guest we’ve ever hosted (brownie points with moms are my speciality). I then went with the usual, “I’m glad we’re all at places in our lives when we can enjoy extravagances such as this together” line, which always goes over well. Everyone agreed that my mini-speech was way better than the one I was forced to deliver at my birthday party weeks earlier. No, I can’t remember a single word I said that night. But I heard it was super awkward!
By the way, Kelie and Amanda just texted me some photos that I should probably share, including Amanda’s pictures from inside the women’s restroom (the rosé bar included) and Kelie’s picture of our bill. Yikes. $32 for water seems more than excessive, no? I’m pretty sure we said we wanted tap water, but by the end of the meal I guess we were all too drunk to notice?
Even though everyone had just complained that they were full and couldn’t possibly consume another bite of food, dessert was left to our server to decide. He returned with a fudge brownie/ice cream/caramel corn caramel pour-over thing that was DELICIOUS. I’m very much not a dessert person, but I had more than a few bites of the sundae, because…well…I’m fat. I’m a disgusting, morbidly obese fat guy. Don’t cry for me, I’m already dead.
What’s with the pursed lips, you ask?
I’m trying to keep the 9 pounds of food I just consumed from escaping.
Psychic Ills – Fade Me Out [MP3]
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