When not one but two IRS refund checks arrived for me at the beginning of the week, for overpaying back taxes, I booked a table for dinner at the Minetta Tavern, the latest in Keith McNally's stable of genre-perfect restaurants. It's not the best restaurant in town, but I love the theatre that he, Lee Hanson, and Riad Nasr manage to capture in these places. The food is always good, and I still love Balthazar and Schiller's, after all these years. Even if one goes there to eat one thing: sizzly shrimp at Schiller's, still a good deal, and the pate or onion soup at Balty's for a one course lunch.
Thing is, it was Saturday night. Who goes out in New York on a Saturday night? Not me. But we did. It was a total zoo.
The place was hopping, with the well-polished, the bronzed, the coiffed and the buffed. Champagne cocktails were followed by glasses of Taittinger, and later a Baux de Provence red with our massive Cote de Boeuf for two, the reason we were there. My pissenlit salad was nothing to write home about, but, with the table next door, who turned out to be friends of friends, we tucked happily into mounded platters of rare beef and roasted marrow bones.
The meat was excellent, the place incredibly noisy, the lighting dim. It was fun.
We'll be eating vegetables for a couple of weeks.