Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ask a Direct Question, Get a Direct Answer

Planning for a low-key evening only ensures the opposite.

After much debauching in New Orleans the past four days, I thought it best to get some culture, go to a quiet show and have an early bedtime.

So much for the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men.

A friend called up about meeting for wine, and it didn't require a second thought on my part to toss my plans to see "The Glass Menagerie" out the window.

I suggested a bite to eat first at Magpie, where the music was pure 70s and  80s. I have a feeling fifty years from now, the Cure will still be a mainstay on restaurant sound systems.

No doubt this surprises the members of the Cure as much as it does their 80s fans. Who would have guessed?

An amuse bouche of duck confit with a local cherry tomato vinaigrette was the perfect example of Chef Owen's cuisine.

I had the breaded sweetbreads with rosemary custard and a grilled peach. Even my non-adventurous eater friend liked the combo and the custard was truly impressive for its uniqueness.

She got the small plate special, lobster broth braised short rib with a sautee of hearts of palm, asparagus and leeks in escargot broth. The veggies cut the richness of the short ribs beautifully.

Since it was her first Magpie visit, she was happy to linger, but we had plans to go to Ballcieaux so we moved on.

There we waited for bar stools with a bottle of Gaillard Clemence Guery because nothing says low-key Tuesday night quite like a bottle of French bubbles (at half price).

My friend had heard from her sweetie on the drive over so we knew we might have company soon, so we got all our girl talk out of the way before he arrived.

I always enjoy the chatter when it's the three of us because he's such an eclectic guy and they so obviously are crazy about each other.

Then a friend of mine, a Brooklyn transplant, showed up and all of a sudden we were a foursome.

He'd come to see Fuzzy Baby, a personal favorite of mine, and a band that must be experienced to be appreciated.

RVA is indeed fortunate to have a duo blending humor, percussion and tuba in such a talented way. And thrift store tuba at that. Molly's tuba came from the same place my entire outfit had come from.

If I were going  to tell a newcomer which bands were essential for them to hear to begin to appreciate Richmond's music scene, Fuzzy baby would be one of them.

Meanwhile we had another addition to our group whom I'd met last week.

He's a body-rubber by profession although he seemed to prefer the term massage therapist.

But he was a great conversationalist and, like me, believed in the importance of honesty and directness, meaning we covered a fair amount of information two strangers don't usually.

If they ever decide to let me rule the world, this is how everyone will talk to each other.

I suppose it could be considered another method of natural selection because surely the weak will be weeded out.

The headliner was Monarchs from Alabama and there was a decent-sized crowd for them.

The honey-voiced lead singer had been at the bar earlier eating next to us and she'd had great energy and enthusiasm.

That came across in the music, which was melody-driven with tales of life and the oddness of it all.

It had enough interesting guitar and keyboards to grab me and take me out of the conversational pool for a while..

Back out front, the lovebirds decided to leave and I finished out the evening with the therapist and a new-to-me tequila.

I learned that Cazadores, a tequila of which I'm fond, is known as the favorite of Mexican day laborers.

Something new to add to my resume.

When the lights suddenly came on and it was clear it was closing time, I realized that my low key evening had ended up anything but.

I might as well have been back in that club bathroom in NOLA.

Clearly there's nowhere I can be that isn't where I'm supposed to be.

Maybe I need to write it on a bathroom wall here so I don't forget.

The last thing I was told before getting in my car was not to self-edit and don't you know I definitely did.


  1. Does this mean I left Ballicoeaueuxx too early? It really wasn't that early.

  2. it's never too early to leave Ballicoeaueuxx

  3. only good company will make stay

  4. Hey! I didn't say that. What Paul is this?...who is pretty much right?

    This post suggests (kind of) that you saw Fuzzy Baby last night, and you did NOT cuz I was there for the whole set. What kind of a sham is this???

  5. What is this, the battle of the Pauls?

    How is it you could walk past me at the front bar on your way to the back room and not say hello?