No matter how you try to explain the Roosevelt to a newbie, they never get it.
So when I tell my friend to pick me up at 5:15 and she arrives at 5:40, we have already missed the window of opportunity to find seats at the bar on a Saturday night.
But that's okay. We find a lone unoccupied stool and camp out on it like it's our last hope, which it is.
When the bar madness dies down enough that we can place an order, it's for a bottle of the Chester Gap Cabernet Franc.
At least with a bottle, we won't have to bother the bartender again any time soon.
When we finally see a couple paying their bar bill, we hover over them, appropriating their stools while they're still warm.
It feels good to sit. By now the crowds are seemingly endless as they continue to stream in the door.
Some wait and others leave once they hear the wait time.
To tide us over, we get an order of cornbread with honey vanilla butter and inhale it like we've been there for hours, which we practically have.
And it's the perfect lead in to my meal of seared rabbit terrine over lentils and roasted beets, a dish so succulent you'd think there had to be pig involved.
I follow that with fried chicken skin with shark sauce and spicy honey mustard; a miniature bottle of Tabasco arrives on the plate.
If I died tonight and went to heaven, there would be fried chicken skin waiting for me in heaven.
My friend eventually stopped eating the skin out of guilt, but I had no such remorse.
We talked about dating and about men dating younger rather than their own age.
I made a crack about guys preferring younger and my friend quickly corrected me.
"Not every man would rather have a Beaujolais Nouveau when he could have a Bordeaux," she said, sounding serious but really just chiding me for my miscalculation.
We chatted up the couple next to us who were out for a rare date night having left their kids to a sitter. Their nervousness was written all over her face.
She tried the cocktail with bourbon and bacon only to find that she was out of practice with cocktailing.
I felt a tap on mu shoulder and turned to find my friend Rob who has been stalker-like in his appearances in my life this week.
He was at the storytelling at Balliceaux, fine. Naturally he was at the Sponge show the next night.
But there he was at the Lion King backstage tour I'd been invited on.
And now, again, he was grinning at me guiltily at the Roosevelt.
But I was glad to see him and he teased me about following my calendar, a feat few could manage.
By the time we brought our attention back to the bar, we were thinking dessert.
Since my friend was a first-timer, we got the buttermilk panna cotta in a Mason jar.
The presentation is the most charming of any dessert I know.
With it, we had glasses of the King Family Loreley, a dessert wine I'd had at the winery last fall.
It has a a candied fruit quality that I love despite a usual resistance to sweeter wine.
And it was delightful with the panna cotta.
When our four-hour adventure at the Roosevelt ended, we decided to head to Amour for a nightcap.
They were busy, too, but the bar was empty and two stools had our name on them.
After tasting the Whitehall Viognier, we settled on the Domaine de Salices Viognier for its beautiful nose and complexity.
And while we needed no further food, we went with a cheese plate just to ensure that we were doing something other than drinking and talking.
Both of us laughed when we looked up to find a friend we'd seen at the Roosevelt, except that now he was dateless.
Apparently she hadn't made the cut and he'd stopped by for a much-needed nightcap.
We finished out the night talking to him about dating; he claimed that women over 40 have too many deal breakers, women in their thirties all want to have babies and twenty-something women are the most open to whatever.
If it hadn't already been an eight hour plus evening, I might have gone ahead and argued the point with him.
But he knew enough; he was at least clear on the essential part of any relationship.
I know I am.