Thursday, April 26, 2012

Time Won't Let Me

"If you go to them, you have them for life." ~The Edge aka Josh

I'm not sure there's a heaven, but if there turns out to be one, I think it might have an all-belly menu.

Or maybe that's just what I'm hoping after tonight.

A quick stop at Bistro 27 for a glass of wine got me a taste of mixologist Bobby's latest creation, a Hardywood Mocha Porter frozen custard.

All I was expecting was some Gavi so the mousse-like mocha custard with hints of banana fully engaged my palate with its subtle flavors and creaminess.

And I don't even like beer.

I made sure to clear out well in advance of the first restaurant week reservations of the evening and headed due east to the non-participating Roosevelt.

It was all but empty upon our arrival.

Diving into the Gabrielle Rausse Vin de Gris, that lovely white Pinot Noir I could drink every warm day, it was a fine accompaniment for potato gnocchi, Virginia clams with roasted garlic and herb broth.

My dining companion was so sure the clam and gnocchi combo wouldn't work, so I insisted on ordering it just to prove him wrong.

I think he may have even been glad he was wrong.

We followed that with crab and avocado salad with fennel, grapefruit, radishes and chili aioli. The heat of the oil gave a welcome zing to the subtle crab and avocado.

Putting a bite of the salad into my mouth, I noticed something.

I've been to The Roosevelt enough times to be familiar with their usual music and tonight's was not it.

Asking the bartender where the music was coming from, he said, "Good or bad?"

Turns out it was his iPod and he feared for his taste. Not to worry, it was right up my alley.

Tuna belly with bacon jam was our next course and while it was my first tuna belly, I feel certain it was superior tuna belly.

Of course, anything served with bacon jam is going to be worth eating, but the combination proved once again how much I like pig and things that live in the water.

I saw a friend whose show I'd missed last week by mere minutes, which led to a discussion of playing music and fans.

He told me once that his band has a good-sized soccer mom contingent and tonight for the first time, he explained why.

His band had played shows in their subdivisions and the moms were hooked.

Now they came into the city to see them. Because apparently, once you take the music to the moms, they are yours forever.

After digesting that nugget, we went on to our second belly of the evening, lamb belly with tomatoes and capers.

Surely this is what heaven tastes like. Fatty, but not overly so and with a depth of flavor well complemented by the salty capers, we were in love.

With belly.

Dessert was apple blackberry pie with glasses of King Family Loreley to make a sweet course sweeter.

When we left, every seat was taken but no one's grins were bigger than the two of us after our two-belly meal.

Music followed at The Nile with a triple bill and a small but enthusiastic crowd.

Harrisonburg's Malatese had been billed as post-rock, a personal favorite, but turned out to be more post-punk.

So I got more driving energy but with unexpected vocals.

Tungs were local, even louder and more aggressive, more rock, less indie.

After full-on thrash, we got to the reason I was there, Chicago's Netherfriends.

I'd seen this guy play a house show a while back and been blown away by his hooky, poppy sound and mad dance skills.

Using a guitar, drum pad and Casio keyboard, Shawn (because Netherfriends is really Shawn, shh, don't tell) played a dancier set than I'd seen last time, but every bit as fun.

My favorite moments were when he came out from behind the keyboard to dance across the front of the room.

This is possible because he loops so the music can carry on while he does a mean James Brown.

He finished with "You Gotta Fight (for your right to party)" because, well, because he could and wanted to.

This is a guy who puts his hand out to emphasize a lyric (stop in the name of showmanship!), so clearly he enjoys his work.

And I enjoyed him.

Not quite as much as all that belly, but close. Very close.

I'd asked my partner in crime what part of me he'd want to eat after I'm dead (no, I don't know how I come up with these things) and he didn't hesitate.

His answer had been my belly, probably because he saw its potential for being well marbled.

Ever canny, he'd suggested that I stipulate in my will that belly rights went to him.

I may want to add a codicil that it must be served with bacon jam.

Just like in heaven.

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