I'd fed my art and music needs earlier today, leaving Saturday night for a new restaurant and a film about
Walking into Curry Craft in Carytown, my Saturday night partner-in-crime and I had our choice of a table, a booth or the bar.
Given that they don't yet have their ABC license, the bar looked kind of abandoned so we opted for a booth.
Looking around at the saffron-colored walls, I approved of the spare decoration - a terra cotta relief, some cut-out dark wooden panels- and variety Indian music playing - traditional, dancey.
I was pleased to see that Bonvenue's sleek chandeliers had conveyed with the sale since they worked well withe the decor.
Our waiter was sweet, accommodating and friendly, and when we asked if we could order in stages, he assured us that would be fine.
First off, we asked for the paneer asparagus "Tak a Tak," a savory melange of asparagus, spiced paneer chunks, tangy green mango and garbanzo beans in a zesty glaze.
A salad of greens, sliced apples, chutney-marinated celery, dates and beet threads (so thin I would have preferred beet ribbons so I could actually taste the beet) provided a plate of appetizing flavors and only a few overly-salty bites.
We'd ordered garlic naan but regular naan showed up and we didn't complain because it was warm and soft and ideal for sopping up what was left on both plates.
A couple came in and sat down behind us but within moments of speaking to their waiter, got up and walked out, the door slamming behind them.
Apparently, they found it unacceptable that there was no booze.
Come on, people, the restaurant just opened and we all know how efficient the ABC is.
Since we were fine without, we went on to Punjabi Taari Gosht, a northern Indian-style leg of lamb curry, a pungent dish with a satisfying depth of flavor and proceeded to eat it down to the last few grains of rice.
To finish our meal, our server brought a shot glass of saunf, roasted and candied fennel seeds, intended to be poured in hour hand in a dime-sized amount and chewed as a digestif.
The sweet licorice-like flavor immediately quelled the heat from the curry and notified our bellies of the end.
We ended up very pleased with our meal.
It'll be interesting to see how extensive their craft cocktail list will be since I've heard they're looking to be both a dining and bar destination.
Bellies properly full, our next stop was the Criterion for "Gimme the Loot," a film about graffiti that won at South by Southwest's film fest.
It was a small movie in many ways - shot for next to nothing, unknown cast, odd subject matter - but big in others - a stellar soundtrack, witty commentary about urban life and strong performances by beginners.
It was really just a day in the life movie of two kids who spent their time tagging, only to be infuriated when someone tags over them.
Their major goal was to tag the Mets' giant apple at Shea Stadium, something that has apparently been a goal of taggers for twenty years.
I know that only because the movie opened with footage of an actual show shot two decades ago where a tagger talked about the holy grail of tagging the apple.
The film unfolded over a day as they try to make things happen, all the while traipsing through various boroughs of NYC, making it a terrific travelogue of the city.
One of the funniest lines came from the white girl to whom our hero is delivering weed.
She tells him his drug-dealing boss used to play golf on Cornell's team (unthinkable when it comes to street cred) and he tells her that the dealer's girlfriend is a hippie.
"She can't be a hippie because they only existed in olden times," the entitled, rich girls announces to him. "Like Victorian courtesans and Mayan princesses."
Maybe I found it funny because just this week, a 20-something friend had referred to himself and his girlfriend as hippies and this is certainly not olden times.
Now that I think about it, she did correct him, saying, "I'm a lazy hippie," so maybe it's only lazy hippies who exist in modern times.
But, wait, we all know there are plenty of old hippies to be found, even now.
They're probably the ones who spend Saturday nights doing dinner and a movie.
And god knows they don't worry about their street cred.