Friday, April 27, 2018

Snazzy, Brassy and Razamatazzy

We started with three dames, one guy and finished up with four dames, one guy. Estrogen flowed.

From a table all the way in the back of Metzger, we sipped Hugl Rose while destroying the Restaurant Week menu course by course. That it was done to a killer soundtrack by Mr. Fine Wine only guaranteed that there was no place I'd rather have been, despite the RW hordes.

Crab croquettes rested on a wave of honeyed skyr (the Icelandic dairy product that's not sure if it's a cheese or yogurt) that had me wanting to lick the plate while Pru announced about her pierogi with peas, quark and mint, "I could eat an entire bowl of these."

My roast chicken alone was out of this world, but the rye berries and pops of pickled celery elevated it to fancy chicken, while Beau's ramp tagliatelle starred black trumpet mushrooms, black garlic, breadcrumbs and a cured egg yolk and could not have been any fresher tasting. Queen B swooned over her enormous wiener schnitzel, while Pru was bested by a massive pork chop with spaetzle and pork jus.

Metzger is not for the faint of appetite, even with so-called RW portions.

Much of the dinner conversation was given over to the impending visit of Burger, a family friend of Pru and Queen B's whom I've already met several times, enough times to eat multiple meals, take him on one of my death walks and go dancing with him (the others having opted out). With his return this time, we discussed ways to amuse him without leaving him so worn out he requires a nap after every activity (aka middle aged man syndrome).

Desserts of mint panna cotta and dark chocolate tortes took us into the dining room's busy hour as the place filled up around us with intentional Restaurant Week patrons. We, on the other hand, had been unaware walking, rolled the dice won handily.

For me, the musical high point of the evening was hearing through the grapevine from one of the owners that as long as Metzger is open, Mr. Fine Wine will be playing. Period. As if I wasn't already a devoted fan of the kitchen, no restaurant in town has a soundtrack that can compare.

It was only once the dessert plates had been cleared that we looked at the time and realized we had more than enough to order another bottle of Rose and linger to the vintage soul music playing. Our server looked askance, as if she'd never heard of people ordering wine after dinner, but brought it anyway.

It's certainly not the first time I've walked out of a restaurant with a corked bottle in my bag and I feel quite certain it won't be the last.

Our evening's preliminary entertainment was "Dames at Sea," a 70s spoof of glitzy Busby Berkley-style musicals like "42nd Street" that Swift Creek Mill Theatre had last staged 26 years ago.

Hmm, let's see, 1992, I was living a wholly different life than today but I'd also never seen "Dames at Sea" and I love a good dancing-focused musical. This one had the all the usual tropes: fading star, wide-eyed kid fresh off the bus from Nowheresville, a couple of  peppy sailors and a chorus girl with a heart of gold.

I can't help but appreciate a musical that begins with an overture and the 8-piece orchestra added much to the musical numbers such as "That Mister Man of Mine," with the Pru-appropriate lyric, "He wants me back but he can't afford me." Few can, my dear, very few.

"When it comes to naval affairs, I've been compared to John Paul Jones," says Mona, the aging diva, who only liked men of experience and rank to steer her rudder. Pru and I concurred on the value of such a stipulation.

The second act was even more fun than the first, set, as it was, on the USS Courageous with a sign near where we were seated that read, "Poop Deck" with an arrow pointing off stage away from actors in lederhosen and dirndl skirts tapping their hearts out.

Let's just say that a good time was had by all.

Naturally, we closed out the evening on Pru's screened porch at the manse, a given because of the temperate weather and how long it had been since we had a good catch-up session. Joining tonight's rap session was a newcomer and former Church Hill resident who's recently moved out past Varina.

It was fascinating watching her take in our whirlwind of a conversation with its constantly changing focus (if you can't keep up, just excuse yourself and go to bed) and emphasis on experiences and opinions.

Next thing I knew, Beau was pulling out an old photo of himself - easily 40 pounds heavier and without the magnificent swoop to his hair that he now dazzles strangers and friends alike with - and talking about how he ended up a svelte, stylish man about town. Spoiler alert: Pru had a hand in it, having somewhat tactfully suggested that he could dress more to his advantage with a few changes.

We stayed far later than probably any of us intended on a school night, so the thunderstorms were just starting to roll in as I left Church Hill and drove home through deserted streets that will soon be even quieter as the students in my neighborhood clear out.

Even better, my conversational affairs are soon to go from idling back to 100 mph with May kicking in. Can. Not. Wait.


  1. Disagree: I think David's mixes at L'Opossum beat Mr. Fine Wine at Metzger. Checkmate. ;-)

  2. Completely different animals. I'd say they're equally stellar.