This past Saturday my wife and I drove down to NYC to take advantage of a package that we bought at a charity auction to benefit the Adirondack Theater Festival, a great summer festival centered in Glens Falls, N.Y. The festival is a hotbed of contemporary theater and frequently uses Broadway talent for its productions. It was founded by Martha Banta and David Turner. The package consisted of two tickets to the HBO live airing of Will Ferrell's Your Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush and a hotel. My wife and I were actually the runner-up bidders and did not win the original pair of tickets, but a second package was produced and offered to us for the price of the winning bid. We jumped on it.
Although not quite spring yet by the calendar, Saturday proved to be a beautiful early spring-like day with sunshine and mild temperatures, which made the drive down from upstate particularly pleasant. We made it to our hotel, The Muse on 46th St. in time to change before walking over to our 5:15PM reservation at Le Bernardin, a restaurant that we hadn't been to in over ten years. We met the toop bidders of the original package who had outbid us in heated but friendly bidding and sat down to dinner.
I will delve into this special dinner more deeply in a separate post. With the show not scheduled to start until 9PM, the early dining time afforded us plenty of time to take full advantage of the restaurant's offerings, which we did. The short of it is that we had a superb, well-paced dinner having chosen the Chef's Tasting Menu with split wine pairings and finished in time to quickly stop back at the hotel, drop the camera off and change clothes.
As my wife and I were heading to the lobby, our elevator stopped a level below ours, where a friendly, slightly older gentleman stepped on. He inquired if we were going to the theater. We responded that we were and asked the same of him. He replied affirmatively and asked what we were going to see. At 8:30PM, most Broadway shows would have already started, so I was not surprised when after responding "Will Ferrell", he concurred and introduced himself as Lee Ferrell, Will's father, adding, "I hope that you are not fans of George W. Bush!," warning us of the onslaught to come. We laughed and said that, no, we were not fans and that we were, however, big fans of his son. We continued to have a pleasant conversation until we parted ways to get to the theater located two blocks away.
Once at the theater, we picked up our tickets and sat down next to our friends, slightly disappointed that the seats we had were located towards the rear of the orchestra underneath the balcony. Nevertheless, we had a good view of the stage and enjoyed the people watching while waiting for the show to begin. Surprisingly, I only saw one celebrity that I recognized in the audience and that was Spike Lee. Given that this show was the next to last of the run and was being shown live on HBO, I expected a more recognizable crowd, but I suppose that we were not the only auction high bidders that night!
Needless to say, as fans of Will Ferrell and non-fans of W., we enjoyed the irreverent and topical show (dvr'ed at home for repeat watching). The show was over right at !0:30PM. Our friends split, but it was still early. My wife and I decided to go out for cocktails, so we headed downtown to visit one of our favorite places, Tailor. We said hello to the ever affable Sam Mason in the kitchen then went downstairs for some drinks. The bar was hopping, but we managed to score a table. I was hoping that the "Mushroom Margarita" would be on the menu. That is a margarita using huitlacoche infused mezcal, that I had the last time I was at Tailor this past spring. It was sensational then, but it was not on Saturday night's menu. In lieu of that I had a "Cornbread Old Fashioned" with corn-bread infused bourbon, honey and bitters. The cornbread was subtle, but the drink was satisfying. My wife had a "Raspberry Whip" with The Shining inspired red rum, lemonjuice, egg whites and licorice. That too was a tasty cocktail. I originally feared that it would be too sweet for my palate, but it wasn't. We followed with some "solid" cocktails that included "margarita" marshmallows, "white russian" cereal and "milk" and "absinthe" gummy bears. The gummies were our favorite of the trio.
We finished our evening with a walk through SoHo before hailing a cab back up to the hotel to get ready for another day, fully realizing that the ability to have evenings like this is one of the things that makes NYC so special.