I have indulged in some truly decadent food these last few days. I have been meaning to detail my gastronomic adventures but have found myself too food coma-ed to do so. On Sunday night my friend D, who was in the midst of serious vacation splurging since she was only visiting from San Fran, reserved a table for us at Tailor. I couldn’t even find the place at first; the dark exterior didn’t even begin to suggest the chic restaurant within.
I had kept her waiting and she was already sipping at one of their exquisite cocktails- the Butternut & Fulernum, which is said to contain “Rum, Butternut Squash and Fulernum.” It is impossible to describe but I highly recommend it nonetheless. I tried the Rooi Moer, which was less exciting. We ordered the Beeted Tongue to start and it was truly fantastic. The presentation was impossibly colorful and intricate. The flavor was multifaceted; the nuts added an interesting texture. Best of all the horseradish sprinkled on top was an incredible little ping! to top it off. I had the Roasted Lamb and D had the Brisket for our respective entrees. The chef was really great about making alterations to cope with D’s intense lactardation (lactose intolerant like WOAH). All of the dishes were splendid though the starter and D’s dessert were the stars. For dessert D ordered the Grapefruit Tart and the chef did something magical to make it non-dairy and even without the blessing of butter it was superb. So, now that I’ve made you all hungry you’re ready to hear about Monday night.
Monday night my friend W was having his birthday dinner at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse. For those of you who are not aware Peter Luger’s is pretty much the epitome of an old school steakhouse. It’s been open since 1887 and they’ve pretty much been serving steak their way to any man big enough to tackle it since then. If W sends me some of his pics from that night I’ll post them but honestly even the thought of the sheer quantity of food still makes me a trifle queasy. I’ll be damned if I didn’t hold my own though. I mean I earned my place at the guy’s table when W took me to see amateur female jello wrestling and I thought it was awesome. I ate steak with the best of them but oh my did I feel sick Tuesday morning!
Luckily I was recovered sufficiently this evening to enjoy my dinner at Merchants New York Cafe in the Financial District. I was early and A was a bit late so I ended up chatting with the chef for quite some time. Coincidentally he had been to Tailor and so we were comparing notes on that and he was talking up his specials and the scallops he pushed me into were excellent. I preferred one of his regular dishes though- the heart-shaped ravioli were fantastic and I appreciated that he was flexible about the pancetta (I don’t eat pork). If you end up in that area I would definitely recommend this place, particularly because the chef is so involved. I generally feel that the more a chef is involved in the whole dining experience the more fluid it will be.
After dinner A and walked over a block to the 3LD Art and Technology Center for Fire Throws. The play used most of the original script, translated from the Greek, and then added music and dance together with some narrative monologues by “Antigone Who Is.” The performance was visually stunning, though the music was sometimes distracting. I disliked having some of the lines chanted or sung; it distracted from their meaning and didn’t increase the connectivity with the dance. The dancing, based in part on Balinese dance, was acrobatic and fluid and made excellent use of the space. The use of sashes reminded me of the Metropolitan Opera’s version of Madama Butterfly, in which long red sashes gather to become a dress and are unraveled in the final scene to represent blood. Actually the color palate in this production also emphasized red. I’m not sure that the costume designer had a specific meaning in mind (passion? blood? sin? impurity?) but it was certainly visually compelling.
The acting was a bit inconsistent. This scene, between Creon and his son Haemon, was notable mainly for the use of ‘Antigone Who Was’’s shadow on a screen behind the players. This interesting image distracted me from the somewhat unimpressive acting onstage:
Antigone's shadow behind Creon and Haemon
All the actors had their good and bad moments I think. ‘Antigone Who Was’ and Ismene were good in their scene together:
Antigone and Ismene
The trouble was that the director was more interested in making a statement about how the symbol of Antigone has been used over time than she was in telling the story of Antigone. I would respect her directorial choices more if I felt that her statement came across clearly. Unfortunately it seemed as though she couldn’t quite make up her mind what it should be; ‘Antigone Who Is’ is so preoccupied with wishing she could change the story that we never really see how the symbol of Antigone works within modern society. This is a beautiful production and truly lovely to watch but I can’t say that it expands the meaning of the play. I would suggest seeing it while it’s still in previews; if you do see it be sure to let me know what you think!
I will be posting weekend events shortly!