Saturday, February 26, 2005

Bing Crosby Restaurant & Piano Bar

Well, we finally planned far enough ahead to secure a table for four last week at the new hot spot in WC, namely, Bing Crosby Restaurant & Piano Bar, and I have to admit that I was somewhat surprised, pleasantly enough, at what we found.

I had been there before for cocktails a few weeks earlier and had asked to see a menu. It listed pretty standard fare, meat and fish, with appetizers that were unexceptional for the setting, so I was prepared not to be impressed.

The restaurant is in a former bookstore/sports equipment/whatever building at the South end of Broadway Plaza where it meets South Main across from the old Coop. It has been lavishly renovated with lots and lots of dark wood, a piano player (live) playing '30's songs, huge portraits from Crosby's career, etc. etc. etc. The valet parking in front is staffed by college kids in golf knickers, argyle socks, and golf caps. (OK, just kidding about the knickers.) It's attractive in a somewhat overwhelming way, but hell, they welcome anyone with a reservation and a credit card.

After we were seated, Karen, "The Captain", introduced herself and, studying our individual attires, asked if we would prefer black napkins to the white ones that were on the table. Right away I knew that something was up (and I wondered how you advertise for a "captain." "Wanted, attractive friendly young lady to exchange napkins in upscale restaurant"?)

The food presentation was exceptional. The snapper in crusted potato skin turned out to be the entire fish, head and tail, and our Korean guest loved it. Beef rib roast was delicious and the mashed potatoes would feed six. My veal in lemon-caper sauce was very good and the roasted polenta and tomatoes were in the form of a vertical shishkebab. Presentations were uniformly original, thoughtful, and a delight to the eye and to the palette.

We enjoyed it a lot, and would return with the slightest excuse.

Noisy, and a bit crowded. Country Club casual. Expensive ($50 w/wine & tip). Recommended.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mr. President:

Another portrait, and a moving slice of history are at

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

It's cold and rainy outside, and it promises to stay that way all week. And this is a blog, right? So...

Just a little light-hearted needling.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I guess that this is appropriate, since it's 0400 in Birmingham and 1000 in Guam:

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Okay, finally. Dinner last night in Danville CA at Bridges
A bit of chill and rain, so the patio was not in play (too bad, but I'll return in the summer since I love that patio.)
The restaurant is located on Church Street downtown, on the site of the old Iron Wok that we visited often when we were living on Corwin Drive in Alamo.
The chef is Kevin Gin, and the theme is California, decorative, fusion whatever. Basically, good food, well prepared, and delightfully presented. We ordered roast pork, Atlantic salmon, and scampi.
Update: The pork was listed as a Kurobuta standing rib pork roast. Neat!
I thought that the food was excellent. The service was friendly and attentive.
Our wine was a 2003 Rosenblum zinfandel. Rather too fruity for some of us, but I thought it was appropriate to the food.
Expensive. $45-50/person. Save it for a special occasion. But, they have a annex on the property called "Amber." It's less pricey and open for lunch. I'll try that one next time.
Happy Birthday, Mr. President! (February is definitely a good month for distinguished people.)

The Corner on National Review Online

The Corner on National Review Online has presented us with today's word(s) as in:

"LOGOPHILE [John Derbyshire]
A reader has actually emailed in to thank me for having used the word "equiponderant" on nationwide TV yesterday. You are welcome, Ma'am. I only wish I could match the achievement of the late great Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., who, in one of his "Rambler" essays, used the words "adscititious" and "equiponderant" BOTH IN THE SAME SENTENCE. "

I do sort of like the word "adscititious". Meaning not essential to the essence of something. Sort of like the sesame seeds on a hamburger bun.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Concerning the Big News from across the Pond about Prince Charles and the enticing Camilla, I note the following from Jonah Goldberg's dad in "The Corner"

This reminds me that if the Windsors during World War One hadn't changed their dynastic name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the necktie knot would be known as the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha knot.

Ah yes, during the confusion of WW I and with some distrust of all things German, King George V dropped his original family name and adopted the more politically correct "Windsor." Can you imagine struggling to tie a double-saxe-coburg-gotha knot every morning on the way to work?

In any case, our best wishes to the happy couple.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mr. President.
Okay. Enough of (oxymoron) political science! Next time, dining!