Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Quick (Musical) Interlude

I just had to jump in during this rant on Amsterdam and post about my night at Ronnie Scott's where I saw a Tribute to Oscar Peterson. I'd been before and absolutely loved it, but they somehow managed to surpass themselves this time.

My mom is visiting from China and her best buddy from High School flew in as well so when at 6pm, with only the early birds at some surrounding tables, the boyfriend and I were escorted to a long skinny bar overlooking the actual bar- I was a bit miffed. We were really far from the stage and I don't know how they expected us to actually converse during our pre-show dinner while sitting in that stupid line-up. Prepared for the worse, I grabbed my stuff and went over to confront- no, kindly approach, the head hostess- but I was intercepted by the waiter first

"Is anything wrong?" he asked. "Well, yes actually" I said with a big sigh.
The significant other hates it when I go up to argue or complain, but I insist that it's a necessary evil and I know that I'm always very polite and I do try to be as nice as possible. Empathy is the way with these situations, people! I used to be a hostess in a fancy DC restaurant, so I know how easy it is to hate an unreasonable client in a nano-second. So I carefully laid out my cards: Mother visiting from China, girlfriend from Michigan, hadn't seen each other in aaages, LOVE to chat and gossip, although never during the actual show, would be absolutely crushed to have to sit in a line-up, is there anything that can POSSIBLY be done? maybe? please? *puppy-dog-eyes-to-mean-I-am-a-reasonable-and-understanding-customer, I swear!*

And you know what? They took us to an actual table for four, right up front next to the stage entrance and the massive grand piano. I coulnd't have been happier.
When I had been last time I'd treated myself to a week's salary worth of cocktails so I hadn't actually tried the food and Ronnie Scott's, for some reason, seamed like the kind of place where the food would sound great and taste.... meh? So I ordered the duck with trepidation. I've had two really bad experiences with duck recently, but I just love it so much that I'm willing to put my physical well being on the line. And I was SO not disapointed. Holy crap was it good! Duck has long been my favorite dish. Last meal before the electric chair? Duck a L'orange without a doubt, but the Confit of Duck with Sweet Potato Mash was killer (har, har). The skin was crispy and sweet while the leg meat just fell right off the bone. Kris got it too and we've vowed to do our best to recreate this too-good-to-be-true dish.

I also need to figure out that ratios for their delish cocktails. I was treated to a Jelly Roll Julep (which has nothing to do with jam), a Caffe Coco and Ronnie's Sting which might have been my favorite. And direct from their website we have:

Caffè Coco
Shaken and strained into a chilled cocktail glass, chocolate dusting. Havana Club añejo blanco rum, Koko Kanu coconut rum, Kahlúa coffee liqueur, Coco Lopez, cream. Recently created by master drinksmith Tim Halilaj. A sweet and silky digestif.

Ronnie's Sting
Shaken and strained, lemon twist. Hennessy Fine de Cognac, mint leaves, lemon juice, sugar. Created in memory of Ronnie Scott. Based on the late 1800’s cognac cocktail. Our Sting carries fresh mint and lemon juice.

The Jelly Roll Julep must be a secret as it's not on the website...But here's a recreation for you- just imagine a large lemon peel sticking out of the back-
Ronnie Scott's did post the description of the Fitzgerald which I had last time and is pretty divine:

The Fitzgerald
Stacked, coated and charged. A flourish of orange to finish. Laborie calvados, crème de peche, absinthe-laden white sugar cube, Moët & Chandon champagne. A fruity version of the classic cocktail, created for Ella Circa 1950. Respect!

And the music wasn't bed either- Two pianos battled it out trying to immitate Oscar Peterson's quick handywork. "Hymn for Freedom", a tune written by Oscar was a real delight. They brought out 2 ADDITIONAL pianist for a rendition of "Cottontail" which was pretty freaking awesome. A new kid on the block (and I do mean "kid"- he's younger than me for God's sakes!) was brought out as one of the 4 pianists and he was absolutely stunning. Kit Downs was just as good as anyone else up there and even showed them up a couple times just taking over the entire piano for himself. All in all- a fabulous show. One that'll make go hunt down some Oscar Peterson tunes and keep a eye out for Kitt Downs.


  1. It's not that I hate it. It's that I don't want to do it.