Friday night was the date night of the year, being Valentine’s Day. Anne and I braved freezing rain and icy roads for dinner and a show. Dinner was at our favorite Webster restaurant, Big Sky Café. Eschewing my favorite, their pot roast, we shared the night’s special, a three course dinner for two:
Fire Roasted Pepper Puttanesca chilled salad of fire roasted red peppers, marinated tomatoes, white anchovies, Kalamata olives & fresh oregano with red chili vinaigrette
Duo of Rib-eye Roast and Arctic Char CAB bone in rib-eye roasted whole then sliced with black pepper port fig reduction and fresh herb seared arctic char with cherry fennel relish served with sweet potato au gratin and grilled asparagus
Gooey Butter Fudge Brownie with fresh raspberries and white chocolate ice cream
Puttanesca is Italian, from puttana ‘prostitute’. The sauce is said to have been devised by prostitutes as one that could be cooked quickly between clients’ visits. My date knew this. The gooey butter dessert is a local Saint Louis delicacy. We snagged a great table by the window. Looking out, we could see three locomotives egregiously idling across the street. You could feel their sub audio vibrations throughout dinner. They were pulling a line of tank cars, as far as the eye could see. They represent a small part of big oil’s revenge for being denied their Keystone pipeline. They were still idling when we passed them again, on our way home. We would have been cold at our table, except for an opportunely placed space heater. As cold as we would have been, the young lady at the adjoining table would have been even colder. She was wearing a bright red string strapped dress and a big pendant similar to the pictured red lipstick kiss. After dinner, when we got up and left, we surely left the dining room’s median age half of what it was before.
We have season tickets and normally we catch the shows at the end of their runs, but we had to switch nights and were surprised to find that last night was an opening night. Dan’s friend Valerie was there handing out press kits. I joked with her about getting on the distribution list, because after all, I’m a blogger. Here is a synopsis of the play:
Other Desert Cities is a play by Jon Robin Baitz. The play’s name refers to a road sign on the I-10, which indicates that the freeway is headed towards Palm Springs and “Other Desert Cities”. Events occur around the Christmas 2004 holiday, when the family of Polly and Lyman Wyeth gather in Palm Springs, California. Their daughter Brooke Wyeth returns home after six years. Polly’s sister Silda is also visiting, after having left rehab. Polly and Lyman are Republicans, while Silda and Brooke are liberals. Brooke announces to her family that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a tragic event in the family’s history. That event is the suicide of her late brother Henry, who had been involved with the radical anti-war underground. The play teeters between comedy and intense family drama.
We ended up getting our exact same seats, imagine that. Anne said the set reminded her of my parent’s house, but for me it reminded me of a Sunset Magazine cover. It was way too Southern Californian for my folk’s home. We saw Mister G at intermission. This was his first ever Rep show. I wonder what he thought of it, because it certainly was not his usual Muny fare.