Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Don Q? You're Welcome! The Weekday Weekend

One thing or another (job, business) has always had me working a lot of holidays and weekends.  You're at home with your family on Thanksgiving, I'm frantically trying to run down the satellite coordinates of  the clean feed of another shitty Lions game.  You're carving a beautiful turkey and inhaling Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale by the case, I'm eating catered gravy by the ladleful from a steam table and eyeing the Bunnomatic.  When normal citizens gather for the weekend festivities, I'm waking early, sober and confused, and going to bed, 18 hours later, sober and and just a little less confused.  But come Monday, it's industry night, freak.  I worked through your weekend, and now it's my weekend.  
Conveniently, Monday nights at the restaurant Lani Kai are 'Tiki Monday with Miller' an homage to Donn Beach and Kon Tiki from pirate captain and celebrity doctor (of mixology-NYC's Pegu Club and Death & Company), Brian Miller.  There are buckets of Don Q Rums, both Gold and Cristal, y Añejo también.  Don Q is a Puerto Rican rum, and that is all you need to know.  Because Miller knows the rest-fresh fruit juices, syrups, special spices, bitters, liqueurs, amaros, and for some reason (believe me, it works), more rum.  Venezuelan Añejo Rum, Bermudan Dark Rum, Overproof Demerara Rum, Jamaican Dark Rum, and Black Strap Rum.  Also gin, absinthe, and a couple of fey flower and straw garnishes.  It's the gay pirate thing, out at sea for months, etc. Who am I to judge (see below)?  It's intoxicating and the bathrooms have no locks.  Happy Hour is 6-8PM, so come early.  

For some reason, you can't just drink these cocktails normally

Just trying to wrap my tongue around this one (foto by weinoo)

Steeling the Mates (foto by weinoo)

So how is Norway?

The Boss showed up

Shots of Ramazotti?

Norway is good!

Tuesday evening started with a bang-up dinner at Neil's, a legendary Upper East Side Coffee Shop of which there are probably a hundred, but used to be a thousand, back when a 'regular coffee' meant coffee with milk and sugar and you got it handed to you by someone who just didn't give a shit what your name was.  (When I'm in Starbucks and they ask me my name to write on the cup, I usually say, "Fedoon."  When they call out "Fedoon?", you can literally feel the whole place tense up.  Try it some morning-fucking hilarious.)  Autographed photos everywhere, including, of course, Liza Minelli AND Tony Randall.  Super classy.  The older gentleman I was dining with ordered the chicken noodle soup, and pronounced it to be a fine homemade broth, whose noodles were "al dente".  He actually said "al dente", referring to coffee shop chicken noodle soup.  He is a  truly classy elder statesman married to a  former Upper East Side socialite.  I had the BLT on rye, and pronounced it edible.  The waiter called me 'boss', as in, "would you like me to crumble those crackers for you, boss?  You look a little tired."  And I settled on calling him 'chief', as in, "I don't eat crackers cause they're bad for my dentures, chief."  Super classy all around.
After we picked our teeth, we walked over to Hunter College to see Patti Smith read poetry and play some songs with daughter Jessie and guitarist Lenny Kaye.  Very funny and charming when she forgot the words to 'Because the Night', the hit she wrote with Springsteen, and had to start over after a giggling fit.  As she and Lenny both turn 65 this year, my drooling companion and I actually felt young for a few minutes.  But then those Hunter co-eds set us straight-they were not having any of THAT.  But we try not to let it ruin our weekend.  After all, it's a Tuesday night, freak!

NOT Campbell's

Excellent half-a-sour pickle

Patti's thoughts

Lani Kai 
525 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013
(646) 596-8778

961 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10021-5160
(212) 628-7474