Thursday, September 18, 2008
a cut above all others
oh, yes. wolfgang puck's cut at the reg|bev|wil (i will always think it that way, thanks to "pretty woman") is damn good, and worth every last penny in your wallet. all the haters on yelp/chowhound/etc. can suck it.
earlier, i managed to leave the bean with my buddy MommyBelle for an hour or so while i snuck off to get a lovely, relaxing mani/pedi at one of my favorite nail salons, urbane beauty. i sprung for the "brezza" treatment, and enjoyed the extra massage and pampering while i read a people magazine from cover to cover.
with my toes painted in "yes...i can-can!", a fabulous eggplant-y color, and my fingers done in "i'm fondue of you," a sparkly rich brown (both part of OPI's new "la collection de france"), i went back to hang out with MB and the kids for a while before heading home to meet MIL, who was coming to spend the evening with the bean.
my first order from mark.cosmetics had come just in time - i'd ordered a cute looking little dress that i was hoping i would like enough to wear to birthday princess dinner. and i was STOKED when i pulled it out, tried it on, and found that it was as cute as it looked in the catalog, and comfy to boot. not to mention, my freshly painted digits went quite nicely with the colors of the dress. yippee!
my poor hub called around 5:15, frustrated as hell at the traffic he was stuck in. he had a stop to make first, which was (of course) in the opposite direction, and glumly told me that his next phone call was to push back our reservation if they'd let him (at this point, i still didn't know which restaurant he'd picked from the list i'd given him).
MIL and i chatted and played with the bean and the dog while we waited for the hub to arrive. and when he finally breezed through the door and headed into the bedroom to change, it was almost 7. i felt bad for him, although he shook it off and was really excited for our date. i love that he can do that - i often find myself grumpy as hell for hours when shit doesn't go my way. i know, i know - you can't imagine that at ALL.
luckily, he didn't have any problems pushing back the reservation, although we still ended up about 15 minutes late. oh, well. they still seated us quickly, without attitude or hesitation, and we found ourselves at a smallish table underneath this freaky picture of christopher walken.
he'd excused himself to hit the restroom, and what did i do? i IMMEDIATELY whipped out my trusty little point-and-shoot and started taking pictures. heh.
yes, that's terrence howard on the back of my menu. the hub's had helen mirren.
he returned to the table and, seeing the guilty look on my face (plus my rush to turn off the camera and put it back in my bag), laughed and said "it's your birthday. take as many pictures as you want!" ha! but, being mindful of those seated near us, i turned off my flash - hence, the blurry, dark, not-so-great pictures in this post.
i was bummed not to be seated near this picture:
as he perused the wine menu, i proceeded to eat my way through the basket of parmesan crostini. and then the bread boy came, proferring a lovely selection of carb heaven. there was focaccia bread, slices of sourdough and whole wheat, and my favorite - pretzel rolls. he left us with a slab of sea salt-topped softened butter, and i went to town. that pretzel roll was so damn good, i wanted to fill my purse with them. and i'd brought a big ass bag - the one the hub gave me for my birthday last year. heh.
oof, that's a bad picture. but trust me, it was wonderful.
after chuckling at some of the prices in that wine list, he finally picked one, which was served in this beaker-looking thing. you know me - i don't drink, and even when i do, it sure ain't wine. but he digs it. and then he pointed to one of the $1900-a-bottle wines in the list and smugly said "i've got TWO bottles of that stuff in our wine fridge, and i only paid $100 apiece for 'em." good god.
and it turns out that he'd originally had three, but i mistakenly gave one of them to the teen's principal last year, when he worked his ass off to get her into the school. i'd always wondered why the hub freaked the fuck out when he realized that the bottle he'd meant to give him was still in the fridge. oops.
for our starter, we chose the warm organic asparagus, served with an organic poached egg, smoked bacon (duh), and warm bacon vinaigrette. and ohmyfreakinggosh, it was delicious. it couldn't have been cooked more perfectly than this. so good.
our other starter was the maryland blue crab and louisiana shrimp louie, served with some greens and a spicy tomato-vinaigrette. this was scrumptious as well, although this weak ass ended up with my mouth burning, leading me to down more of our bottled voss water. still, not sparkling, tyvm.
if you're looking for speedy service or a quickie dinner, cut is most definitely not the place for you. there were long pauses between courses, but we were enjoying our night out and talked about everything from the crappy stock market to the current search for a new tutor for the teen to the bean's birthday party, and everything in between. and when our server came to ask how we liked our starters, the hub told him that i wanted more pretzel rolls, and he scurried right on over with the tray. yay!
then we were given a small tray of condiments - three different types of mustards, plus some sea salt. for my "tasting of new york sirloin," i also got some house steak sauce, argentinian chimichurri, and - oh hell, i can't remember the third one. while the hub took over the steak sauce, i didn't bother with any. the meat was just too damn good to slather with anything but a sprinkling of sea salt. from left to right, i got 4 ounces of dry-aged nebraska prime sirloin, 4 ounces of "american kobe-style" sirloin, and the absolute best: 2 ounces of true japanese wagyu beef. they were all perfect for this meatatarian, but that japanese wagyu = buttery, melt-in-your-mouth heaven. meat was never this good. and the hub enjoyed his nebraska ribeye, as well as a taste of my tasting. holy mother of beef, this stuff was delectable.
yes, i said "delectable."
our sides were good, although not particularly memorable: sauteed baby spinach with garlic and fingerling potatoes with smoked bacon (mm-hmm) and pearl onions.
by the way, the pictures got a little better as the evening went on, as i noticed the tables around us not quite as concerned about their own camera flashes. one table behind us (which was overseen by portraits of prince and alice cooper) literally had one camera per person. yeah.
although we were pretty stinkin' stuffed by this time, when we were given dessert menus, i sure didn't hand it back. oh, no. after posing with my man jon bon jovi, i chose the caramel ice cream baked alaska with candied hazelnuts. and it was delivered with a candle, while the hub burst out with "happy birthday to yooooouuuuuu!"
i stopped him with a glare, closed my eyes, made a wish (which was actually about four wishes rolled up into one), and blew the candle out. and then i dug into that yummy dessert as though i hadn't eaten in days.
and then before the scariest part of the evening came - the check, of course - a server came by and dropped this on the table. amazingly, it was MORE eats - ginger-whisky chocolate and lemon bars. and this time, i was just done. absolutely done. i sheepishly asked to have them boxed as the hub laughed at me. he laughs at me a lot.
after i busted out the defibrillator and revived my husband, quivering and twitching on the floor while clutching the check in one hand -
okay, just kidding. he actually didn't give it a second glance before tossing his card on top of it and handing it back to the server. i'm just dramatic like that.
anyway, we strolled through the lobby and admired the vast arrangements of fresh flowers and gorgeous chandeliers. i decided i'd better hit the restroom, since i'd gone through what seemed like a gallon of that voss water, and loaded him down with my bag of treats, handbag, and wrap. i took my camera in the hopes of finding something fun to capture, but it was a pretty standard five-star-hotel restroom. heh. i liked the smell of the molton brown hand soap and lotion, though.
we laughed at the ostentatious lamborghini with the alaska plates outside, and watched about six range rovers and three bentleys depart before getting in our own car and heading home.
MIL and the bean were dozing on the couch, and MIL laughingly told me that the bean had refused to go near anything that was associated with me - the boppy pillow, the blanket, even the bottle of milk i'd left behind. and when they were looking at the bean's little photo album, she turned her head away whenever MIL pointed out pictures of me and the hub.
dudes, she was PISSED that we'd left her behind. pissed! oh, that little shit.
and so, in closing, i'd like to say that cut is VERY highly recommended. expensive? yes. full of patrons puffed up with unwarranted self-importance? uh-huh. but the food is excellent, and so is the peoplewatching. for real.
on our last morning in orlando, the hub headed out early to pick up a rental car for the rest of our florida adventure. the rest of us got ...