An Evening in Manhattan
Jes and I have been married for a remarkable fifteen years. Remarkable in that I don't think either one of us ever expected to find this good of a stable, long-term relationship with somebody compatible. To celebrate the occasion, we imposed upon my mother to come up from Delaware to watch the kids so that we could make a rare excursion into Manhattan for dinner and a show.
Lining up tickets to the performance was not difficult once a production had been decided upon--The 39 Steps, the four-person adaptation of the classic Hitchcock film. What proved more challenging was finding a restaurant. Part of the problem was that I let this go a bit too long, the other was in managing the disparate dietary requirements of myself and my spouse. Given that circumstance, a steak house seemed to be the best option--but most of the eateries I contacted at first for reservations were entirely booked up at theater time.
Eventually, after some trial and error, We were able to find accomodations at the A.J. Maxwell Steak House on 48th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, relatively close to the theater (a trek made a bit longer by the intermittant rains.) We turned up forty minutes early, but there was no toruble with seating us immediately.
We skipped the appetizer, choosing instead to focus on the entree and the sides. After a discussion with our server, we selected a porterhouse for two which is a steak on the bone that came pre-sliced and afforded us both filet and sirloin in the same dish. As we had been told, I found the sirloin more flavorful, but the filet was especially tender. We ordered a generous portion of sides--mashed potatoes (from which Jes refrained), broccoli sauted with garlic and pignoli nuts and asparagus with parmesan sauce. Everthing was quite good, though the potatoes were perhaps a hair too creamy, verging on the watery side. I closed out the meal with a slice of the chocolate cake, while Jes had coffee. Upon it's appearance on the table, I feared that the cake was going to be too rich and heavy for my liking, but it turned out to be lighter than I'd anticipated.
Overall, the service was good, and the prices were commeasurate with dining in that part of the city at that time of night.
The play was also good, not a deep show by any means, but broad and colorful and fun, with four performers going through myriad gyrations to materialize all of the assorted characters involved in the story. The intimate size of the venue helped--it wouldn't have been quite the same show in a larger theater . (Jes commented that the theater was in a 4:3 configuration, rather than 16:9). Most crucially, the production never dragged, and the two hours flew by rapidly, even given the tiny seats we'd crammed ourselves into.
I'd go back in another fifteen years.