Sunday, February 3, 2008

George Clooney sat Right Here!

We couldn't get a table at the Italian family restaurant the Elizabeth had raved about so we decided to duck into Bill's, just two or three doors down. What an incredibly lucky accident as
as well as a great meal. It was like walking into
Cheers Bar, but more intimate and much, much older. The walls are covered with photos of burlesque dancers, boxers and baseball players. The piano man knew Billy Joel's entire repetoire and the crowd (definitely local) all sang along - it was hard to resist and we were singing along in no time!

We shared a tasty bottle of French Pinot noir and Elizabeth and I split a really flavorful, juicy Steak au Poivre (pepper!) and Gail swooned over her sea scallops. The waiter was fun, brought us extra glasses of wine after we finished our dinner and asked if we had seen Micheal Clayton. We'll definitely watch it more closely, as there is a scene shot in Bill's and BEST OF ALL, I was sitting in the exact same chair as George Clooney for the scene.
Oh my, let's talk about goose bumps!
As we got our coats and gloves, Bill opened the door for us and told us how Frank ( THAT Frank) took him "everywhere", they went to Tahoe and Vegas (and I'm guessing the track as well) and when the little spot on 54th Street came available, Frank encouraged Bill to take it and start his own place. Bill was a drop dead charmer of an 'old timer' and was very emotional when he spoke about Frank, and how Sinatra told him he'd make sure he was successful. We walked away quietly; this man really knew, and really missed that blue eyed crooner and it was touching to hear his tale.

I slept like a baby with a Sinatra soundtrack and visions of Clooney eyes and woke up to one of those postcard mornings in Manhattan! The blue skies got me out of bed and into my sneakers in a flash and I joined the thousands of New Yorkers in Central Park on this perfect Sunday morning. I walked for an hour, grabbed a toasted bialy and some Greek yogurt and went back to the room to change quickly because Gail and I had planned to meet Elizabeth at the Metropolitan Art Museum. What an awesome collection, you could truly spend days here (like any really great museum) but the Modern and Impressionist galleries were really fantastic. A couple of Calder mobiles, some divine Klimt and Sargent portraits and a lovely Rothko in addition to Van Gogh, Degas, Monet and the rest of the gang.

We lunched at the Neue Gallery and then walked up the Guggenheim where there were some dramatic alleghorical installations by a Chinese artist. One featured 92 stuffed wolves in a racing pack hitting a glass wall (the Berlin wall) and the pandemonium ensuing at the crash site.

Tonight we dined in French Bistro (how can green beens be SO good!?) and had good Limoux bubbly as well as an excellent Chinon with Crab ravioli and then a wonderfully rich, and yet not sweet flourless chocolate cake. We checked out the menu before walking inside, and I was so excited that they had both The Eyrie Pinot Gris and Lemelson Pinot noir on the list - nothing from WW, but 2 Oregon wines, very impressive!!

More market tomorrow, I'm meeting with a couple of organic cotton bedding vendors to explore adding good sheets to the BELLA line-up and then a visit to the studio/factory of Francis, our apron designer for Rienzi. We'll wrap up the work there and and then head on over to the event du jour, a trade tasting with some of our favorite wine producers from Walla Walla along with the NYC trade and press! Should be fun and we are looking forward to it!

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