Let's start with yesterday's lunch, a business lunch in Jersey City:
We were a large group, so we ordered appetizers for the table. Fried calamari and fried shrimp, served with both a regular marinara sauce and a spicy marinara sauce. Both were lightly breaded and not greasy. Wonderful. I ordered the papardelle con vodka, broad flat noodles with pea pods and prosciutto in a tomato vodka sauce. Very nice, but I think I would have preferred a more traditional penne or rigatoni. I didn't care for dessert -- fillo brushed with chocolate and stacked with a very heavy chocolate mousse. At least the berries were fresh. I found myself envious of my coworker's creme brulee.
After work, it was time to continue the birthday bash. Drew and I had theater tickets last night, and so planned to eat in the Theater District. We are both Guy Fieri fans, watch him on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. We both read the critic's reviews of his new Times Square restaurant, as well as diner reviews on websites like Urbanspoon. Although the critics clearly didn't like the place, diner reviews have been mixed. We're Guy's fans, though. We knew we had to try Guy's place:
Maybe we're easy to please, but we liked it. I'd put it in the same category as Bubba Gump's or Planet Hollywood, kitschy and cute, with a menu designed to appeal to a broad range of people. don't rely on the menu that's posted in the window, they've dropped a few items and renamed others since they opened a few months ago. Our appetizer was "Awesome Pretzel Chicken tenders" - the chicken was very tender, the coating very crispy, and the dipping sauce had just enough "zing" to it to be interesting without overpowering the chicken. Drew ordered "Motley Que Ribs" -- meat was falling off the bone, seasoned fries were crisp, and he described the cole slaw as both sweet and savory, with something he couldn't identify but really liked. I ordered the "Huli Huli Roasted Chicken" -- half a chicken, roasted and brushed with a sweet BBQ sauce. Rice pilaf was very basic, but worked well with the sweet sauce on the chicken. Onion straws were light and crispy. Mango salsa was ...well, it was a small serving and I barely noticed it was there. Not a bad meal, we'd definitely go back.
And for the evening's main event -- Rodger and Hammerstein's "Cinderella". I've seen the Julie Andrews television production from 1957 and the 1997 Disney television production starring Brandy, but I'm not familiar with the 1965 television production, which starred Leslie Ann Warren. I am sure I saw it when I was a kid, but I don't have a clear memory of that. I'm told that this staged version is closest to the 1965 production, but there are obviously a few modern updates to the story line. Still, the music, the singing and the dancing are amazing. Stuart Weitzman designed the glass slippers, and they are absolutely gorgeous. Glass slippers are so back.
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