I missed my usual Thursday boomer night here in Detroit this week because my work was so challenging that I needed to keep my head clear and stay until the end of the day Friday to finish it.
Kept changing my plans for Friday night and at the last minute decided on the Bon Vie Bistro and Wine Bar at the Somerset Mall in Troy. It is the most upscale mall I have ever seen with stores like Gucci, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach and Cartier. Moving sidewalks, concierge staff and a guy playing classical fare on a grand piano in the main atrium add to the unusual ambience.
The restaurant is set up like an al fresco Parisian bistro, only the tables sit on a mall walkway instead of on an outdoor sidewalk. That’s cool because you get more comely women walking by than you would on a sidewalk; and the women who shop upscale in Detroit are good looking from school age to senescence. Even though the city is probably near bankrupt, the zillions of car executives here have already made millions so that their wives can stay fashionable and buff. A lot of the older men, on the other hand, don’t seem to worry about what they look like. The only drawback of having these women (not the girls) around is the pervasiveness of their post-menopausal floral fragrances when you are trying to commune with your wine. Pre-menopausal earthy spice or deep musk I can tolerate.
The sommelier at Bon Vie is an exception among Detroit men. Rather short of stature, like a typical male movie star, he has movie actor good looks and a large impressive presence. The fact that shorter men are often the best looking sort of indicates that God might exist. He is proud of his burgeoning Bordeaux collection and assured me that by the next time I visited he would have older wines to complement his mostly 2000s and 2003s. I was going to select the 2003 Gloria, but he talked me into the inexpensive 2000 Chateau Clos du Roy, a Fronsac, which he said was quite ready and drank like a classed growth, even pointing to amber in the rim, which I didn’t see at all.
In the middle of my conversation with Theodore, my wife called from the most famous restaurant in Albany, New York, if I can use the “f” word for anything in Albany: Jack’s Oyster House on State Street a few doors down the hill from the Capitol. She had just sat down with a friend and needed help with the wine list. If you are going to have to take a call in a restaurant, this was about the most apropos missive you could get, and Theodore helped with my wife’s decision (I didn’t really need his help, but I think he got a kick out of his expanded role at my table.) And neither my wife nor I like to be apart on Friday night, but the serendipitous synchronicity of the phone connection carried our spiritual union across the distance.
I didn’t want to drink more than a bottle of Bordeaux and a couple of mini carafes of vin de pays white, but the sommelier wanted me to try some Duckhorn Merlot that he thought was nice. After a taste (blech) when he wasn’t looking I gave it to the table next to me and left.
Anyway, after drinking a little too much wine to responsibly navigate my rented Chrysler 300 back to my hotel room on Woodward Avenue, I found my head remarkably clear upon exiting the mall into the night. From that state, I surmised that it must be a full moon. It is too cloudy here to tell from looking, but as soon as I can get a New York Post in my hands en route home, I will check.
Sounding like a broken record, I know, I will mention again that the black guy who designed the immensely popular new car for Chrysler grew up cruising Woodward Avenue, arguably the most famous cruising street in the world outside of maybe LA. One of the countless millionaires in Detroit, no doubt by now, he still cruises Woodward with his wife on Saturday nights. If that isn’t cool, I don’t know what is; so, in deference to the man’s God-like status in my mind, when I am in Detroit, I always stay in a room above Woodward with my window open to listen to the ‘60s’ muscle cars muscle out from the stoplight under my window.
This was all leading to a controversial ending, which I wrote a few hours ago when I was still tipsy (had a couple of ports locally after parking the carriage) but still had the presence of mind to realize it might not be responsible to post. Looked at what I wrote later, lopped off the offensive stuff and now will just post the lead-in to tell you about the restaurant.