Definitely Not The Monday Night Blues

Usually I’m the one rounding up family, friends, co-workers — pretty much anybody with taste buds — to sample my latest creation, but tonight the tables have turned. Bill and I have been invited to what they call a “soft opening” at our friend’s upscale restaurant and entertainment venue, Standees. Designed as an Entertainment Eatery, Standees caters to a mature palate in both food and film. (In other words, they won’t be screening Ted anytime soon.)

We’ve known about it from its inception, have walked through the construction site and are both eager to check it out. That’s the plan for tonight, but I’ve got a whole Monday to get through first.

My day starts around 6:30 with coffee. I have the luxury of working out of my house, so my first email check is usually in my jammies. This is my most productive time, when the house is still quite and the day’s scheduled activities aren’t a distraction. Two cups is my limit before the caffeine jitters set in, so I stop for breakfast.

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Funny thing, the egg — sometimes they sound delicious and other times just downright gross. Today, they get the thumbs up, so I go for soft-boiled on toast with orange/banana juice. Some kind of citrus juice is a must have with an egg — no juice, no egg — it’s a deal breaker for me.

Back at my desk (yes, I am still in my jammies), I work until about 10 a.m. and then head for the gym. It is the absolute best time to go work out; the place is a ghost town. No one complains when I spread out and take over with my super-set or circuit workout; it’s great.

After some errands, I get back home and check out the fridge. Lunch is one lonely chicken kabob left over from last night and a spoonful of rice. It’s not gonna cut it.

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A little later, I am back, leaning into the fridge. I know we are gonna go for the works tonight — did I mention it’s on the house? — so I opt for some boring carrots and hummus and get back to work.

We have a 7 p.m. dinner reservation, but head out early to check out the theaters and get a cocktail.

VIP Status - gotta love it!
VIP Status: gotta love it!

At the bar, I get in the theme and order a Popcorn Martini — Tahitian vanilla bean vodka and corn milk with a candied and salted popcorn stick. It absolutely rocks!

Dinner time! Bill chooses an appetizer of Burnt End Meatballs in a brown sugar BBQ glaze with tempura banana pickles for us to share. He eats most of the meatballs, while I devour the tempura.

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Not one for peppers, I’m surprised how much I like these little “pickles.”

Having never met a hog he didn’t like, Bill chooses the Iowa Duroc Pork Chop for his entree. It’s a panko encrusted bone-in cutlet served with wild mushroom ragout and broccoli rabe and smells wonderful. I choose the Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut with sweet potato puree. Served with a little lake of sherry beurre blanc, my first combination bite of fish, potato and sauce makes my eyes roll back into my head.

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I’m almost embarrassed to say we didn’t stop there. (Did I mention this was free?!) So, of course, we had to try a dessert. My choice this time, the Boston cream pie — thank God we only got one dessert. Look at the size of this thing!

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I am getting so full I can no longer focus the camera!

We go in search of our host, thank him profusely and wish him the best of luck on his new venture. If the theater experience is half as good as the eats, it won’t be a problem.

Thanks Frank, we will definitely be back!

Do you typically splurge on dessert when you go out? Ever been VIP at a new restaurant? —Karen

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