Saturday, September 8, 2012

Birthdaze 2012: Billie Holiday, Blissful Mac N' Cheese and A Birdcage Under The Stars

Round up those Posse Gals and let's hit the road! Indeed and once freed from the bounds of toiling in hospitality, we did just that and headed for points midtown and yon to celebrate the latest round of turning a year older for me. This year wasn't as automatically satisfying as last year due to Kristy (She Who Is Bestie) who informed me then that we were actually a year younger than the age I thought we were that? Despite the cold, hard reality of realizing that true age this year, I moved on and forward and off to the first stop: The Plaza-side restaurant named Cafe Trio.

K and I had been planning to hit up Cafe Trio for some time now; tonight, we got to experience it with the lovely company of Posse gals Kiko, Deb, Deb's daughter Andrea and Bunchie. Upon arrival, I was instantly struck by the festive patio and the sleek, seemingly Asian-influenced decor on the inside. A pianist was tickling the ivories and the place was packed for a Tuesday night. Once seated, we were presented with one of the more imaginative libation menus I have ever read. Each cocktail was named for a particular celebrity and each description included a quote by or connected to them. We all ordered a different version so to take in each drink and once the celebs were sipped, they were passed around the table for everyone to try (how salacious!). Amongst those who made their fleeting cameo appearances...the Ricky Martin (Strawberry-Mango Mojito), the Halle Berry (with Pearl Plum vodka and Champagne-muddled Blackberries) and the Courtney Love (aka Liquid Cocaine with Stoli, Southern Comfort, amaretto, triple sec and a splash of pineapple). My personal fave was my own ordered concoction; the Billie Holiday with Stoli Citron, House Lemonade, Monin Blueberry and fresh blueberries. Don't threaten me with love, baby...

The food was a swirl of flavorful fare that had us all swooning. After a starter of creamy spinach and artichoke dip and spring mix salad with house Herb Parmesan dressing, our main events arrived and in true Posse style, we passed around our entrees as we did our elixirs. Its a sure sign of Posse approval when we all rave about everything sampled. I thoroughly enjoyed my nibble of Trio Steak Gorgonzola with its flamed bleu cheese and fabulous shitake and port-wine mushroom sauce. My morsel of Wild Mushroom Ravioli with grilled chicken, roasted garlic and goat cheese was amazing. Keith's roast chicken was stuffed with sage, prosciutto and goat cheese and came with a wow of a side: a delectable spaghetti-squash potato pancake. Once again though, I was happiest with my own choice; the Mac Daddy, a truly Heavenly macaroni and cheese dish. Voted KC's best mac n' cheese, this is a silky, heady concoction with bacon, green onion, cherry tomatoes, and an angelic trio of Fontina, Romano and Bel Paese (an Italian semi-soft) cheeses. If you're gonna go birthday big, go Cafe Trio Mac Daddy. We sampled some lovely desserts including a treacherously devilish Chocolate Spoon Cake and the table favorite; a Creme Brulee cheesecake but I was still knocked sideways by the Mac Daddy. Good thing we could revisit it, as K and I ate on the leftovers of that single dish for three days.

What more could I say to wax rhapsodic about Cafe Trio? How about a full vegetarian and gluten-free menu? Add in the great service and their support of local art and music and the far-out vibe followed me right out the door. Many thanks Cafe Trio, we will most assuredly be back.

The evening just got more sublime when we followed dinner with a performance of La Cage Aux Folles on a moonlight night at Starlite Theater. The Tan Man himself, George Hamilton, led a sparkling cast in the musical version of the 1973 French play that would later inspire a couple of film versions, including The Birdcage. We loved it.

Birthday bliss.


Anonymous said...

PSSSSST! Greg! We are that old THIS year! Well, YOU are. I won't be til Tuesday. And in honor of our respective deliverance to this world I am baking snickerdoodles. And then hopefully going to the gym LOL! See you soon. We'll have cake.


Confounded Cook said...


Lisa Mandina said...

I think I'm going to have to go have the Mac n' cheese there. Yummy.

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