January 26 2006, 4:16 PM
Last night rocked. I really needed a good night on the town, and we did it up proper. First, I checked out the scene at Bar Luxe and Euro. Both places are easy on the eyes, but Bar Luxe is downright gorgeous. It's anything but casual, with a Valentine's Day-goes-modern decor full of white leather booths, sexy-mod crystal chandeliers, red velvet chairs and bouquets of red roses sunken in water-filled glass cylinders. As you might expect, it's not cheap; two martinis set us back over $20. But my Le Francais (citron vodka and Chambord with a lemon twist and sugared rim) and hubby's dry Beefeater-with-two-olives were mixed properly and served in stylish stemware. We didn't stay long, since we had booked an early reservation at Euro in order to make it to the Fillmore by 7:30 for the Cake and Gogol Bordello show. But Euro is a beautiful space as well. The darkish basement vibe of the Manhattan Grill is gone, lightened and brightened by new white tile floors, subtle recessed lighting in the coved ceiling, and large beveled mirrors on all the walls. New upholstery and other details help freshen the look as well. Our dinner was good, although we had the expected snag or two, as it was a friends-and-family preview dinner to help them work the kinks out before opening to the public. (I'll keep the details of the few snafus to myself in the spirit of the friends-and-family concept.) My favorite item was the super creamy and rich lobster cappuccino, closely followed by the goat cheese tart with eggplant and carmelized onions. Hubby's rib eye was divine, and my raviolis were good, but not great. Overall we loved it -- cool room, good food, fair prices. And the show last night? Gogol Bordello rocked the house, as expected. At one point the drummer threw her huge round drum into the crowd, where she then climbed aboard and crowd-surfed, all without breaking rhythm. I saw Eugene after his set, and he totally cracked me up by bitching about the Fillmore's blatant inadequacy in the backstage booze department. Not 30 minutes after his set, the band had sucked up all available libations and he was at the bar, bumming drinks off yours truly. (In all fairness, I was more than happy to buy him a couple of drinks and get the latest update on the world of Gogol.) Tegan and Sara's alt-pop was a great groove, and then Cake took the stage and the entire room was singing along in a drunken state of bliss. Of course, I did end up with a morning hangover, all intentions be damned. But you know what? It was worth it. Now I can buckle down, and have the memory of last night's shenanigans to keep me going through the weekend's self-imposed isolation.