I’m just going to say it, I had a kick-butt, wicked awesome weekend. Cleveland, thanks for making it all possible. I just hope that I don’t leave anything out, I’ll do my best!
Friday- I left work on time and got home in time to think about working out and relax. I was so pumped for the night ahead that time absolutely crawled by at work. We had 7 p.m. reservations at Chinato. We both love Italian food and Zack Bruell but somehow hadn’t made it to Chinato for dinner yet. We had been there for a hot minute on St. Patrick’s day for jello shots and gin & tonics. I started to get ready for dinner and it turned into a crisis. Ever decide you want to look cute and then nothing you put on meets your expectations? It was a mess. Not a hot one either. I finally calmed down and settled on nice jeans, a white button down, and my favorite fun heels. Not before completing disorganizing my closet though.
Chinato was beyond our expectations. The consistency of service and food quality among L’Albatros, Cowell & Hubbard, and now Chinato is astounding. I’m trying to make better food choices so that my clothes actually do look good on me again so as much as I wanted a big heaping bowl of the gnocchi, we split the appetizer size of it. This way I was able to see if they really met all the hype (they do!) without sabotaging myself. I also had the arugula salad which was heavenly and for my entree I had the chicken santimboca…I didn’t spell that right…Chicken Legs “saltimbocca”, that’s it. Nick ordered the seafood linguini and had I gone with the salmon, his dish would have won hands down, but I went out on a limb and picked a winner! (Winner, winner, chicken dinner, literally.) I only had half but that was all I needed to be satisfied. The chicken leg is sans bone and in its place is cheese and prosciutto. Seasoned with sage and served over kale and polenta, I’m in love. We split a chocolate hazelnut dessert (because I’m doing so well at making healthy choices.) The dessert was on par with the rest of the meal and we left full and in the mood to continue having a perfect date night.
The Society Lounge just opened on East Fourth in Cleveland and we had to try it. It’s a speakeasy type of place, located in a basement. It reminded me of a combination of the Speakeasy under Bier Markt and the Velvet Tango Room (except the drinks were actually affordable.) If it’s possible to have a favorite bartender, I have one. Her name is Penny and she’s been my bartender at Mars Bar, Eddy & Iggy’s, and now Society Lounge. The service world is a small one and I know I’m always in good hands with her. I was surprised she wasn’t the live entertainment though, girl has killer pipes. There was a piano player and lounge singer, creating quite the atmosphere with Ella Fitzgerald-ish tunes. I ordered the monkey gland (a gin drink) and Boyface had an old fashioned, both drinks were expertly made. Half of the fun of being at Society was watching the bartenders make and mix the cocktails. They were true mixologists. We were at Society for the time between dinner and my first stand-up comedy show at Hilarities. As our time was winding down, a group of people I adore, including Ali & Tiff walked in the door. This was their first time at Society too! It was so good to catch up with them. Ali is making the move to North Collinwood, which I’m very interested to hear more about. I recently read a post from Cleveland Frowns on that very topic.
The whole reason for dinner at Chinato and drinks at Society Lounge was to end at Hilarities for a stand-up show from the one and only Sarah Colonna. I’m not sure where to start but I’ve been a Sarah Colonna fan since this past summer. I went on a funny girl autobiography kick and Sarah’s book “Life as I Blow It” came out on top. It was a mix of sitcom funny stories, moments of disappointment, triumph, loss, and discovery. She had a moment of genius when she talked about how you can be two different people, an eternal partier or someone with their shit together, but at some point there will be a fork in the road and you’ll choose one. There’s nothing wrong with either but it’s a choice that gets made and she chose the former. I chose the latter but I felt like I could live vicariously through her to see what the former would have been like.
“We all have two very different personalities living inside us and sometimes those people are at war with each other. It’s confusing to see what two completely different paths can offer you. My mom showed me that if you lived close to your family, you always had a birthday party. You also always had a big Thanksgiving dinner, a big Christmas, an Easter egg hunt. Maybe those events became annoying, but you always knew you could rely on them. And you always had each other.
My dad showed me that if you went off on your own, you could have the career that you always wanted. Your family might change with each marriage and you might have to move around, feel alone for a while, and make new friends, but you’d always be climbing the ladder. Plus you could go on really nice vacations and stay in hotels with nice comfy robes that could be yours for the reasonable price of eighty-nine dollars.
I’m somewhere in the middle. I want both. Or I want it all. Or I only want part of both. I don’t know. I just know that you don’t always end up happy with what you thought would make you happy. You’ve probably been there a time or two yourself. You can’t always want what you get.” -Sarah Colonna
Two weeks ago I was talking to my cube-mate about Sarah’s book and in the same conversation it was mentioned that I’ve never seen stand-up in Cleveland and needed to rectify that. I was the teen that would rush home on a Friday night to watch Stand Up Friday on Comedy Central. I reveled watching Maria Bamford, Mitch Hedburg, and Ron “Tater Salad” White. It was serendpity that when I pulled up Pickwick & Frolick’s website that Sarah Colonna was coming to Cleveland the following week.
As we walk in, my Partner-in-Crime confesses, “I think we have some pretty good seats.” Um, pretty good? Our table was practically touching the stage. We took the two seats further away and were joined at our table by a pair of ladies who were so much fun! The two opening acts were funny. I liked the first guy a lot more than the second. By the time Sarah took the stage I was a few drinks in and more than ready for some comedy.
Sarah didn’t have a memorized set and it was so refreshing. She was very conversational with the audience and so, so funny. Boyface and I did get picked on as a couple- she caught on to the fact I was the enthusiastic, peppy one and he was the seemingly unamused, along-for-the-ride guy. It was fun and memorable. After the show I had a chance to meet Sarah and got a picture with her! When it was my turn, without even thinking, I went in for a big hug like she was a lost sorority sister of mine. Immediately realizing what I had done, after she had me in a full embrace too, I said, “ohmygawd, I’m sorry I hugged you, is this okay?” She laughed and we took our picture. Remember that time I seriously invaded one of my favorite comedian’s space? Sorry, not sorry.
After the show we headed back to our humble abode only to fall asleep on the couch to a DVR’d episode of New Girl. I couldn’t have asked for a better Friday.
Well, I think that’s enough for now. You always know you had a stellar weekend when you can make it stretch out over a couple of entries. Yes, entries, this is my journal too.
Who is your favorite stand-up comedian? What is your favorite swanky cocktail? What do you like to do for date night?