Friday, May 31, 2013

A Night Out In Key West

My wife is the social secretary, and I find as I get older and more set in my ways I am as happy to be at home as I am to be out and about. Perhaps it is the lack of roads to entice me to ride, perhaps it's Cheyenne's minimalist requirements, perhaps it is the comfort of a shaded deck, but in any event I wouldn't show up for jazz and wine at the Gardens Hotel unless I got an uxorious shove.  
 Its a nice enough spot on Angela at Simonton, The Gardens Hotel.
 And most Fridays Michael Robinson plays the piano in this ancient and elegant registered historic place. Actually the mansion boasts quite some history on it's website, a quarter city block cleared by the original hotelier to make up a garden around the home. There are some extraordinary details including a  friendship with the Cuban dictator Batista who permitted removal of artifacts and plants from Cuba. All to the benefit of what eventually became the Gardens Hotel. 
My wife likes Michael Robinson a school district employee she respects but we had plans for an extended evening in the city so after a taste of plonk (they have this peculiar but effective self serve wine bar in the hotel. You put credit on a card and help yourself to wine by the ounce. Its actually very cool) we had to move on from the serene luxury of The Gardens.
So I discovered this was the night to check out Solo, a relatively new place on Greene Street, open about six months and from what the wife had heard is quite the in spot. Prissy in Paradise liked it too, Donna Reviews Solo. We had appetizers only, the fritters with two sauces and a flatbread, which is rather like a thin crust pizza and as tomato sauce is ubiquitous on American pizza the flatbread makes a pleasant change.

I liked the place though I thought the tables were a little too deep, meaning you seem to sit a long way away from your fellow diner. There weren't many diners when we were there so I spun the table on its axis and we ended up much closer, within talking distance, at a wider table. I hope Solo makes it and summer is always the test. Happy hour foods were reasonably priced, my wife got  a melon martini while I got myself a healthy pour of a decent glass of wine and though not extensive they had a reasonable range of draught beers. I enjoyed my glass of Portuguese white, dry and spicy and interesting. Solo has been quite a few things over the years and I hope this place stays as is.

Then we trotted off to the Tropic, ducking crowds on Duval by the expedient of being lazy and riding the Bonneville across the few  blocks filled with drinking amblers on the main drag. We had elected to see The Iceman, a film about a killer for the mob who lived a double life racking up a hundred murders while living the life of a devoted husband and father. I thought my wife, the former public defender, might not be too keen but she stuck it out. It was a long movie and the turn around was timed so close that we walked in on the titles at the end of the previous show. A movie about a psychopath is a tough row to hoe principally owing to one's inability to get inside his head. I don't much like people but not to the degree I want to kill them, chop them up and  freeze them before dumping their bodies.
 It was an evening much like any other across the fruited plain, dinner, a movie and so to bed to prepare for the day of work the next day. As tropically exotic as Key West usually gets for me.