Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Downtown Uptown

Downtown Uptown

Now that I am married, Girls Night Out has become even more important. I have known many brides that become so wrapped up in being a newlywed, a new wife and absorbed in their own lives that the last time they see their friends they are still wearing the ugly bridesmaid dresses forced upon them.

On email, we went back and forth: “Where do you want to go for dinner?”

“Let’s go downtown. Should we do something trendy?

“I feel like an old married lady. What are the new hotspots the kids are going these days?”

Back and forth we went over two days, multiple reservations were made, multiple plans were discussed. “Girls, I don’t feel like going downtown,” Alissa wrote. “It’s freezing and I am not in the mood to hike all the way down there.” No one argued, we have long since reached the staged where convenience outweighs cool. Besides, it is about being together…even if together meant the Olive Garden or a truck stop off I95.

I fired off an email when the idea struck: “Let’s bring downtown uptown.” Two years ago, for Debra’s birthday we chose to celebrate her first anniversary of her 30th birthday at Frederick’s Downtown, just slightly south of the Meatpacking District. At the time, the place was new, an outpost of its uptown sister, and crawling with pseudo-celebs. We saw Gastineau mom and daughter sipping champagne in a back corner table and a few other celebutards. But the food happened to be amazing even if the attitude wasn’t checked at the door.

More back and forth on email, we set a time and all agreed on Frederick’s uptown location at 66th and Madison. “All the glamour of downtown but within walking distance to my apartment,” Jodi said. What amazed me was that 4 uptown girls had been to the downtown version on multiple occasions but had never tried the original one which was in their very own backyard.

We all arrived within minutes of each other and very near to the reservation time, a feat very rarely reached. The place was empty except for a few diners who quietly enjoyed their meal in the backroom. Frederick’s Uptown draws a “ladies who lunch” crowd and a late night Euro crowd, but at 7pm we had no problem getting a reservation or a prime table in the front with views of the street.

The tartars (Salmon and Tuna) were out of this world and so large that we barely had room for our entrees when they arrived. The wine flowed, 2 glasses each and we couldn’t drink anymore. “Is it pathetic that after a half glass of wine, I feel it?” I asked the girls who all concurred that Red Bull and vodka is a thing of the past. The restaurant sent over a free dessert which we picked at to be polite since we couldn’t eat another morsel. By 9pm, the vibe was changing, the tempo picking up and the crowd streaming in. “Anyone want to stay for a drink?” Jodi asked.

“Can’t. I have an early meeting,” Alissa said.

“I have to walk Chief, M is playing tennis tonight I don’t want to come home to any yellow puddles.”

We double kissed on the cheek outside on the sidewalk – Frederick’s is the kinda place where, despite my detest for the “double-kiss-affect”, it felt mandatory after the maitre-D wished us Bon Soir a few times.

Alissa started her walk north on Madison, Jodi to the East and I headed South. Sometimes there is nothing as great as an amazing dinner with friends, a nice cold walk home….and no need for a cab.


Anonymous said...

Love that place.They also *HAD a lounge next to the Plaza. 212 is also a fun somewhat trendy spot on the UES for girls dinners.

Anonymous said...

Another perfect place for that type of get-together is Caffe Grazie on 84th between 5th & Madison. Ask for Jenn or Eilish, they'll take care of you.