27 October 2008

Dinner and Dave

Last night, we went to see Dave Brubeck at Disney Hall.

Beforehand, we had dinner at Cafe Pinot, one of my favourite restaurants. They are having a Bordeaux festival, and we ordered some Chateau Haut Saint Martin, 2003 Saint-Emilion, which was a lovely golden colour, and though dry, had a bit of a honey flavour to it. It was lovely, and it went well with my entree, which was Ricotta gnocchi with roasted butternut squash, wild mushrooms and parmesan herb jus. I was excited because our server told me they made their own Ricotta there. The jus was wonderful, though it could have been served with some bread to mop up the wonderful flavours. The gnocchi were tender and tasty, but they were TINY, barely the size of my fingernail, and there were only about 8 or 10 in the dish. The plate was dominated by mushrooms (although some were just too musty-fungus-tasting for me) and squash, which was unevenly cooked, so that some pieces were crisp and some were wonderfully tender.

We finished with a cheese plate, consisting of the Idziabal, Petit Basque and Brie de Meaux, accompanied by grapes, apple slices, walnuts and honey, and some thinly sliced raisin bread that was toasted just-a-little too dark for my taste. I had another glass of the lovely wine, and Tod ordered a pot of the lavender Earl Grey tea.

Thus sated, we toddled over to Disney Hall for our evening with Dave Brubeck. He'll be 88 in December, but he sure doesn't play like it. He and his band, none of whom are youngsters, came out a little after 7:30 p.m., and played for about an hour, after which Dave stood up and said "intermission". They came back after about 20 minutes and played another 45. He probably played a whole lot of classics, but the jazz neophyte I am only recognized "Take Five". Then the saxophonist moved towards the flute, and I was hoping they'd play "Over the Rainbow", as they did when we saw them at the Hollywood Bowl in summer 2007. But Dave started playing the melody to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", and they closed with that.

He moved rather stiffly, and when the quartet returned after the intermission, I said to Tod that he was moving a little slowly. Then Brubeck started to play, and Tod said "No, he's not."

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