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Another great night out

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I was supposed to be attending the private opening celebration of the new Union Trust Steakhouse with Ottavio and his crew, but they wound up leaving before I got there. I must say that the line was long and there were some distinguished people of all walks of life in it; it took one hour just to get to the door. However, as you made it into the covered and heated tented section of the line, you were treated to a small glass of Banfi's Rosa Regale, a favorite of mine.

Upon entering the place, it was a hive abuzz with massive activity, and the alcohol was definitely flowing. I talked to a couple of the servers there and they apprised me that there are a substantial number of wines by the glass. Tumoor, who I know originally from Devon Seafood and then Capital Grille, is there, and he apprised me that they have over thirty different Amarones, which is one of my top five types of wines.

Stationed throughout the establishment were a number of tables where you could have your choice of up to then different wines, including a couple of sparkling options. The main bars were serving cocktails and there were a couple of other stations where you could get a bottled beer.

I ran into John Frankowski a couple of times and got to chat with him. He is one of the owners, and as luck would have it, I met him while having drinks at Capitol Grille in the beginning of December. Our connection was that a past client of mine is a neighbor of his. He also is a partner/owner with Swanky Bubbles as well.

As I said, the place was a party, and it was complete with a DJ, who was definitely throwing on some good stuff out there. The comical part was that there were a couple of classical musicians that couldn't keep up with the tempos that he was throwing out. One of the funniest parts was when I did a little dance twirl to "Apache" for some of the folks there. A couple second later, the DJ would throw on some Vanilla Ice followed by Young MC and two ladies were trying to get me to join in. I definitely couldn't do that [for my own ethical reasons], but they were having a great time.

Making a round of the place, I joked with one guy who just seemed to be bored and wanting to get out of there. He laughed and thought that I was someone he knew named Luther. However, we made quick acquaintance and I completed the
circuit. As I was coming back upstairs another time to talk to someone else, my friend was gone, so I sat down and chatted with his wife and the rest of the people at the table until he got back. Most interestingly, as we talked about what we each do, she mentioned that her daughter had a cooking show on CN8 to which I came up with the name. I told her that I knew her and pulled her number out of my cellphone, to which she was surprised; Philadelphia is a small city after all.

Of course, Mayor Nutter was there, and our running joke is that he's also following me around. It was compounded more that after we first saw each other, we then ran into each other again as he was making he way into another area that I preceded him into by about two minutes.

Ultimately, I think that Union Trust will do well, despite the recession, and if their prices for drinks aren't raking you over the coals, then they'll easily blow Del Fresco out of the water as well as seriously drain the patronage of most of the restaurants between Broad Street and Delaware Avenue. It will be one of those places that people come to be seen at as well as to dine.

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Our Mission: The Black Winer strives to expose African Americans [and others] to wines, without the flair, stuffiness, and airs of elitism and snobbery that you get from sommeliers and high level wine enthusiasts. We believe in finding something that you like the taste of, outside of the basic brands that you have been force-fed over the years through a combination of ethnically targeted advertising, and what people in your family have historically been drinking.

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