My dinner club is a venerable old society that was founded in the late 1800’s in Detroit. The Detroit Philatelic Society was even honored when the City of Detroit celebrated their 300’Th Anniversary as one of the oldest clubs still in existence, and by chance that was the year that I was President of the group. Some of the original and early members have their names on businesses and streets in the metropolitan area. I do not claim membership in that august and elite group that I cited, but I have been a member for years and thoroughly enjoy the group. The original group would have the meetings at a member’s home, but since most homes cannot handle a dinner party for up to forty-five diners let alone a spouse or staff to prepare the dinner, we now meet in restaurants around the area, according the largesse of the hosting members for the evening. The group tends to frequent just a handful of restaurants through out the year, because most places no longer have a private room that can handle the membership, which is a shame.
Our last meeting was held at The Courthouse Grille in Plymouth, Michigan and I have discussed the history of this restaurant in prior articles. Most of the meetings have a similar menu, which is a salad, a choice of three different entrée dishes (normally a meat, a chicken and a fish choice) and dessert. The most common item that we always seem to have is a chocolate sundae for dessert, and that was almost a fixture from the time of our late illustrious secretary, who assumed the duties from his Father who also held the office for decades before his son. There is always a cocktail hour before dinner, which allows everyone to mingle and kibitz. This past meeting we were allowed a choice of Barbequed Ribs, Barbequed Chicken or Grilled Salmon. As some of you may have noticed from my writings that I tend to be a bit fussy about my dinner selections, and when I found that the ribs fall off of the bone, I had made my decision. I find it very unappealing to have to pick up and gnaw on a bone, but that is my peccadillo and I can live with it.
With this group I do enjoy having a cocktail before dinner; there is just something about traditions that must be maintained. I remember one member that I used to be a fellow host with, who had joined in 1928. He would scout out the seat that he desired for the meal and laid out his required accoutrements for the evening. He would count out twelve cigarettes and three small intermission cigars and line them up, just above his plate. He would then order two “Boiler-makers” and a glass of either Brandy or Cognac (depending on the venue); of course this was way back when drinking and smoking were “derigueur” in restaurants and clubs. My self I am happy with a Whiskey Sour before dinner with this group and then a glass or two of wine with dinner. This particular evening I had a Layer Cake Shiraz 2012 from South Australia, and it took a few minutes to decide, as they have a nice selection of wines by the glass to choose from. I enjoyed this full bodied wine that have enough flavor to stand up to the Barbequed Ribs, nothing worse then having too soft of a tasting wine to pair with dinner.