A fun time was had by two
Downtown Gainesville on a Friday night is a vibrant place with live events, music, fine dining and crowds of happy people.
There in the middle was the the GLOB Master, living the good life with an attractive woman on Friday night heading for the bright lights of a Hippodrome Theater opening night. Don't pinch me please, I choose not to wake up.
The Hippodrome Theatre is a very hip establishment that transformed a 116-year-old old post office, land office and federal court into a theater in the round, an art gallery, and an art movie house where you can see movies not being shown in mainstream theaters.
My guest Kristina Stienfeldt and I would be attending the Hipp production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, but first there was a reception deserving our attention in the very cool Hippodrome basement event area.
Square 1 Burgers & Bar provided the food for the reception and presented delicious slider-size sandwiches with ground chicken, Swiss cheese, and sun-dried tomato mayonnaise. A crisp salad accompanied the slider with a tart vinaigrette dressing. The sliders were a perfect complement to our adult beverages that we cheerily carried with us to our theater seats.
Hippodrome Scenic Designer Mihai Ciupe had decorated the stage with a unique, stylized look that defined the Hipp persona literally putting the audience into another world. I eagerly awaited the "curtain" rising, as much as I was looking forward to post play discussion.
After the play, Kristina and I walked to Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille 2 blocks away to sort out, discuss questions of Denmark's ruling class, death, murder, and ghosts raised by the dramatic events we witnessed on the Hipp stage.
The overriding dramatic questions of reasons, royalty, and the existence of ghosts flowed as we shared the HSB&G Crab & Eggplant Napoleon, a panko-crusted eggplant stacked with layers of crab meat and topped with a Parmesan basil cream sauce.
I noticed Harry's server Brent giving me the eye and realized we were the only customers left at the bar. With a broad smile, I mentioned to Kristina had a special dessert at my place, where we could continue the conversation.
Trust me fellow, GLOBers, if you ever have a situation where you are out to impress, the Uppercrust Bakery is an excellent strategy – sweetening the conversation with delightful pastries, amazingly delicious savory bites, and divine homemade veggie/hummus spread plus an impressive variety of wines.
Regarding what is considered by many the best bakery in N. Florida, what could be more fun than perusing the Uppercrust Bakery for taste treats, like Pistachio Pinwheels (thank you, Erica Corbett), hot cross spiced buns, and raspberry and apricot scones.
The pinwheels were extra-large sugary, crispy pinwheels with an amazing overt green flavor. The spiced buns were dense, cake-like gems of sweet-flavored raisins and cinnamon.
Scones! The raspberry, and apricot jam-like centers of the light, folded, flaky pastries screamed, "Eat me first!"
Of course I saw this as an opportunity to impress with my homemade, homegrown herb Rosemary Peasant Bread. I don't mind saying I turned out a nice looking loaf of fresh baked bread to accompany the Uppercrust xxx hummus spread.
Special thanks to the UC Assistant who suggested the cantine de falco primitivo salento red 2012 to accompany our impressive late night bounty.
This Friday was a perfect example of why the I love Fridays. Extraordinary company, marvelous theater, and fabulous food made for an incredibly fun, opening night evening.
If you know of a better social trifecta GLOBers, please let me know.