I was on a blind date (set up by Sharyl, Ms. Doylestown herself) at The Oak Room. Before arriving, Craig met a couple Katrina & Kerry regulars at the establishment...who had recently bought an apartment at The Plaza. Katrina was very pleasant, genuinely charming, she garnered respect from everyone in the room and more or less knew the entire staff.
Craig & I joined Katrina & Kerry for dinner...The Oak Room Bar, newly renovated by restaurateur Joey Allaham and Chef Joel Antunes was an experience even for this native New Yorker, a wondrous way to kick off the week. My meal started with sea urchin on a bed of creamy polenta foam, followed by roast loin of lamb with artichoke hearts and ending with the most decadent of desserts: Rice Pudding w/Cointreau, Pumpkin Pots de Creme, Miniature Madelines, and a plate of pastries fit enough for a king.
Katrina, god bless her soul put me to shame with her social butterfly etiquette making new friends by the handful. Whilst she was away we had the pleasure of ogling Richard Gere at a neighboring table, and upon her return introduced us to Joey Allaham and his wife Lauren. A charming, and beautiful, couple. A short while later, after another social circle of conversation Katrina returns to tell us we're crashing the party next door at the Palm Court for the premiere of the new Hugh Jackman & Nicole Kidman movie Australia.
In NYC fashion, we pose as Katrina & Kerry's daughter and son-in-law and soon we're mingling with the celebrity studded crowd--filled with people who look familiar but are unrecognizable. As we a are wandering about I spot a dashingly handsome man in a 3-piece suit, its Hugh Jackman of course ...the date is thinking we should plot to get a picture, we conspire ...but it feels too invasive, he's there with his wife and family friends....
We pause to strike up a conversation with one of the secret service security guys (a moonlighting NYPD detective and I wonder if he knows Ray). We start chatting about celeb duty... and Eddie Boyle (born in Flatbush, now from Rockville Center), asks how we got in and I who cannot tell a lie come clean. Eddie laughs and asks if I've taken a photo with the man...I shake my head and he responds "If you're brazen enough to crash a party then what's stopping you from getting a photo?" Well he had a point and so with nothing to lose we make our move. We're hovering in the queue of fans milling around the movie star...and Eddie sweet Eddie leans toward Mr. Jackman, whispers in his ear and the next thing I know I'm being formally introduced to Mr. Jackman himself. The date takes a photo using my phone its kind of grainy but one of thing's for sure Hugh Jackman is charming, gracious, and yes, ultimately gorgeous.