Monday, March 17, 2008
Thirty | 30 | 29 plus 1 | 75% to 40
I celebrated my birthday Ruskie-style with dinner and a show at The National, a Russian nightclub in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. You can click here for pictures.
I got dolled up in suede boots and G'mom's fur for the night, and I'm so glad I went all out. Everyone at the club was done up to the nines, with sequins and full-length mink coats everywhere.
We went with eight friends and settled in for six hours of endless food and cabaret-style entertainment. There were enough Russian dishes to feed us for a week, but over the hours, we worked our way through full plates of smoked salmon, beef tongue (John tried it and made a face), crepes with salmon roe, crab salad with string-shaved cucumber, and roasted eggplant stuffed with feta. And that's just the appetizers!
For the main course, they brought huge platters of broiled fish with oyster sauce, potatoes and mushrooms, beef stroganoff and mushroom pasta with duck. On the side, we had Ceasar salad (appropriate for the Ides of March) and duck salad with roasted peppers.
I know that sounds like TONS of food, but it was nothing compared to the vodka we swilled. Our table came with one bottle, and John and I brought a second to top everyone off. Then we splurged on one more bottle (for $65!) for a nightcap. I'm pretty sure that I would've blown the top off a breathalyzer test well into Sunday night.
Strangely, for all the distilled potato I ingested, I never felt the least bit woozy. It helped that we danced all night long.
At mid-meal, they raised the curtain on an older, mulleted fellow in a shiny lounge jacket. He played acoustic guitar for a few slow Russian songs. John melted me by asking me to dance during the first song, and I cracked up in a belly laugh when it ended 15 seconds after we took to the floor. (After nearly nine months of marriage, he's caught on... ask your wife to dance early to get off the hook for most of the night.)
After ponytail guy finished, the real entertainment started. A long stream of violently wigged performers came out to perform, singing songs that sounded like Russian Idol fodder and the occasional American pop song. They turned on the black lights early in the evening and kept them going until 2 a.m. The costumes got sillier and more outrageous as the night went on... At one point, a woman who seriously resembled glamorous transsexual Amanda Lepore, strutted out for her 20th song of the night, and I swear she was wearing an inflatable, Hawaiian-style fat-girl costume. She was sporting stuffed boobs that were each bigger than her head.
It was a riot. John and I danced the conga across the stage while holding an inflated palm tree. How much better could it get? 30 rocks!
Update: Laura blogged about the party over at VittlesVamp! She got some great shots, too. Link.