Monday. Fred calls and tells me that if I don’t attend the Boys Dinner this year, he’ll take me off his guest list. Fred lives a secret double life as a DJ, and is well known for his Yaletown block parties that generally don’t start until I’m asleep. It’s been over a decade since I’ve attended one. The Boys Dinner is different. It’s at Gotham Steakhouse, and begins at a respectful 8PM. I figure I can say my hi, how are you’s? and polish off a 16 ounce rib eye in under an hour, and still make my curfew.
Thursday. The holding area at Gotham is full of stockbrokers vying for the attention of a small group of women who probably don’t eat meat, but definitely wear fur. I quickly find Dave Newson, at large, astride a bar stool, nursing a Manhattan. I order a Whiskey Sour in a highball glass. Dave introduces me to Andrew Mortimer Lamb, a dealer in exotic cars, who they affectionately refer to as Mo’ Sheep. Mo is remarkably calm, given that he just entrusted a 2011 Rolls Royce Ghost to valet parking. I self-parked my Hyundai at a meter, and at a dollar for eight minutes, took out a loan to do so.
During dinner I reconnect with the two fellows sitting on either side of me. Henry was a great photographer. Now he’s importing Turkish yoga towels and becoming one with his chakras. Didier works with wood, and is divorced from his socialite heiress wife. He got the same ultimatum from Fred. Show up, or face ostracism.
Across from me is a guy from Chicago who Fred was visiting recently when he texted me to say he was on Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile, shopping for sweets. I asked him to go to Vosges for me, and pick up as many Mo’s Bacon chocolate bars as he was willing to bring back in his carry-on. He did, and I ate most of it myself, but did bring some to work to share with my staff. Offering pieces on a plate as a tremendous example of the marriage of sweet and salty, everyone dutifully took some. Susha ate it hesitantly, and then asked what it was exactly.
She’s vegetarian. I let her extend her lunch hour so she could have her tongue professionally scraped.
William held sway over the table for much of the second course, regaling us with tales of frustration and woe over the City permit and inspection process he recently went through to build out his new sports bar concept attached to his downtown deli. Shades of Morgan Crossing! The names were changed to protect the innocent, but it could just as easily have been the story of the Mink build-out in South Surrey.
Saturday. Fred calls to give me a recap of the boys’ hijinks after I left. Apparently, a Ghost can hold nine close friends comfortably if they’re only going two blocks to the Fairmont. Fred didn’t quit drinking that night until I was waking up that morning. He tells me he feels sorry for people who don’t drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.
I contemplate going back to bed to get mo’ sleep. Now that I’ve re-upped my membership in Fred’s inner sanctum, I fear I’m going to have to make another appearance, somewhere, sometime, and I want to be well rested.
Mink Chocolates Inc.,
Mink A Chocolate Cafe Ltd.
Call the store: 604.633.2451
Call my mobile: 604.376.3464
Call toll free: 1.866.283.5181
Watch: youtube.com search mink chocolates
In Person: 863 Hastings Street West, Vancouver, BC V6C 3N9
Nine out of every ten persons say they love chocolate. The tenth lies.
– Anthelme Brillat-Savarin