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Dinner and Show--Our Way (Part 1)

A while ago, I came across a notice for the Naked Magicians. As a joke, I sent the link to Darwin and said, "This is what I want for my birthday."

Be careful . . .

On my birthday, Darwin handed my an envelope. In it were two tickets. For the Naked Magicians. Front row center.  Dearie, dearie me.

We decided to make a night of it, with dinner beforehand.  It would be dinner and a show for the gay couple!  Date night!  But where to go, though?

I pointed out that the Whitney, one of Detroit's most famous restaurants, was only a mile away from the theater.  We made reservations.  Thursday, the day of the show, Darwin came home a little early so we could make a 5:00 dinner and off we went!

The Whitney was originally the home of David Whitney, Jr., a scandalously wealthy Detroit lumber baron from the 1800s.  He built a huge, luxurious mansion right on Woodward Avenue.  After he and his wife died, however, the mansion passed out of the family's hands, and in the 80s, it was renovated and became an upscale restaurant.

We drove down the newly repaved Woodward Avenue, through the rejuvenated area of Detroit. The new transit rail is in place, too. The valet took over our car, and we climbed the big steps to the enormous front doors.

The interior of the Whitney is all dark wood and Tiffany glass.  A grand staircase sweeps up past a stained glass knight in armor, and upstairs, more stained glass shows St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music.  The house is, in fact, filled with sumptuous Tiffany glass, which altogether is worth more than the house itself.

We were shown to our table in short order, and found ourselves looking out over Woodward Avenue through the windows of the main parlor, the same view once enjoyed by David and Katharine Whitney.  An enormous marble fireplace decorated with stone cherubs sat behind us.  A friendly server named Iris greeted us and asked if we were there for a special occasion.

"A belated birthday," I said, "and theater afterward."

"The Lion King?" she asked brightly.

"The magic show," I said.  "At the Fillmore."

I didn't give specifics.  :)  At any rate, when Iris learned we didn't drink, she brought us sparkling cocktails of fruit juice and soda instead.  We started the dinner with an amuse-bouche of soft mozzarella and cherry tomato with a drizzle of sweet vinagrette.  I ordered a Caeser salad, while Darwin had a creamed bean soup.  The latter arrived in a tureen with a slice of spiced, toasted brioche in the center, around which Iris poured the soup from a small pitcher and to which she added a turn of pepper.  It was delicious, and I spent some time reverse-engineering the recipe so I could make it at home.

For the next course, I had Cornish hen with fruit stuffing. The hen was crisped perfectly, and the meat was tender and juicy. The stuffing was perfectly flavored.  Darwin had whitefish over rice.  It was similarly perfect. (I ate his cherries. Sh!)

Between courses, we had a fruit palate cleanser:



Everything was perfect!

The Whitney has a dessert parlor, an upstairs dining room dedicated solely to desserts.  I asked about it and learned it stayed open until 11:00 PM.  I said we would come back after the show for dessert, then.  We reclaimed our coats and car and we were off!

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