I'm probably the last journalist in town to
have spotted you. But I'll be the first to come right out and say it:
You. Are. Smokin'. Hot.
Now that that's out of the way.... How cool that you took Ian's cue
and made it to Niche
on Saturday night!
to see you grab a seat at the bar with Kirk Bedell, so nice and
nonchalant. I hear Bedell is a pal of Gerard's London-livin' brother.
Now pray tell, who were the sort of-blonde babes?
Gerard and co. were apparently expecting you, because they'd saved you
a semi-private four-top at the far end of the dining room. Gotta say,
it seemed at first like the night would go pretty swimmingly -- no
camera flashes, nobody grabbing your elbow. This town doesn't come any
classier than Niche.
Photo: Jennifer Silverberg
Gerard Craft of Niche.
But from my table at the opposite end of the dining room, right in front of the window, a new picture began to emerge.
valet outside apparently thought it would be cool to let a pair of
rode-hard-and-put-away-wet bimbos over at Trueman's
know that you were
in the midst. Before anybody knew it, the girls managed to gallop into
the restaurant and all the way back towards the loo, and you
, while Hostess Ann was taking care of someone else.
she figured it out, the little hoosiers were booted in an instant.
Wagged right to the door by the lady Ann in red. A fine performance,
didn't you think? (Note to valet: You should be fired, kid.)
got right back to your meal and all was quiet for a time. We hear you
forewent the menu and asked the chef to do the honors. Nice! Out came
seared scallops with blood orange, escolar crudo with parsnip and
persimmon, gnudi with three cheeses and lemon zest...so many wonderful little delicacies
that we foodies here hope will make Gerard the James Beard Award-winning Best Chef - Midwest
the eagle eyes at my table started noticing an auburn-haired
30-something at the bar plotting her approach. We watched as she
plunked herself down on her knees at your side, bobbing her head and
yapping like a small animal.
Man, were you gracious, smiling so.
hear she burst into tears, played her veterans' card (Air Force?
Really?) to thank you for all you've done for our country and
practically spit on Hostess Ann when she tried to clear the area.
had a veteran at my table, and he was disgusted. A woman at my four-top
chimed in, Are we Midwesterners really this gauche? Can't the man eat?
hostess Ann, thoroughly feeling guilty (but not really) for hating on a
veteran, beseeched the woman's friend to get her out of your hair. Then
the bartender cut them off.
The best had to be shortly before
closing, though, when one of the Trueman's bimbos returned, with two new
cohorts, and took seats at the bar. Chef Gerard, oh so humble and
low-key himself, strode right over to graciously escort them right back
out. You were having so much fun you didn't even notice.
So, George, I hope you won't take this note the wrong way.
I swear I wasn't tailing you like some others (ahem
) in this town. Just that old adage: Right place, right time.
Stalkers aside, hope you enjoy St. Louis...and bon appetit