Sunday, July 23, 2006

Anniversary Recap: The Top, Movies

Amy & I had a great dinner at The Top Steakhouse yesterday evening. The place has been there over 50 years, and per their own admission haven't changed much. It's VERY dark inside (well, in the area we were seated in -- the bar area looked a little more open & lighted). They have a piano which someone was occasionally playing which was really nice - though it would've been cooler if it was a bit more consistent. They have bread & butter (naturally), but ALSO a complimentary relish tray of pickles and (cold) sauerkraut. Very unusual, yet tasty! The steaks were excellent - priced comparably for this tier of place -- BUT also included two sides, which is different from most of the other top-tier steakhouses. As usual for us, Amy had the filet & I had the ribeye. Both were EXCELLENT, done perfectly. Also worth mentioning was my excellent Lobster Bisque. The Creme Brulee Cheesecake for dessert was quite good as well, though we were both filled to bursting. Excellent food, a fun atmosphere, and HISTORY baby. A good time, and recommended. Where does it fit in? Here are my ratings of the Anniversary Tour destinations so far:
  1. Morton's: Hand's-down the best. Phenomenal.
  2. Ruth's Chris: Very very tasty.
  3. Smith & Wollenski: Great desserts, interesting sauces, good steak
  4. The Top Steakhouse: good steaks, good dessert, fun atmosphere & history
  5. Mitchell's Steakhouse: Good, yet disappointing atmosphere (Crosswoods location), and good steaks, but just not quite up to par with the others.
  6. Walker Station: Just not on the same level as the others. A really nice place, but a lot newer, and obviously kind of the "family" restaurant for the area. Steaks were good, but also not quite on the same level.
While we won't decide until next year, the preliminary indications may take us to The Clarmont next year. We'll see!

After dinner we hit-up a movie and saw Lady In The Water. Amy & I have both enjoyed M. Night's previous movies -- not quite as much Signs, but I think we both really enjoyed The Village. This one seems to be getting a lot of bad reviews, but I really enjoyed it, and I think Amy did to. It was billed going in as "a bedtime story", and therefore I wasn't expecting a horror movie or thriller like his previous films, and I think the bedtime story is what we get here -- it's obvious that this is a new mythology he's trying to introduce here, and the mythology is what makes things really interesting. The actual story is kind of straightforward, and doesn't stand-well on it's own, but in introducing the story of the Narfs, the Blue World, etc, things come together pretty well and make for a nice, straightforward entertaining story. As for "depth" to the story, there is a movie critic character which M. Night uses to vivisect typical "predictable" movie structure as well as critics of his past films.. there's a line something like "What kind of pompous egotistical person would presume to know what lied in the thoughts and intentions of another human being"? That said, without spoiling things TOO much, it does feel somewhat egotistical of M. Night to cast himself in the part he plays in this film... So yeah, not a movie without it's faults, but enjoyable, and recommended.

On an unrelated note, I saw a preview for a new animated movie, Renaissance , today. It looks AWESOME. Check out the trailer yourself.