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A distinct Société: Or, how to almost get beat up at a restaurant opening

Posted by Russ / June 25, 2013

20130624-LaSociete girlsncars (2).jpg
Endless champagne, delightful wee French bites, deep oaky ambiance, girls n' cars, coiffitude far and wide. It was the opening of La Société, Montreal's newest 1920's Parisian brasserie themed restaurant. Take full advantage, we told ourselves, especially if that may include being punched out by rich people.

20130624-LaSociete room (2).jpgIt wasn't long before I sensed a few lofty glances. Dan was his jaunty British self in perfect one-inch rolled cuffs and a rose oxford. My consultant Spencer with his Mojave gruff and his standard leather vest was a rare bird among the cotton flock. Jealousy? Hopefully.

A creamy banana Cognac cocktail here, a nice slice of strawberry on a spear there, a few Belvedere lychee martinis served by an archeologist... it was looking up. I think I saw Wayne Newton in a cobalt blue jacket sitting with Imelda Marcos. Spencer leans over and says he thinks the guy is Toby Hilfiger. It wasn't. Danny thought Spencer said Tony Himfinger. It wasn't him either.

Amidst the din, our gurgling stomachs must've summoned the lovely waitresses bearing the nibbly bits. Notable, I must say. We make disappear six or seven delightful blobs of fois gras and/or steak tartar perched on little crackery discs. Then, bourbon maple frog's legs. Goddamn, I said to myself. I think those deliciously fatty crunchy sweet smoky bastards just impregnated my mouth. Whatever will be said henceforth, let the record reflect the service and the food here were dynamite.

20130624-LaSociete frogslegs (2).jpgI was a frog's legs virgin. Now, I think I want to marry one.

Between mouthfuls, Danny and I spot Spencer chatting up a lady of about 55 in the lobby of the adjacent Loews Hotel. Maybe Spence thought she was Madonna. Before long, we've joined him and she's coyly yet forthrightly doling out her entire life story complete with roundabout details of her time as an executive in the entertainment business, allusions to her many illuminati clients, and something about Lionel Richie. I told her I played Mike Watts' bass once. She shrugged and sipped her cocktail. All in all, I thought we were getting along quite well. Screw that confounded generation gap!

Hasty. When she asked what I did, I told her I write sometimes, and that I was here on behalf of this blog right here. A shroud of palpable scorn descends. Her eyes narrowed and turned red, her face became the darkness. I'm watching the bile bubbling up before my eyes.

"If you write anything about me, I'll find you and destroy you," she hisses through lips pursed tighter than a bull's arse in fly season.

Whoa holy shit. I reassure her that I'm here for the frogs legs and the liver discs. No luck. It's still full court press. This could get ugly.

What happened next is exactly what friends are for. Right in the middle of the vitriolic venom onslaught being firehosed at me, Spencer pokes his head in and blurts, "You know, you look just like Pauline Marois!"

"Fuck you!" she yells, shoving her bony finger in his grill. And even then, I had no intention of writing about her. However, when a bit of fried oyster with saffron aioli flew out her mouth and landed on my arm as she says she's gonna would murder me right in the face or something, I knew not writing about her would be an impossibility. Hi.

Lady, I don't care who you are. Calling you by name and connecting you to whatever celebrity's name you were dropping isn't going to make this article any better. This said, I won't mention your name - and I should. It was a really funny name - because you actually threatened to hurt me. I'm 6'3" 200lbs and I would never trust some sandblasted old scenester bat when she's cornered.

The immediate company had soured. Obviously, we needed some oysters.

In between slurps of either a New Brunswick or a Vancouver Island, Spencer begins pitching something to a rich guy in loud glasses. At this point, Spence is happily lubricated and affably verbose. But when I see Loud Glasses is getting impatient, I reassure him Spencer is a worthy chat and has something to offer.

The next moment, this guy is yelling at me for having a "corporate smug face." What was going on? I don't even know what "corporate smug face" means, never mind why he's pissed at us. Maybe I did. Anyway, when I see his thick hairy hand rising and we find another finger all up in our faces, I look for Danny for some backup. He's nowhere to be found. He was probably off being pleasant and making contacts. How dare he?

(Again, I should mention this guy's name because it was really goofy, but I won't. Why? I'm scared, that's why. That guy looked like the kind to go full Napoleon and I don't have money for a lawsuit.)

I will admit we perhaps took full advantage of the generous champagne. Perhaps everyone else did, too. Who wouldn't? That stuff is delicious! But my word... what happened? Maybe 20's Paris was really crabby and succulent and La Société has done an AMAZING job. Or maybe we're a bunch of heedless assholes. Could be that bourbon maple frog's legs are a hell of a drug.

I think Aristotle said something like 'an entity is real if its attributes are grounded in reality.' Let's just go with that.

20130624-LaSociete Spenceselfie (2).jpg
Spencer took the pictures. Here he is, champers en main, doing a selfie.



Jen / June 28, 2013 at 11:38 am
..."lips pursed tighter than a bull's arse in fly season."

HAHAHA ! Love it :D
Russ Cooper / June 28, 2013 at 02:15 pm
For full disclosure's sake, the 'tighter than a bull's arse in fly season' is a quote from some movie. Can't remember which one but I seem to remember Tommy Lee Jones or Jack Palance saying it.
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