Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Night At Ortlieb's Jazzhaus with Rachael Ray

Last Friday night a couple of friends and I decided to catch some live jazz at Ortlieb's in Philadelphia.  I had never been there, but looked forward to checking out one of the top jazz venues in the country.  I'm a big fan of classic jazz, like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy, Ella, Billie Holliday, etc. When I lived in Buffalo, NY I spent many evenings with my partner Melinda, listening to live Jazz, sipping either wine or coffee, and enjoying the city's burgeoning art scene.  Since moving away from Buffalo I've had little opportunity to experience good live jazz.

That's why I was so excited about being at Ortlieb's on a Friday night.  When my friend Joy made reservations for us, she was informed that service may be slow due to the fact that Rachael Ray was filming from their kitchen, an in addition, we might be interrupted from time to time by the film crew.  Sounded fun to me!  Plus, with the cameras on, I knew that both the musicians and the chefs would be putting out the best work they could muster.  

The setting was dimly lit, with crimson ceilings and walls.  When the waitress came to our table, I explained my dietary restrictions and she marched off to the kitchen to see what I could eat. She was very friendly and accommodating. When she came back she explained that many of the dishes could be made gluten free, except of course those which were mostly flour-based. She said the kitchen crew would do their best to make anything I wanted to be gluten-free. I chose to go with one of the daily specials: Slow roasted duck filets, with garlic potatoes drizzled with a creamy cayenne pepper sauce.  It was deeeeelicious!  They also made one helluva Muddled Old Fashioned. For desert I had chocolate creme brullee and thought I had died and gone to cocoa heaven!  

The jazz ended up being great, especially the female saxophonist, and we ended up being filmed and interviewed by Rachael Ray's crew.  It was kind of surreal to tell the truth.  All of the sudden the film crew made their way to our table and bright lights were upon us.  We were asked if we minded, and being on our 2nd or 3rd stiff drink, we were very agreeable.  They asked us to have a conversation as if they weren't there. Yeah right!  So we shared crazy stories, laughed a lot and put on a good show. We were then interviewed about our experience at Ortlieb's, and to tell the truth, I can't remember what any of us said:).  All in all it was a fantastic night! Although Rachael never made an appearance in the dining room, we did end a part of the festivities. Look for my cameo this fall when the Rachael Ray show highlights the city of Philadelphia. lol!

If you'd like to check it out here's the website: Ortlieb's Jazzhaus

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