Well, it certainly was an eventful evening. The place was just right for the group...loud and just raucous enough (there was a group of about 15 at a ROUND table just behind us from Georgia that were having quite the party, so we looked very civilized in comparison).
The food is always good, so I'll just hit the highlights of the "atmosphere" with food stuff sprinkled in.
These folks are all drinkers, so Jameson on the rocks were had by 4 of the 5 to start (keep in mind this is AFTER a cocktail reception at a martini bar, during which time they had all had at least a couple). They're all Northern Californians, so I ordered a Frog's Leap Merlot 2002 (which I like) for $85/bottle. Pricey, but I know that these guys, for all their other issues, know CA wine. The first bottle was deemed delicious, and the second was slightly corked, so I sent it back for another bottle without any questions from our server.
I had alerted the folks that Oceanaire makes a really, really good crabcake, so most got that as an appetizer. All were so surprised to find that a crabcake (a) can be made of real crab, and (b) can be all crab and no filler. They LOVED em. Big rancher girl (BRG) ordered (no kidding) the crabcake app, a cup of clam chowder, and a ceasar salad as appetizers FOR HERSELF. Man, can this chick eat!!!
A word about bread. Don't know about you, but I was taught that if there is a bread basket and a cup of whipped butter alongside, to take a piece of bread and some butter with your knife and put both on your bread plate, and then pass the bread and butter along to the next person. Apparently I missed the lesson where (BRG knew to do this) you rip hunks of bread off the loaf, butter each, and pass the buttered bread by hand to the other people at the table. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!! She then proceeded to swipe her bread after each bite into the whipped butter dish meant for the whole table.
On to entrees. Again, don't know about you, but I try to follow my host, and if that's not an option, I order mid-range if I know it's being paid for by someone else. BRG and Rancher Client Guy (RCG) ordered, respectively, the Surf n Turf (2 lb lobster and filet mignon) and the 4--kid you not--4 lb lobster. The 4 lb lobster was $136, and was a la carte. I nearly choked, but, they are the clients. The others were more modest, choosing the mahi-mahi and a salad Louis, respectively. BRG and RCG, when the waiter suggested vegis for sides, nearly yelled "yeah, we need some potatoes and greens." We ended up with mashed potatos, broccoli and asparagus that could feed an army (I don't even know if the asparagus got touched...) BRG and RCG proceeded to eat off the serving plates, force chunks of lobster from their plates onto the others (you've GOTTA try this!) and generally eat like they were at McDonalds and needed to get back on the road in a hurry.
As if there could be any more, we shared the caramel brownie sundae for dessert. BRG took huge spoonfulls of ice cream directly from the serving dish to her mouth, swiped caramel sauce from the same dish with her finger to her mouth, and the others thought it was so funny they followed suit. I couldn't wait to get outta there.
Next time, I'll just take em to a local taco truck and we can eat in the car and cruise around the monuments....