Last night I got out of work early, picked up Jill and headed into DC again. We had reservations at Proof and were seated promptly. They specialize in artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, and we decided to share the Plate of House Made Pates, Terrines & Cured Meats, of which we both enjoyed the Pate de Campagne. For our first courses, Jill had the Grilled Eggplant with Arugula & French Beans while I had the Spicy Little Meatballs. The meatballs were ok, but with the goat cheese ravioli were stunning. Next I had the Crispy Duck Confit with Grilled House Made Lamb Sausage – I preferred the duck while Jill liked the lamb sausage (unusual for her). She had the Warm Flatbread with Sheep’s Milk Ricotta and liked it, but added some of the sausage to her last slice.
I had a Belgian Christmas Ale along with dinner, and it complimented everything nicely. Afterwards I had an Ex Ex cocktail, a dangerous mix of tequila, rye whiskey and liqueurs that was complex and smokey. Jill ended up trying both a white wine and red wine flight with dinner. We were too stuffed for dessert, and ended up walking around the holiday market for a bit. It was almost time for the show, but there were still long lines to get in and I had a feeling they wouldn’t be starting on time, so we ducked into the bar at Legal for another drink.
We timed it just right – about a minute after we got into our seats, the house lights dimmed and soon we were experiencing the holiday spectacular that is a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show. The first half is as always their first album, and while I enjoy the songs, they’ve got two other Christmas albums they never play the whole way through (although Jill enjoys hearing them). The second half is where they mix things up, playing non-holiday songs as well. That’s what I was looking forward to and they did not disappoint, especially on the tunes from their new Night Castle. They’re planning on touring it next spring, and I hope they play Verizon Center as I’d never seen the video screens all around the arena (that are used for ads during sports games) used as part of the show before. It was great seeing Chris Caffery again and I thought violinist Anna Phoebe was a great performer as well.
I don’t know how we scheduled it, but we’re going to at least one holiday concert each week in December. The next show is Striking 12, the musical by GrooveLily that’s based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl”.