Hello! I am your host on this, the 7th day of Dornenburg & Page’s virtual book tour. They are promoting their awesome new book “What To Drink With What You Eat” which you can buy by clicking here:
When I found out I was playing virtual host to Dornenburg & Page (who are extremely well known and extremely well regarded–having received various James Beard Awards and other awards for their many many other books, including “Becoming A Chef”) I offered to take it out of the virtual realm. “Would you want to meet out in the world?” I asked them. “You could teach me about wine.”
I didn’t think they’d say “yes” but they did. And this leads to the first part of our story, the part that comes under the heading “How I Dissed Dornenburg & Page.” What happened was we made a tentative plan. They knew I was going on the Calvin Trillin tour and so we decided we’d meet up later that night for wine at Veritas. I gave them my cell phone number and told them to give me a call.
That morning, I left my apartment around 11 and headed into Manhattan. This gives you an idea of how neurotic I am: the tour didn’t start until 1. I love to be on time for things. So I rode the train into Manhattan with Craig, we did the tour, and when it was over–around 3–I noticed there weren’t any messages on my phone. “Hmmm,” I said, “I’m supposed to meet these people tonight for drinks but I haven’t heard from them yet. So let’s kill time.”
We killed time for about an hour, I still didn’t hear, so when we passed the Angelika and saw that “Little Children” was playing (and Craig was dying to see it) I said, “Ok, we can see it.” The movie, starring Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson, is incredibly well done. It’s from the director of “In The Bedroom” and the writer of “Election” (one of my favorite movies). There’s lots of dread in this movie, you come out with your hands sweaty and your heart pulsing, especially after something very violent and vivid happens at the end.
So that’s how we left the theater, pretty freaked out, and then I turned on my cell phone and it said I had three voice messages. Three messages! I called my voicemail and there was an unfamiliar voice, a new voice, the voice of Karen Page saying, “Hi Adam, this is Karen Page, I hope you got our e-mail this morning. It’s 5:30 and we’re at Veritas waiting for you.”
An e-mail?!! Veritas?!?! 5:30?!?!?
The movie let out at 7:30 so I knew I was in trouble. And sure enough the second two messages confirmed that I totally dissed these two highly distinguished food writers, who I was so excited to meet and who I totally stood up! (They had e-mailed me that morning at 11:15 telling me to be at Veritas at 5:30.) I’ve never stood anyone up in my life. If I had a date with DEATH, probably, I’d be there 30 minutes early. And so I instantly called back their cell phone number, which they gave me (it’s 646-514-1141—just kidding!) and it didn’t go through. A woman’s voice said, “The caller is not accepting calls at this time.”
So I felt awful. When I got home, I e-mailed them thinking they’d hate me forever, that they’d put a vicious picture of me at the top of their newsletter saying “This Man Is Satan” and that, even if they did meet me, they’d give me bad advice about what to pair with my wine on purpose. “Artichokes are EXCELLENT with Sauvignon Blanc,” they might say. (Hey that last bit is more informed than you think–as you’ll learn in Part Two, Karen and Andrew gave me a superlative education last night about wine. I guess this parenthetical gives away what happened next.)
What happened next is that they wrote me back and said not to worry. They said we should meet up tomorrow (Monday) night. And so we made a plan and I promised promised promised to be there early. The plan was for Bar Carrera at 6 PM. Everything that happened from that point on will come at you in my second post on the subject, which I can’t write now because I’m off to see my editor who is going to tell me everything that’s wrong with my book. Woohoo! But stay tuned for some great pictures of food and some excellent wine advice. (And to tide yourself over, why not buy their book?)