‘Tis the season for parties and other festive affairs. Scott’s office party was last week and naturally I took full advantage of the situation to try and make my pregnant-self looks as chic and festive as one possibly can while sporting a stomach resembling something more akin to a basketball. To start things off, everyone convened in the atrium of the Hyatt Hotel, where his employers had kindly reserved rooms for those who wanted to stay downtown overnight.
From there, we walked a couple of icy blocks to Benihana and proceeded to take over several hibachi tables in the room upstairs. The waitress got our drink and food orders in, and then the knife-wielding chefs rolled out their silver, food-laden cards, turned up the grills, threw down some shrimp, chicken, steak, and veggies, and proceeded to bedazzle us with their chopping and juggling skills.
We sipped a mild onion soup and munched on salad while our chef masterfully sliced the shrimp into bite-sized portions while it seared to pink perfection on the grill, and was then dolled out in fair proportions to each plate, along with various dipping sauces.
The shrimp appetizer was followed by the preparation of our entrees and grilled vegetables. Most people at our table opted for the hibachi chicken grilled with sesame seeds and lemon or the filet mignon, sliced into small pieces and grilled alongside some mushrooms. I, however, had yakisoba. Despite bearing the word “soba,” yakisoba are made from wheat flour rather than buckwheat and are pretty much the same as ramen. The noodles are then sautéed and tossed with some sauce and tiny pieces of chicken and vegetables.
For dessert I also veered from the majority, who wanted the tri-colored sherbet, and chose to have the artfully arranged strawberry ice cream roll. Encased in a paper-thin layer of dough, the mildly sweet ice cream was a nice way to end the meal. And after applauding the antics of our chef and polishing off our plates, we made a mass exodus from Benihana and headed down the block to an upstairs room reserved at Mo’s Irish Pub.
That’s where the party started in earnest. Well, for everyone but me. I tried to make myself feel festive by sipping on a wine glass filled with cranberry juice but all you other temporary teetotalers don’t kid yourself, it’s just not the same as wine! A troupe of actors from Comedy Sportz showed up and entertained us with their improv skills for a while, and by then I was done. Completely wiped out. And it was only 11:30.
I don’t know what has happened to the girl who used to be able to stay out ‘till the wee hours of the morning and then get up at 6:30 a.m. feeling just fine, thank you very much, but apparently she has been replaced by someone whose sleeping and napping needs more closely resemble that of an aging cat. Anyway, Scott and I said our goodbyes and took our leave. We waited right inside Mo’s entrance for a few moments until I spotted a cab heading our way, at which time I sprang out the door, quickly hailed the driver, and we rode the few blocks back to our hotel room in comfortable warmth. Cheers to parties. And to soft flannel pajamas and a cozy bed waiting for you afterwards.