Bacchus’s recent Crepitui Ventris post brought back a memory which I’m obliged to try to turn back into a post of my own.

A few years back I had to the opportunity on a quiet Sunday afternoon to stop in at the King Cole Bar in New York’s St. Regis Hotel with some cash in pocket and a thirst for a well-mixed drink. Since it wasn’t too late I was able to plop myself down in front of this picture:

mural in King Cole Bar

And order one “martini, dry, please.”

A very excellent martini was promptly served, unfortunately with a challenge from the bartender.

“If you can tell me what Old King Cole has just done, that drink is on the house.”

Well, it wasn’t as if I was in much doubt about what Old King Cole had just done. But, my good sir, this was a very distinguished bar we were talking about here. Sacred space. I would sooner have stampeded cattle through the Vatican than make a vulgar reference to human flatulence in front so well-mixed a martini as was then sitting in front of me.

(Well, actually, I’d probably stampede cattle through the Vatican just for fun, if the curious opportunity to do so were ever to present itself. But surely y’all get my meaning here.)

“Un, I think I’ll just pay for the drink, thank you.”

And then, of course, I had to get all smartass on the guy.

“Do you mind if I ask you a rather…sensitive question?”

“Not at all, sir. We aim to please.”

“It’s about martinis, actually.”

The barman nodded gravely, while I composed my face in the look of gravitas necessary for certain distasteful subjects.

“I have heard,” I began, “from certain knowledgeable individuals, that there are these days some rather wild young people who are ordering martinis that are mixed with…” and here I attempted my best impression of a man suppressing a shudder “…vodka.

“I’m afraid that’s true, sir,” replied the barman.

I looked down at my drink and shook my head sadly. “We live in troubled times.”

“Yes, sir,” replied the barman with absolute coolness before taking another drink order.

Well, this is Erosblog, so we should in that case really move our attention to another of Dr. Faustus’s New York favorites, to wit Keens Steakhouse. If you’re ever so unlucky as to be stuck in the environs of Penn Station (great Cthulhu preserve you if you are) your walking-distance options for delicious or even edible food more or less come down to a large number of Korean restaurants and Keens. And you get to drink in front of Miss Keens:

miss keens

Try the mutton chop. It’s delicious.