Thursday, June 07, 2007

Taverna's happy hour needs work

I tried the Thursday happy hour at Taverna 100 on Tryon Street uptown, and I can tell you this: I won’t be a regular.
The portions were small, the dishes were just okay, and the service was slow.
Taverna calls its Thursday specials Banker’s Hours. On paper, it sounds great: half off appetizers, and half-price beer and fruity martinis.

The problem is that when we went, the only server was both tending bar and waiting on the tables in the bar area. She had to wait on the handful of people at the bar, a couple sitting in a booth, our party of six, and another party of six. As nice as she was, it took a while for her to make the rounds.

The bigger problem, however, was the portions. With the exception of the mussels, everything was itty-bitty. For example, the kabobs were tasty, but we only got two small sticks. That’s not going to cut it.

Half-price beer is awesome, but if Taverna wants to draw more patrons, they’re going to have to dish out more grub.

Real dancing at Grand Central

Couples twirled, dipped and danced to jazz and swing classics at Grand Central on Monday.
Monday nights at the Central Avenue club feature some of the best dance music in the city. Each week, Bill Hanna’s Vintage Dance Band -- which includes some of his CPCC students -- plays for a crowd of people mostly over age 50.

The vibe is relaxed, and the music is slamming -- if you dig Big Band-era music. Men lead the women onto the floor and show off their waltz, swing, foxtrot and jitterbug skills. There’s a cash bar, and a light appetizer and sandwich menu. (The potstickers were good, and the chicken wings are crispy.) Grand Central has a smoking lounge, so you're less likely to smell like smoke when you leave. In coming weeks, dance lessons will be offered.

The band plays from 8-11 p.m (although people were leaving by 10 the night we went). Details: 704-373-1699. If you can’t make the Monday night gatherings, try Swing Tuesday at Lynn’s on South Tryon Street near Tyvola Road, hosted by the Charlotte Jitterbugs. Details:

Sorry nerds, I mean geeks

In my video report this week about ConCarolinas, I referred to attendees of the sci-fi and gaming convention as nerds. I was wrong.

They are geeks.

My mistake has sparked a discussion in the ConCarolinas online forum about the difference between nerds and geeks. Apparently, the guys in the Alltel commercial are nerds, but the folks who attend ConCarolinas are geeks.

Silly me.

My punishment is that I will not get to be a dungeon master (darn), and I will have to eat Klingon food (yuck).

$1,000 martini

Capital Grille bartender Paul shows me how to make a $1,000 martini.

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On Wednesday, I tried a $1,000 martini!

It’s called The Capital Grille’s Carolina Blue Charity Martini. The national chain has sold at least three here and more than 100

It’s has Ciroc Vodka, Crème de Mure and fresh berries, and is adorned with a Blue Topaz and Diamond Caviar Rope Bracelet designed by Steven Lagos. If you like fruity drinks, then this martini is for you. Without the bracelet, it’ll cost you $10, but then you can’t tell all of your friends you drank a $1,000 martini.