My most intriguing Charlotte experience occurred at a fancy restaurant called M5. It’s new, open 4 weeks now, and it’s fantastic. Hailing from Toronto, land of delicious food diversity, I’m a critical restaurant-goer. I’m a challenge in that I expect fancy dining to include excellent ambience, amazing food, terrific service and great people-watching opportunities. Oh, and I don’t like it to be “pat” i.e. artificially orchestrated to make your heart flutter. I want it to hit me over the head - incomprehensibly - like the scent of Impulse body spray used to hit those unsuspecting cute guys in the commercials from the 80s. (I should mention, I met my husband on a streetcar and he ran after me as I debarked, yelling my name – which I’d had the foresight to tell him – just like those Impulse guys, but not with flowers. And we’ve been together for 13 years.)
At any rate, this restaurant was spot on with the exception of, perhaps, a smidge of orchestration. I did feel the slightest bit pandered to, but the service, atmosphere, great food and super table more than made up for it. It even had this great wine tasting format I’d never seen before (sorry to seem provincial), wherein you could order 3 different vintages from a particular region in order to savour complimentary flavours simultaneously. Perfect for the foodie with commitment issues who likes to drink a lot. We had 9 glasses of wine on the table at one time!
But one of the surreal joys of the evening was in the people watching. We happened to be out on prom night and, although this restaurant was rather cher (one would imagine) for the teen crowd, it was plein de rich kids on the path of inculturated debauchery. Such fun! Groups of begowned girls and boys in tuxes - whom, my mother was horrified to note, removed their jackets during dinner, couples – whom, my mother was horrified to note, each in turn contributed to the payment of the bill… You name it, we saw it. I didn’t realize prom girls of this day and age wear designer gowns and clutches. And, as the girl in the room, formerly, with the biggest rack, I was shocked by the number of girls who had obviously had their boobs enhanced. I mean, tiny gals plus large breasts plus no bra plus no movement plus no sag = no question. The pomp and circumstance were riveting. They went perfectly with the booze.
Not to mention the other, “regular” people in the place who were wearing some truly glamourous things – black and white, sequined tops, slips as dresses, mega heels. People in TO don’t do themselves up like this for dinner. I guess they’re too jaded, playing up the playing it down. It was a feast for the eyes, being exposed to a whole new kind of dinner dressing. And when you add this to the delicious food and conversation, gotta say it was a super night.