This past weekend we attended a 'Do you know George' Just for
dinner event in Detroit and when we returned we had several emails
from friends and future friends who asked us about
what it was like… and should they attend George's upcoming
dinner in Toronto.
Before the event starts off; you need to get on George's invite list -
not a hard process, but he does want to know that you are serious
about attending his events. After you are on the invite list you will
find out about some incredible events held around North America.
Then you get the formal invitation to the dinner - you respond that
you wish to attend, and are taken to a page where you pay for the
event. At this point, all we knew about the dinner was that it was
going to be held in Detroit - unlike his weekend or week long
events where there are details about what will happen, George
plays very mysterious with his dinner events. You aren't confirmed
until you remit payment and this must be done in advance of the
event to secure your spot at the table.
About two weeks before the dinner we received an email that
outlined the menu and wine pairings for the evening - but still no
confirmation of the restaurant; mystery. It was plain to see based
on the menu, that it was going to be in one of the best restaurants
in the city; there are very few that could pull off the dishes that
were promised. Also based on what we've heard of Georges
events; we felt comfortable trusting his choices.
6 days before the dinner the restaurant was revealed, and we were
able to firm up our hotel reservation - conveniently the hotel and
restaurant were 'close'.
Before we go further, we should speak to the guest-list. This is
what we would call a curated gathering. Just like when we have a
dinner party in our home, we invite people who we think would
enjoy meeting each other, as well as old friends we want to see
again. George and Ann do a similar thing with these events. Some
of the people are old friends who have been to other George
events all over the country, and some of us were first timers. We
were all made to feel equally welcome, and since George took the
time to learn a bit about us beforehand - it was like walking into a
room of our oldest and closest friends. The age range was
probably early 30's to mid-50's.
Dress for the evening was classy, but not formal; the women were
in elegant evening wear and the men - jackets but no ties (though
a couple of the men did have on ties). This wasn't a night at the
club, and we were all dressed like you would expect for an evening
at a top end restaurant.
Cocktails that evening were to start at 8pm - and at 8pm the maître
d' led us to the private dining room. (A quick scan of the lounge
beforehand, and Mrs heavyG had picked out the other 'stylers who
would be joining us) George and Ann greeted us and made
introductions as we arrived; setting conversations in motion about
common interests between the guests. The wait staff quickly
started to fill orders for cocktails, and no request for something
oddball or top shelf was questioned.
The pace of the evening was spot on - at just about the point
where we had spoken to everyone and our cocktail glasses were
emptying; we were seated at the table. Seating is arranged, with
your spouse / partner across the table from you, so on either side
of Mr. was the female partner of the men on either side of Mrs..
George and Ann were at opposite heads of the table, and switched
as the night went on.
Conversation at the table was also easy and flowing. The food
started to arrive, with the Chef introducing each dish and the
Sommelier describing each wine as he poured the pairings. For
those who enjoy wine - it was great to have some pairings that on
the surface were "huh, that wine is from where", and then being
blown away by what was in the glass.
Pacing of the meal was fantastic, we never felt rushed nor did it
ever seem like the next course should have arrived already. At the
end of the meal Ann arrived with a birthday cake for George and
we all helped him celebrate.
As the evening wound down, everyone started to mingle again -
contact info was shared, and connections made. The restaurant
had long since closed, but we weren't rushed out the door,
everything was allowed to evolve at it's own pace.
In a nutshell - it was great, we'll be at the table in Toronto in
October, and we're figuring out how to change our schedules
so we can attend more of George's longer, luxury weekend events.