The Dairyman’s Daughter was planning to go to the Tudor Dinner at the Union last night with Richard Bonomo and another friend, but the third person backed out, so she asked if I wanted to go. I had gone once in the past, so I said sure. The dinner starts with hors d’oeuvres, and one of the first things was a cheese plate, but just after we passed it, they brought out a new one with both cheese and sausage. C’est la vie – we did get the mushroom pastries, which was my favorite part. They also had wassail, both spiked and virgin, to drink before dinner, as well as other beverages that you had to purchase. The dinner was a sit-down affair, and I felt underdressed in my sweater and jeans because so many people treated it like a black-tie affair. Of course, I had to walk over from work, so wearing a fancy cocktail dress and heels would not have been practical. The main course was pheasant AND lamb, which sounded like way too much meat to both the Dairyman’s Daughter and me, but she hadn’t seen anywhere to sign up for the vegetarian option when she registered. I did ask if they had any spare vegetarian entrees (mushroom ragout over polenta), and they did, so I got one. The salad before dinner, with craisins and gorgonzola cheese and a vinaigrette dressing, was so amazing that I had thirds. We also got two desserts, figgy pudding (which a lot of people didn’t like) and a frosted sugar cookie, both overwhelmingly sweet. Wine was extra, but you could have all the water you wanted with dinner, and after dinner they brought around coffee. During dinner the Philharmonic Chorus strolled around in small groups, serenading the tables with Christmas carols. Right before dinner they processed through the hall with a fake boar’s head, singing “The Boar’s Head Carol,” and they also sang a figgy pudding song before dessert. After we ate, they put on a whole concert of Christmas music, and we were also asked to sing along on a few familiar numbers. Every year they finish with Mozart’s “Dona Nobis Pacem” round. I would highly recommend the Tudor dinner, although it isn’t cheap. Still, food and music? How can you go wrong?
For those who think I only listen to early music (and hip hop), this morning I listened to Poulenc’s “Ave Verum Corpus,” Durufle’s “Tota Pulchra Es,” Herbeck’s “Pueri Concinite,” and of course Tavener’s “The Lamb.” And yes, I cried. If any of my readers are curious about these songs or any others I might mention, they can all be found on YouTube.