I’ve been to Gerswhins, which is on (or under) Dean Street before, but for a quick pre-gig meal. This time was a more leisured affair. The place is underground, in a wine cellar. It’s dimly light, from 100s of fibre optic strands from the ceiling. It’s a jazz resturant apparently. So, later in the evening, they had caberet; a guy in a dinner jacket, crooning to a recording backing track. He was actually pretty good, very professional and a competent singer; half-way through a Sinatra melody, an older couple, very elegantly dressed—man in blazer and tie, woman in skirt and formal top—started wheeling around the dance floor (that is the small gap between the tables). The woman looked happy and entertained, the man dignified and serene, although I noticed a momentary look of relief as he got to sit down again.

I could help thinking that the dimness was partly to cover up the flaws; there was a ice bucket hidden partly next and partly under my seat, catching drips from the ceiling; or at least the ones which didn’t fall on me. The toilets were dark, but with spotlight urinals which were stainless steel; the parabolic bowls shined the light back bright enough to burn your retinas; while engaged, however, my head blocked the light and, already half-blinded, meant I had to aim using echo location. And one of the taps was not screwed in properly, rotating Exorcist style rather than producing water.

A strange night; Gershwins is a bit tacky, but gets away with it for some reason; it was both elegant and naff simultaneously, which should be impossible.

Oh, yeah, and the food. I had a pepper and courgette soup followed by a mushroom curry; they were both excellent, even if the curry was a bit pokey. I had a pepper soup a couple of weeks ago (on the Grand Canyon of all places) which was lovely, so perhaps I should try this.

Originally published on my old blog site.