The Gentlemen Who Dine
I moved to San Francisco at the tail-end of a migration of like-minded individuals who wanted to get sucked into the giant vortex of online creativity taking place here at the turn of the millenium. It was the year Y2K and we came from all over the place to try to find affordable housing, a job that would last more than a year, and gather new friends and acquaintences around us since a lot of us came here alone with not much more than the clothes on our backs and dreams of success and dubious fame.
One obvious benefit of living in San Francisco is the ample opportunity one had to enjoy a good meal now and again. In addition to being surrounded by some of the most productive and lush farmland, the city also tends to draw to it those people for whom food is not just nourishment, but religion. It’s sometimes hard to decide where one is going to eat for dinner, our choices are so varied and many of the restaurants are world famous not only for their food and service, but also for their prices.
So it was that two comrades and I decided over a meal at Eos in Cole Valley to form The Gentlemen Who Dine.
I must admit that it was hardly a unique idea. In fact, it was partially in reaction to a similar female group of foodies who were banding together on a monthly mission to discover new places to take tea and cakes, though that group was suffering some growing pains since the population was swelling beyond an easily manageable number, and it was hard if not impossible for them to come to conclusions about where or when to meet. So Jason Kottke, Bryan Boyer and I knew that if our little club was to survive, we would need to be somewhat more exclusive in our membership, and we set down the ground rules for the new enterprise as follows:
The Gentlemen Who Dine shall:
- Meet once a month, and only once a month
- Congregate at an agreed-upon restaurant for dinner
- Reserve a table for four at a restaurant at which no member has yet eaten
- Invite a guest member for each monthly meeting
And so it came to pass that the GWD managed to eat at a series of amazing and commendable eating establishments, enjoying such diverse new taste as garlic soup, vanilla ice cream with Balsamic vinegar, squid ink mashed potatoes and the most amazing tuna poke I’ve ever eaten — which also happened to be the first tuna poke I’ve ever eaten.
Over the years, the permanent membership of the Gentlemen has changed when old members moved to new surroundings. There have also been dry months when the Gentlemen did not meet at all, and we’ve missed a few good restaurants that came and went in our absence.
Recently, I’ve regrouped the Gentlemen Who Dine with the newest members joining me in our monthly commestible trevails: Jeff Veen, Merlin Mann and Robert Hodgin now comprise the Gentlemen, and we have been going to a new restaurant for the past six months or so.
And all of this is by way of explanation or excuse to introduce to you just the world needs: another frigging blog.
April 25, 2007