Wednesday, July 19, 2000

Yuppie style

Posted By on Wed, Jul 19, 2000 at 12:00 AM

In the mood for a sip of style? Try schmoozing with the suburban chic elite at Goodnight Gracies, with a raspberry martini in hand. Upon a first entrance, Royal Oak's premier cigar lounge may seem like a side dish to a main course restaurant like D’Ammato’s, which stands more spacious next door. And sure, the room doesn’t serve the savory European-American cuisine that big brother D’Amatos is known for. But make no mistake, Goodnight Gracies won’t scrimp on good taste. And while the chefs at D’Amatos are scraping reminents of calimari, bruscetta and portobello into the night’s leftover bin, Gracies’ bartenders are slicing limes and preparing powdered cocoa for specialty martinis. Meanwhile, jazz horn players are wetting their reeds for an evening of smoky music.

The upscale mock-1940s jazz martini and cigar lounge is a dimly neon-lit atmosphere confined to a cozy narrow space. The place crams itself full of stylish locals -- sophisticated young women holding martini glasses high and slick-haired, crisp-shirted men waving fat cigars to and fro (read: beware for falling ash). And although it does get claustrophobic from all the bodies in there, you’d swear that it’s just the same six people who keep changing outfits. Regardless, the poshness has become a notable trait of blue-collared Royal Oak, so popularity and success we must accept. Less hard to handle is the wide variety of mixed drinks which are served strong with a capitol "I" for "Intoxicated". And if you’re choking for air, space and/or NOT a pretty person squeezed next to you (I’ll leave it up to your own discretion) the adjoining D’Amatos’ bar remains open until the wee hours. But for a little nostalgia and a lot of hazy conversation over jazz and laughter: ‘dahhhling – you’d look mahhhvelous in Goodnight Gracies.’

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