My good friend Gino invited me to his annual “Man Meal” in Long Island last night: a group of his best friends — the majority of whom I’ve never met but were there during Gino’s formative years in New York — gather at Jimmy Hays Steakhouse. For $100 you get a 5-course meal including a steak entree, dessert, and access to an open bar. I was really honored that Gino asked me to come, but I’ll admit I was a little hesitant to go at first. Have you ever seen the movie Dinner With Schmucks with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, where Rudd’s character brings Carell — a known, eccentric recluse — to a dinner just to embarrass him? I figured I was going a be sideshow for group of well-off dudes’ entertainment (like they’d put pasties on my chest and force me to dance around, clanging cymbals like a monkey). At the very least I thought I was the “guest of honor,” and they’d ultimately serve me as the main course while wearing masks from Eyes Wide Shut. Well, that was not the case.
In fact, several of the attendees shared mutual friends with me, many of whom were even outside Gino’s social circle. Each individual was successful in his own right, the type of guy that you look at and think, “This dude is well off, has a high paying job, a family, and doesn’t have to worry about selling a kidney for rent.” Yup, it was a dinner full of Gino’s, just as successful and just as loud.
- Roasted Garlic Bread with Gorgonzola Sauce
- Baked Clams
- Calamari with Marinara
- Garden Salad with Red Roquefort Dressing
- Filet Mignon with Crispy Onions and Roasted Potatoes
- Ice Cream Sunday with Fresh Fruit and Whipped Cream
Here are some photos: