|Audrey behind the bar at the Riverfront Lounge|
One of the funniest scenes in the movie “The Graduate” comes near the beginning, when Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) agrees to meet Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) at a hotel bar to begin their affair. Hilarity ensues as Benjamin’s incompetence in getting a room and ordering drinks foreshadows a greater incompetence when they get up to the room.
The hotel bar is one of the most romantic settings imaginable, as it combines two essential elements of romance: drinking and bedrooms, both under one roof. Indeed, some of my favorite hotel bars are nearly as famous as the hotel: the Top of the Mark at San Francisco’s Mark Hopkins, the Algonquin Room with its famous Round Table at Manhattan’s Algonquin, the Pump Room at Chicago’s Ambassador East.
Here in our historic city by the bay, the Riverfront Lounge in the Doubletree by Hilton more than fills the bill, for many reasons:
1. The view, our much-celebrated Saginaw riverfront giving the bar its name.
2. The ambience. A fireplace, especially in winter, is always a welcoming -- and welcomed -- feature.
3. The clientele. We learned that lawyers, teachers, the Fraternal Order of Police and accountants assure the Riverfront a loyal customer base, building on a foundation of Dow
|Calimari hors d'oeuvres|
4. Imaginative appetizers. No bar mix and peanuts here. I had a delicious calamari and stuffed peppers with portobello mushrooms.
5. Even more imaginative drinks, which change with the occasion. For St. Patrick’s Day, one offering is the Shimmy Sham Shake -- Irish cream liqueur, crème de menthe, crème de cacao and half and half in a chocolate swirled glass topped with a sprinkle of cocoa powder. Erin go braugh!
6. Most important, a professional, courteous bartender. Harry and I met three on our two trips, each a gem. One of them, Audrey, explained that her job isn’t simply to take drink orders and present a bill. “You’ve got to like people and be entertaining.”
Well said, Audrey. Well done, Riverfront Lounge.
See the hairy guy’s report on the Riverfront Lounge: A barroom with a view, a murky drink and a fine burger (but not with pommes frites!)