Doing Dallas: Fancy Night

Each week, this Virginian will try a new Dallasite activity and blog about the experience. Three years ago, two of my best friends and I were rejected entry into Reunion Tower. See, we’d been out on the town in search of the perfect phytoplankton shot (who doesn’t want to cross “Throw Back a Cup of Microscopic, Phosphorescent Organisms” off of their bucket list?!) and decided to explore downtown Dallas in the process. We frolicked about Klyde Warren Park, almost crashed a wedding in the Old Red Museum (I was gung-ho but Daniel and Cody were “hesitant,”), met a man named ‘Honest Mike’ who claimed to share with us the secrets of the universe, and then realized, as we looked up, that we were at the base of Reunion Tower.

“How great would this night be if we went and got dessert in the spinny ball restaurant?! It would redeem our failure at being wedding crashers!” I said. So, in we went.

We were instantly stopped, however, in the lobby and told we were “not dressed nicely enough to enter” and so we “needed to leave and come back at a later time looking significantly more put together.” OUCH. So I had dressed casually for phytoplankton, not decked myself out to the nines for the Met Gala. Sue me. All I wanted was some cheesecake, possibly with a raspberry drizzle on top, and maybe some vanilla bean ice-cream, too. Was that too much to ask?!

Not being ones to take insult lightly, we crafted a plan. They wanted fancy? We’d show them fancy. In fact, we’d dedicate an entire night to classy speech, sophisticated style, and various sundry fancy activities. With that, Fancy Night was born. And, it just so happens that last Thursday was the Second Annual Fancy Night. Huzzah! With pinkie fingers raised high and our noses even higher, we stepped out for a night of swanky glitz, posh glamor, and urbane culture. Here is what transpired:

Order Fancy

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The most important part of Fancy Night is the menu. How will the waiter know that you’re fancy unless you order fancy foods? How will you outshine those seated around you unless your plate is laden with fancy fare? How will you pay for this if you’re a broke college student with 51 cents in your savings account?*

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We decided to dine at Rise Nº 1 because it specializes in gourmet soufflés (please read the word soufflé with a heavy French accent) and because any restaurant that has a superscript in its name is just overtly snazzy. We opted for the Smoked Salmon Soufflé (from my limited culinary experience, I’ve learned that anything with the word “smoked” or “poached” in front of it is both significantly more expensive – aka fancy – and supposedly more tasty), and a Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Chévre Soufflé, strictly because we didn’t know what “Chévre” was but it sounded fancy, exotic, and fun. We then followed both these up with a festive Cranberry Champagne Dessert Soufflé.

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After the scrumptious first bite, I was hooked. Soufflé is like cotton-candy for adults; it tastes like you’re eating a cloud of heavenly goodness. Seriously. I wouldn’t have been surprised if our soufflés had been brought out to our table on the back of a unicorn – they tasted that magical. Cody referred to the whole thing as a “religious experience.” We were so enraptured by the delicious wonderfulness of the food that we probably didn’t maintain a fancy aura while eating. In fact, we probably looked like a pack of hungry dogs eating for the first time in months. Regardless. A guest at the table next to us stood up and randomly started singing opera (lol WHAT…all the waiters were confused), but we took this as a sign that the gods of fanciness were bestowing their blessings upon us. Dog pack and all, I’d say we nailed the whole fancy foods thing.

*Answer: Call your parents and start singing “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea. If you’re #blessed with a voice like mine, they will literally pay you to be quiet.

Drink Fancy

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Following our dinner and operatic experience, we made our way over to the Warwick Melrose Hotel for cocktails in their Library Bar. I’d like to take a moment to point out just how much I appreciate the name “Library Bar.” As a college student, this aptly named bar opens so many doors. Like, if a professor were to ask me, “Hey, what are you doing tonight?” and I said, “Going to the Library,” they would be none the wiser that I’m in fact going to a classy cocktail establishment and not to the university library to study. How sneaky.

Anyway. The bar was wonderful, complete with a live pianist and saxophonist. Surrounded by furniture of rich mahogany, the scent of leather-bound books, and the sounds of alto-sax, I totally felt like I’d been kidnapped by Ron Burgundy and Kenny G, and like kind of a big deal.

We all ordered fancy drinks, and after trying a sip of Cody’s martini – I’d never tried a martini before – I sadly discovered that I will never be able to totally embrace the fancy life, because fancy people drink martinis, and I think martinis taste like spoiled mayonnaise. I guess I’ll just have to settle for casual, un-fancy cocktails.

Conclusion

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The minute I returned home, I took off my heels, changed into baggy pajamas, and returned to my plebian lifestyle. Sadly (but not for my bank account) Fancy Night only comes once a year. However, sometimes I sneak fancy phrases like, “I clutch my pearls” (said with a thick Southern drawl) or “Oh, how absolutely, positively charming” (said with a British accent) into my everyday chit chat. In so doing, I keep my swanky spirit alive and fan the flames of fanciness in preparation for the following year.

Chelsea is a Level 5 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She is obsessed with music of the 60s & 70s and her vices include vanilla lattes and Swedish Fish. You can check out more of Chelsea’s thoughts and ponderings HERE!