After the lectures and lessons, everyone went back to their rooms to freshen up for the “dinner” that evening. Everyone was putting on their best vintage attire for the formal night, those that had decided to go with the theme of the weekend. As we came back down to the reception area, off to one side was the official photographers of the hotel, with a backdrop of the grand staircase of the “Titanic” with the option of picking up the pictures the next morning.
As we entered into the gala reception area first for wine, cocktails and appetizers, the “nurse” once again was doing a visual inspection for health concerns on the non-first class guests. We were reintroduced to the Captain and announced in, as we entered the room. The appetizer tables were much more elaborate this evening and the bar seemed to stock much better as well. There was much more of an appreciation of the theme this evening as there was the first evening, as people were still adjusting to the theme and the period. We did enjoy some more of the Grand Hotel sparkling wine that we enjoyed the night before, as well as that morning in our Mimosas with breakfast.
As the reception was winding down, we were led into the “dining room” of the “Titanic” for our final meal of the event. There was some misinterpretation of the menu, as people were expecting an eleven course meal for the evening, but the selections were pared down to a manageable five courses, adapted from the final dinner of 14 April, 1912. From talking to some of the guests and some of the cast members, the first time this event was held, all eleven courses were served and dinner, did not finish until one o’clock in the morning. That first event did not please the guests or the hotel with the results and the menu was adapted to a more serviceable meal.
When it was time to sit down and enjoy the menu, everyone was looking at the menu and getting ready for the dinner. The first course was Oysters a la Russe, and this was followed by Consommé Olga (a broth with seafood diced up). The third course was Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce and Cucumbers. The first three courses led to some grumbling as people were stating that perhaps they should have dined ahead of time, as the first three courses were very small plates of food. The food was very well prepared, and I must say the service was excellent, as everyone in the room was served at the same time, which was a job of technical logistics that was accomplished seamlessly. The entrée course when it arrived finally placated the discussion that the meal so far was a little “light.” The entrée was a Roast Duck Leg and Sliced Sirloin of Beef, with sides of Chateau Potatoes, Green Peas and Creamed Carrots. Our dessert course was Chocolate Painted Éclairs with French Vanilla Ice Cream. By the time this course was completed everyone seemed much happier and sated.
At each table, there was a Banquet Wine List featuring a selection of wines, or if this was not ample enough, one could request the entire wine list from the Salle a Manger to make the meal complete. As I studied the Wine List that we had, and looked at the menu that we having, I had decided that a Pinot Noir was the best varietal to go with, as I felt that a Cabernet Sauvignon would overpower the duck that evening. They were offering four different Pinot Noir wines that evening from the carte, two were from California and two were from France. I was more interested in the two wines from the Burgundy region, and since one was a Gevrey-Chambertin from Louis Latour, which I have tried a couple times in the past, I chose the wine that I had not had before. My initial choice, I guess was premature again, as I had the same experience from the night before, so they had to bring me, an alternative selection, which I did agree upon, with apologies from the Wine Steward that evening (who had heard about my problem from the night before). The wine was from the Cotes de Nuits region of Burgundy, just South of Dijon, from Marsannay, which is a wine that is not found as often, as wines from other areas of Burgundy. Our choice for the evening with dinner was a Marsannay Cuvee Marie Ragonneau 2007 which was a small private Commune of the famed Pinot Noir de Marsannay. This was a most enjoyable wine, not as heavy as some of the reds from the Cotes d’Or, but it paired very well with the dinner. The color and nose of the wine immediately attested that this was a French Pinot Noir, and as it opened up, through the course of dinner it really mellowed out and made for a great selection (if I can so proudly proclaim).
This evening of the program, there was much more interaction among the cast during the meal. There was a drawing that was shown at every table, by one of the cast members, decrying the erotic nature of the art work. There were also a couple of exchanges between the Captain and his crew about the potential of an ice berg being sighted. Then the room became dark for a moment, with strobe-light effects when the “crash” occurred. During this dark moment, there was ice being tossed all around the room, for good effect, and the request that all woman and children should make an orderly procession to the life boats, when it was determined that the ship would be sinking. One of the cast members, who was portraying the designer of the ship, all of a sudden appeared with a ladies shawl and was covering up his mustache with a life preserver ring. This gentleman did survive the sinking of the ship and lived his remaining life in shame. They also had a cast member that was “Molly” Brown, known forever in film and theatrics as “the Unsinkable Molly Brown.”
At the end of the evening, as they introduced the entire cast, there was a short “film” showing the names of all of those that perished that evening. Everyone had a chance, at that point to check, to see how they fared from the “name” of the person they were portraying for the weekend. My Bride was one of the survivors, and much to my surprise, so was I.