Shaw’s Crab House

I am getting ready to go for an overnight trip to Chicago, and I thought of the first time I went to the “Windy City” on a business trip as a buyer.  I was traveling with the owner and we were staying at the Inter-Continental Hotel on the “Magnificent Mile” better known in Detroit as Michigan Avenue, the same street that I worked at.  The clothing show was being held at the McCormick Place and it would be a huge show, and it was quite a heady experience for me as a young kid.  One of the things that I remembered was that the Playboy Club was handing out their magazine and passes for the club at the show.  There used to be a Playboy Club in Detroit, but it had closed by the time I could venture into it, so I knew that I would have to go see it, just because, but I was there on business so that would be later on, on my own time, if I had a chance.

Pouilly-Fuisse Latour

The first night that we were there after the show ended, we ended up going to Shaw’s Crab House for dinner, along with some business acquaintances of my boss as well.  Shaw’s was a famed restaurant even then and I had heard of it, back in Detroit.  My boss was very partial to seafood, so this was a given and there we were.  After the glamour of the hotel, and the trade show, I felt at home in the comfortable setting of the restaurant; but since I had been to a couple special restaurants in Detroit, I could accept the idea that the food was more important, rather than the appointments of an establishment.   I remember having a shrimp cocktail, and a house salad.  I was not a big fish eater at that time, so I remember ordering a perch dinner that others at the table were going to get as well.  I finished the meal with a slice of Key Lime Pie and that was the first time I had ever tried this dessert.  I was a very happy camper and felt like a “big man” who had arrived.

IL Shaws Crab House

I was still early in my learning curve about wine, but my boss announced that I was a “maven” on wine and that I should select the wine for dinner.  I had a certain amount of trepidation about this, as I did not want to make a mistake.  Since everyone at the table was ordering seafood or fish, I knew enough to select a white wine.  There were many white wines to choose from, and I knew that I should select a medium price wine from the list, and not try to gouge my boss.  Then I saw a wine, that I had read about, but had never had, an affordable white Burgundy.  I ordered a Pouilly-Fuisse Latour, which is a Negociants blended wine from a famous house.  Pouilly-Fuisse is a wine made from Chardonnay, and is from the Maconnais district of Burgundy and it has its own Appellation Controlee.  It was crisp and dry and everyone seemed to enjoy it, and I felt that I had passed the test for the evening.

IL Playboy Club MB

As an epilogue to the evening, I did venture off to the Playboy Mansion with my pass and had a drink.  How could I not go, when I was there and I had the chance to see it?  This is just another memory for a young kid with the belief that he felt like he had arrived in his chosen field of work.


About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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