Parent’s nights out can be pleasant, but sometimes less than memorable affairs. A little dinner, some cocktails, some chats; then home and on with your life. Thank goodness my son landed in a class where some of the parents have taken it upon themselves to elevate these evenings from a pleasant night out to A BOLD EVENING OUT. I love these evenings so, so much and hope they continue long after our sons graduate from their current school.
What is a BOLD evening out? It is interactive. It is cultural. It is an experience. It is MEMORABLE. It is AWESOME! The innovators started the tradition with Russian night. I was not able to join that night, but laughter ensues every time the evening is brought up… it has something to do with a long bus ride to Brighton Beach. I believe there was vodka involved. The next year we travelled to a Korean BBQ restaurant where dinner was followed with some seriously spirited singing in the adjacent Karaoke Bar. The third year we went Cuban and sipped mojitos and were just generally festive. And on this our fourth year, we went to Puglia’s.
Not having had a hand in the planning, my assumption was this was just a night out in Little Italy. In other words: some pasta and some red wine. While, yes, we had all of this in our private room for 48, it was SO, SO much more fun than that. A night at Puglia’s is like a schmalzy big fat Italian wedding condensed into a 3 hour period. And at this particular condensed wedding everyone knows all of the guests!
There was a woman – “Debbie Broadway”- in a flowery red dress singing with a man in a ruffled shirt – Jorge – playing music. Obviously she had to start her set with “When the Moon hits the Sky…” immediately transforming us to the set of Moonlight. This woman had some serious energy and some appealing charisma and later in the evening she will ask you for tips. She lead us in a conga line and generously shared the mic with some of our more outgoing guests. Later, Debbie Broadway returned in a sparkly new outfit and got everyone busy doing the macarena, of all things, which was followed up a limbo contest – but of course. An interesting exercise for us not young, but not old parental set. Of course Jorge’s signature Napkin song was played and napkins were waved wildly in the air in appreciation. It was a blast!
I wouldn’t go to Puglia’s because of the food – it was fine and abundant, but it was not Felidia’s nor should it be. The focus here is on the fun that you’re having with your friends. The family style food being served and the decent wine being poured is a nice bonus. The spontaneous dancing – the revival of the pretzel dance move (thanks Matt!) – the singing – the laughing – the limboing – the napkin waving – and more laughing – so much merriment – these are the reasons to go to Puglia. And then it was over.
I think my friends and I were still humming some of the songs as we made our way back home on the Q – happy to have been part of such a big, bold night. Bravo to the Bold evening out planners! Thanks for grabbing our group and bringing us to Puglia’s – it was an awesome and memorable night out. We parents can’t ask for more than that! I highly recommend you grab your fun group and go too! Salute!
Photos and video cred goes to: Christine Squeri.