|Old-school booze bombs: the Well-Mannered Dirty Martini, left, and Chicago's Martini|
You know, Tom Brokaw was right when he called our grandparents the "Greatest Generation." Not only did they fight World War II and rescue the world from the evil clutches of fascism, but Grandpa and Grandma totally knew how to party. Oysters, steaks, and a half-dozen martinis all in one sitting? Then dancing? Really, only an ironclad constitution forged under the harshest of circumstances -- the Great Depression, Normandy, the Cold War -- could handle that kind of gut-busting fun.
That's why you and I are so, so, so screwed. Coming from a generation weaned on Saturday morning cartoons, Sunny D, and Fruit Rollups, we just don't have the right stuff. And Thursday night, I proved it, showing up to the three-month-old Chicago's Steakhouse & Tavern
in the Grove and diving unadvisedly into their $7 dirty martini (Ketel One, dry vermouth, olive juice, and bleu cheese-stuffed olives) without the essential oyster-and-steak filler.
Yeah, I skipped the food -- except some bruschetta that my lady insisted on ordering. But the toast and tomato did nothing to slow the shock of my faintly cheese-infused booze bomb. Within minutes, I felt like I'd been slugging beers and Jäger for an hour when, actually, I was barely halfway through the martini. My lady, meanwhile, was near tears. She's accustomed to cosmos and mimosas and bellinis, so her Chicago Martini (Grey Goose, champagne, Chambord) was just way too potent.
I finished mine, then I finished hers. But I think we failed the martini test. We really need to toughen up. Teach us, Grandpa and Grandma. Teach us.