Here's Captain Jeremy and his top Lt.'s, Will, Andy, and Bryan swearing allegiance to The Palace and each other. Poor Jeremy suffered a relapse with the malaria on Sunday and could not show for maneuvers. He's lost 13 lbs. during this ordeal and will bounce back all trim and luscious; and if you could see his nurse, Jose, you might want to get sick for a day or too, also.
Without Jeremy barking orders as only he can, the 7th started to run amok early in the evening. I had a sense that things were going to go the wrong way; grabass was turning in the other direction and I eagerly accepted the invitation to go for a ride in B&T Mark's flashy convertible. At his suggestion we headed over The Venetian Causeway which was the first bridge to connect the mainland with Miami Beach and travels over six islands that make up the very ritzy Venetian Islands. At 8PM is was 82 degrees, clear, and I even saw a shooting star as we drove toward the mainland.
This is a rare event for me. I HATE the mainland. I will make up almost any excuse not to go there. I hate the bad roads, the bad driving (the last thing most of the drivers in Miami drove before coming here was a donkey cart), the political corruption, the list is endless. But Mark had suggested stopping at the restaurant, Magnum. It's owner Jeffrey, had owned a beautiful French restaurant on The Beach years ago which I often went to, but high rents forced him and many other quality mom and pop (or pop and pop in this case) businesses out. I knew about Magnum, but it was--of course--on the mainland.
We walked toward the most banal-looking concrete building you could imagine (I felt like I was entering the back door of a bowling alley). We entered a foyer, though, that was lovely: low lighting, gilt mirrors, delicate French furniture, and beyond the heavy velvet curtains at the opposite door we could hear laughter and a piano playing. We raised the fringed velvet and found the room alive with activity. Jeffrey greeted Mark right away and even remembered my going to the original restaurant. Before we walked to the dining room I glanced at the door to the "bowling alley" and back to the room. It was decorated like a Second French Empire bordello. Dark red walls, mahogany wainscoting, leather and upholstered furniture, and dozens of old mirrors and prints in gold gilt frames. At any moment, I could have expected Violetta to rush in and collapse in the arms of a lover. We ordered dinner, but I was too excited to get beyond the soup; it was a great experience, although no sweet thing collapsed into my arms that night. There will be others nights spent there no doubt, and I obviously have to temper my dislike of the mainland. Jeffrey is there to greet you and his boyfriend is the chef.
Magnum is on 79th St. off of east of Biscayne Blvd.