Sunday, October 26, 2008

Charmin Michelle at Cue

When: Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008 • Where: Cue at the Guthrie • Who: Charmin Michelle, voice; Doug Haining, saxophones and clarinet; Rick Carlson, piano; Keith Boyles, bass; Nathan Norman, drums

Taking pictures at Cue is almost impossible; the combination of floor-to-ceiling windows, candlelit tables, and low overhead lighting creates a wonderfully romantic ambience and challenging conditions for photographers. But Cue is all about food and wine and atmosphere—and, on the weekends, live music. So I'm not complaining, just saying. It's a gorgeous room and I love going there to hear some of my favorite area talent: Arne Fogel, Maud Hixson, Dean Brewington, and tonight the exquisitely lovely and charming Charmin Michelle.

People were seated all around when we arrived, and many more came in when the Guthrie's current production, Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge, let out. I had a delicious stuffed trout and discovered my new favorite cocktail: a pomegranate Manhattan. Restaurant manager Jeffrey Fisher and wine manager Jessica Nielsen came by to say hello and introduce the new sommelier.

Fisher has booked Cue's live music calendar through New Year's Eve, which is further ahead than many clubs attempt. Let's hope the music continues into next year and beyond. To me, it's now an integral part of the experience. A great room with great food deserves great music. I'm hoping that someday they'll have a real piano.

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