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A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan

By Wardrobeoxygen @wardrobe_oxygen

Last year Karl and I didn't attend a music festival. The arm put a cramp into our capabilities and also our finances. This year, we decided again to not attend a music festival. While we love them, they can be pretty intense and we usually feel we need a vacation after our vacation. We both had broken limbs and crazy drama last summer; this summer we want to relax with our music. We have a couple concerts on the books this summer, but when I received an email from Rogue 24 earlier this month I knew we HAD to attend.

A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan

Tool is one of Karl's favorite bands, and because he has listened to their albums so much over the 20+ years we have been together, I too have come to appreciate the music and respect Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer of Tool (as well as A Perfect Circle and Puscifer). Along with music, Keenan owns Caduceus Cellars, a group of vineyards in Arizona and New Mexico. To be able to attend such an event at a highly-rated restaurant with such an artist was an opportunity we couldn't pass up.

A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan

After work, Karl meet me at the Mount Vernon Square Metro and we walked to Blagden Alley, where there's a hidden cluster of bars, restaurants, a coffee shop and a few other businesses. We got there early and found Chef RJ Cooper outside; he recommended we head over to Lost & Found for a quick drink. When we came back, the alley was filling with others who were there for the dinner. It was a fascinating group of folks - there were the wine enthusiasts, the foodies, and those who were there as fans of Keenan. A Donald Trump lookalike was leaning against the wall next to a woman in calf-high Doc Martens and dyed black hair, a woman in an St. John dress and diamond ring the size of a gumball in line behind a gentleman wearing a faded Tool tee shirt under a blazer with worn jeans and Chucks. I loved it, such an example of how food, wine, and music can bring all sorts of people together.

A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan
A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan
A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan
A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan
A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan

The restaurant is small, I don't think even 50 chairs. The tables surround the kitchen, the stage for the evening's performance. We were placed at a table near the back of the restaurant that we shared with two other couples. The couple next to us were there for the food and wine; they were big foodies who had been to Rogue 24 before and have even flown across the globe to visit highly-rated restaurants. And the table next to us held four guests... and Maynard James Keenan. As Karl said, he was as close to James that night as he was me!

A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan
A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan
A Night at Rogue 24 with Maynard James Keenan

This was not an event where Karl wanted to whip out his camera at every moment, but he did bring his " pocket camera" and captured a few images. If you follow me on Instagram you know I too caught a few pictures with my phone; once the wine started flowing people were more liberal their phones, taking pictures of each course.

And the food was phenomenal; we ate things we had never eaten before and combinations that blew us away. The evening started with a buffet of canapes (little macarons made of sour cream puffs with caviar, and freeze-fried cabbage with a hemp butter and mustard cream) and a tequila and wine cocktail that was light and refreshing. Each of the seven courses was served with a different wine from Caduceus Cellars, perfectly paired. My favorite ended up being the most expensive course Rogue 24 has ever served - goose liver agnolotti with Sicilian pistachios, buffalo brown butter and balsamic vinegar aged for 100 years served with Caduceus Cellars '13 Chupacabra red. Dessert was again a buffet, with little bite-sized treats and a coffee station.

The charming and knowledgeable staff of Caduceus Cellars and Rouge 24 were eager to share information about the food and the wine. I think people can find such events intimidating, but everyone was so friendly and warm. It was surreal to be joking with a James Beard Award winning chef and making eye contact with a rockstar you have admired for so long.

It's crazy, I don't even know how I got on the mailing list for this event; if I hadn't received the email I likely wouldn't have known about it. I am so glad were were able to go and share such an experience. I feel this is a #ThisIs40 moment; the evening was not cheap, it would have been easy to pass it up saying we can't afford it. But it was far cheaper than a weekend at Bonnaroo and it was an equally memorable and unique experience. This is an event we would have likely passed up a decade ago, but now see the value on so many levels. As I preach with clothing I also preach with life - it's better to have quality than quantity and Wednesday evening at Rogue 24 was definitely quality.


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