We’ve always known Bryan as the multi-talented singer, dancer, actor, etc. (etc., etc., and etc.) We’ve seen him countless times on Broadway and doing his one man show in New Orleans (soon to be in New York, too!). He is currently starring on AMC’s hit TV Show Mad Men as Art Director Salvatore Romano who’s personal life is – let’s say somewhat complicated (though maybe not so complicated). The show follows Jon Hamm as Don Draper (who Lally has a major crush on) and is based on the cut-throat advertising world of Madison Avenue in the 1960’s. The clothing, decoration and politically incorrect language and behavior – it’s all wildly entertaining. There is constant smoking, drinking in the middle of the day in the office, rampant sexism and plenty of inappropriate touching. I occasionally feel jealous that Bryan gets to “play dress up” and re-live the era of our parents’ prime.
Bryan and I grew up in the same cocktail world. While the Batt boys were busy concocting Tiki drinks at Bali Hai, Lally and I were learning to sip Sazeracs (while maintaining a smile — it’s a bit of an acquired taste) at our family’s New Orleans Creole restaurants. Regardless of the difference in venues, both businesses (and families) emphasized cocktails.
His mother epitomizes elegance and ran in Aunt Adelaide’s crowd of jet-setters, movie stars and New Orleans raconteurs. Our families dressed for dinner and entertained often and lavishly.
Dinner at Bryan’s today is still an elegant affair – complete with antique china, vintage glassware (filled with well-made cocktails, of course) and all of touches that say “welcome.” I have to admit, the last time Bryan was at my house for a party, he, Tom, Lally and I danced the night away with lots of twists, twirls and dips. We recovered from all of them – except that last one. We had special cocktails invented for the evening – the Oh Mai! and the Oops (rather fitting for that night). As on most occasions, almost everyone brought a host or hostess gift (which is perhaps why we sell so many copies of In The Land of Cocktails). We had a wonderful time, as we always do with Bryan. He is the essence of style and fun and we love him and the entire Batt crew. I do wonder, though, when I get to put on my fur for a cameo?