Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Club 33

To celebrate the anniversary of my 29th birthday, my husband worked a small miracle.  With the help of a friend of ours, he made reservations for us to dine at Club 33.

My birthday is in August.  So if you're wondering why I am posting this in October, it's because October was when they were able to secure a reservation.  As I had waited for years to experience Club 33, waiting a few months to have a birthday dinner seemed like nothing.  But I digress.

All that I knew beforehand was that my fella had made arrangements for something special.  He asked that I dress nicely, and told me not to worry.  (He knows that I am not a big fan of surprises.)  We then met up with our friend, David, at the Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim.

The plan was to meet David for cocktails at the bar in the Grand Californian.  David was to mention that he had reservations for us at the Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland.  As we stood in line for the restaurant, the boys were then going to spring the surprise on me about Club 33.  It was a great plan.  Alas, it did not turn out that way.

When we pulled into the valet for the hotel, my husband produced a note that basically said: "This is a surprise for my lady.  We have reservations at Club 33.  Please do not say anything about our destination.  Thanks."

The first employee quietly read the details, and simply directed Brian to the front of the hotel.  The second employee, however, skimmed the note and asked Brian--multiple times--about our reservations at Club 33.

When my fella turned to me after the cat was freed from the proverbial bag, I could tell he was very disappointed.  His awesome planned ruined.  But I was certainly giddy at the news and could not help but be excited.  And otherwise, the evening ran smoothly.

We started with cocktails in the Grand Californian's Hearthstone bar.  They offered an excellent rye whiskey Manhattan cocktail with three Luxardo cherries!  The atmosphere at the hotel and bar was lovely, and we enjoyed catching up with David and hearing about his recent vacation.  (Oh, how I now long to go to Europe!)

Grand Californian

It was a good thing we plied ourselves with drink, because getting through the park on a Saturday night is always something of an ordeal.  We managed to time it just as folks were gathering for one of the park's many productions.  This one in New Orleans Square.

Main Street was CROWDED

When we finally arrived at the mysterious club door, we were greeted by a throng of children.  One of the adults with the kids mentioned that the club's lobby was full and that we, like them, would have to wait outside.  It's here that I must trail off for a touch, do forgive me:  But who can afford to take along six to eight children all about the age of nine to an $80/person minimum dining establishment?!  Wow, could they adopt me?!

The worst photo ever of the 33

Wait we did, though Brian did push the discrete button to summon the club's greeter to confirm our reservation.

Once inside, we were treated to some Club 33 trivia.  Such as the name of the club was in reference to its address, 33 Royal Street.  When it was our turn to ascend to the restaurant, Brian and I chose to go by their lift.

The lobby and lift

A quick self-portrait

Our photographer and friend can be seen in the reflection

Our host had made a joke about making inappropriate faces in photos, here I asked for him most inappropriate.  He could only laugh in response.

Once upstairs, we were shown to our table.  We were seated in a corner, just off the balcony.  In fact, I was able to stroll along the balcony for a bit, and even caught some of the show that folks had been queueing up for earlier.

Geez, I look maniacal!

We began dinner with another round of cocktails, this time I chose a Sidecar.  (Confession time, I thought the Hearthstone Manhattan was better.)  We each ordered appetizers, David and I choosing the soup--an incredible corn chowder, and Brian opting for a salad, a bright and fresh salad with butter lettuce and mint.

Roasted corn chowder

Brian's salad

For dinner, David had the duck breast while Brian and I had the vegetable tartine.  We also enjoyed a bottle of wine from Steinbeck Winery with dinner.  Dinner was outstanding.  Between the wonderful company and the terrific food (and the flowing wine), I was swept up in the moment.

Vegetable Tartine

Am I already under the table?@!

David insisted that we order dessert, it was to celebrate my birthday after all.  I chose to go with the waiter's recommendation and had their chocolate and peanut butter offering.  David had the cheesecake.  Brian decided to try a bit of each.  The dessert was lovely, the peanut butter ice cream being the real stand-out.


After dinner, we strolled back to our cars.  Too many early evenings, plus all the wonderful food in my belly made me sleepy.  Oh, how I would have loved to have stayed later, but then the boys would've had to have carried me to the car.

Note the microphone in the center of the chandelier, it was to allow the kitchen to know when conversation had died down and plates were ready for clearing

The evening was certainly one filled with great memories.  I am so blessed to have such fantastic people in my life.

Aw, do we HAVE to leave?!

Oh, I have to mention that the ladies room at Club 33 was worth seeing.  It isn't some architectural wonder or anything, but the toilets look like wicker dining chairs.  Yeah, I guess I'm odd to mention that.


  1. I have a picture of that bathroom from when I went. Really wishing I had purchased a pin when I was there.

    1. I bought a key chain. It's gorgeous, so I haven't yet put any keys on it. I'm afraid to use it!



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