We've gotten our share of hate mail, which is actually pretty funny. Also amusing are the nasty, anonymous voice mails left at odd hours of the night. (Strangely, all have been from men -- so how about growing some balls and leaving your name and number?) We've also gotten the odd threat, such as "Watch your back, you stupid cunt! Don't fuck with gay people!" which was spawned by the public-sex-at-the-DB column, the piece that launched a thousand shit fits ("Blown Away," June 19). But such intimidation hasn't stopped us yet, so off we went to Bistro 303, the three-month-old bar that's taken the place of Metropolis. A reader had described it as "a nice, gay lounge, very velvet Mafia of sorts."
And it was quite homosensually cool. We went on both Friday and Saturday nights with Research Assistant Scott. Because we hadn't seen each other in a while, we wanted to go someplace where we could catch up, and 303 was a great place to talk. For one thing, the noise level was at precisely the point where we could hear each other, and, as a bonus, it wasn't horribly smoky. The décor was beautiful, too -- with its brick walls and hardwood floor, the medium-sized space was old-Westport chic. The bar dominated the room, and high-top tables were scattered about. Huge mirrors, warm lighting and yellow walls, along with touches such as votives and fresh flowers, added to the intimate ambience. Arriving after 11:30 p.m. both times, we had apparently missed a rush that had taken place earlier in the night, which was fine with us. "Everyone usually clears out to go to other late bars," Scott said.
We hung out by the bar and drank whiskey sours, which came in great, almost-square glasses. Owner Jeffrey Schmitz says he hasn't decided on 303's specialty drinks yet, but he recommends the cosmos and the Red Delicious, made with Crown Royal, Apple Pucker and cranberry juice. He also likes the chocolate-milk martini, composed of Chivas, Kahlua and Bailey's. "It tastes just like chocolate milk, but I can't get anyone to order it. They're put off by the Chivas," he says. "It's good -- this is coming from someone who's been drinking for years, girl!"
As we drank, we checked out all the hot, stylish guys. "I like it because you can see in here," said a friend of Scott's, sotto voce. There was a good mix of others as well. "It's a great urban feel, an edgy feel," said Jax, a New Zealand native who was drinking champagne with her friends. ("Bubbly is very good for you," she explained.) "Westport is developing a café society, and I really like it," she said. "There's a European flavor here."
"It's more of a traditional bistro. It serves lunch during the day, and it's a bar at night," Schmitz says. He adds that his staff serves appetizers from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on weekends. "It's a totally eclectic group who wants to come in and have a nice time," he says of his clientele. "I always wanted to go to a place where you could dress up in nice clothes and people would notice them, and when you leave, they don't smell like smoke."
Yeah, we definitely noticed how the crowd was more hip to fashion than at other bars. While we were discussing the merits of small versus large fishnets with Jax, Scott was engrossed in another personal-care issue.
"Nice tattoo," said Random Guy to Scott. "I've been wanting to get one."
"They hurt and are a little expensive but worth it, in my opinion," Scott replied.
"Yeah, I either want a tattoo or back-hair removal," Guy said. "I figure it's about the same pain and expense."
Hmm. Back hair? That's a new one for the heckle list.