The spirit of Christmas was festive on Tuesday, December 18th when local artist PJ Morgan shared his talents with a lively audience at the City Winery. The venue, in Washington D.C., is not only a music venue and full-service winery but also serves a restaurant. Before enjoying the concert, I partook in a delicious meal.
For my first course, I decided on the Ivy City Wings, which marinated in a white wine sauce. The wings were very flavorful. One of the first things I look for in sauced wings is the sauce to wing quotient. The City Winery passed my wing test with excellence, as the chicken wings were not heavy on the sauce. I also tried out their Brussel sprouts, which in a word were excellent. For my entrée, I chose the pulled lamb sandwich with a side of fries. While the lamb was perfectly seasoned, I was not that fond of the bread the restaurant picked for the entree. The French fries on the side though, were fantastic thanks to in part to the seasoning and delicate crunch.
The dessert I chose to try was the Meyer lemon bar, which was very tart but tasty. In speaking with my companion for the night, I was surprised to learn that the Meyer lemon bar is supposed to be very sour. The service at the City was also top notch, as my drinks were never empty, nor did I have to wait more fifteen minutes between the entrees.
After the delightful meal, it was show time! Christmas music is one of my favorite music genres, so I was very anxious to hear Mr. Morgan a trained pianist. The artist’s opening number was an original piece entitled “Closer,” which was a very grown & sexy vibe. The artist then showed his appreciation for the Peanuts gang with a soulful rendition of the “Charlie Brown Theme,” which would make Charles Schultz proud. Throughout the night, Mr. Morgan covered numerous Christmas tunes including “Silent Night,” “Oh Christmas Tree” and “Christmas Time Is Here.”
As the night began to wind down, Mr. Morgan performed some more of his original tunes two of which include his wife on lead vocals. The songs “Choose Love” and “Mirror” were both very moving and uplifting. Not only did I feel the spirit of the lord, listening to the songs, but I also saw the great chemistry between the Morgan’s as husband and wife. The night closed out with a cover of the iconic Donny Hathaway song, “This Christmas.”
While I was not too familiar with the work of PJ Morgan before the concert, I now consider myself a fan of his work. With a laid-back demeanor and fantastic piano skills, Morgan provided the perfect holiday soundtrack. If you have not had the chance to check out The City Winery, yet I highly recommend going. Not only is it a beautiful music venue with great acoustics, but the City Winery is also a great place to enjoy a meal.
FINAL GRADE for Both PJ Morgan & Restaurant B+