Downtown types hunting for a cheap meal and canned beer won’t usually seek out the lavish Lambs Club to post up for the night, but it’s quite nice when Rémy Martin invites a few of those below-14th denizens (we’re getting far too used to those PBRs) to enjoy a perfectly curated, ludicrously luxurious evening with some true ladies and gents uptown. Last week, I was lucky to attend a so-called “intimate dinner” with Rémy Martin 1738, Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men‘s Pete Campbell), and the lovely Janie Bryant, who’s responsible for Mad Men’s award-winning costume design. Just as we were getting used to posturing as prim and proper – made difficult by the deliciousness of the cognac cocktails – Kartheiser offered up his special brand of table talk and dropped the “rape” bomb.
There’s a time and a place for everything, much like our dinner in the discreet, landmarked room known as The Stanford White Studio within The Lambs Club. The perfect venue for the kind of evening Rémy Martin was hoping to have. Call me quaint, but beginning the night with a short chat about rape over a painstakingly constructed meal by Chef Geoffrey Zakarian isn’t the most suitable dinner conversation to have—especially amid a group of wide-eyed writers and reporters. But I say: Kartheiser, bring it on.
“It’s not rape after the first 5 minutes,” Kartheiser mused as he explained the type of women he attracts. I breathed a sigh of relief and picked up my glass of cognac—I was now free to drink without restraint. “I mean, I’m no Pete Campbell,” he admitted when another guest at the table asked him about the infamous au pair rape scene, a question that seems fitting when the man who plays Pete Campbell is talking about rape. “It was written in the scene that she was supposed to kiss me back, and I kept saying to her,” he continued between clenched teeth, “kiss me back, damnit! But she wouldn’t.” After the scene came out, Matthew Weiner was confused about the negative press the scene was getting. “Why are they saying you raped her? You didn’t rape her—it wasn’t supposed to be rape!” Kartheiser mimicked. “The course of Pete Campbell changed, and it was all because the actress wouldn’t kiss me back. We dated after that.”
More looney talk: Vincent wears Pete Campbell’s wedding ring in reality because “It attracts the right kind of women.” His view on life: “I like money and women, though not in that order. I like women, and women like money.” Bottom line: Kartheiser is a perfect party guest. He gives great speeches, says what’s on everyone’s mind, breaks the ice first, gets a rise out of people, enjoys it all thoroughly, and may or may not go back to his hotel room with someone after it all (that’s all hearsay). More importantly, Kartheiser knows how to get an event some good press.
After the dinner, some select ladies and gentlemen, including WSJ reporter Elva Ramirez and Food and Wine blogger Michael Mohammadi, headed over to The Bar located in the opposite wing of the Stanford White Studio to continue the festivities. That explains why I’m just now filing this report.