When I imagine atmospheric jazz band places, I think New York. Not that I’ve been, but that’s how I imagine them anyway. Ellington’s makes me feel that way. It’s a jazz joint packed to the rafters with music lovers seated around small tables facing the stage, it’s dim lighting with small candles on the tables, and it’s damned amazing music. This place pulses with music that gets the crowd tapping their toes and singing along at times. It’s uber cool and it’s definitely hip to be over 40 here. Heck, it’s hip to be any age here.
Last night The Prof and I were lucky to have tickets for a Burt Bacharach tribute that had everyone singing along and re-living hits of the 60s and 70s. It was the proverbial walk down nostalgia lane. Ellington regulars Ali Bodycoat and Libby Hammer entertained the crowd in their usual grand style, and the crowd lapped it up.
The Prof and I ordered a bottle of the sparkling shiraz for $44, and a $29 three cheese platter to share. The food options are limited, but as this is a venue focusing on music and drinks and not on food, this isn’t surprising. I think some of the negative reviews on Urbanspoon about The Ellington may be from people who expected a night out with fine dining. That’s not what this place is about. Expect to be entertained, but don’t expect gourmet cuisine.
I’ve had the cheese platters here many times, and they’re perfect for nibbling on while sipping wine and watching the bands perform. There are also pizzas, an antipasto plate and various tapas dishes.
The platters are generous and more than enough for two people. We couldn’t finish ours. There was a third cheese buried under the breadsticks somewhere. We had brie, what we think was gouda with cumin seeds, and a firm goats cheese. All were good. The dried apricots and apple cut through the fatty cheeses a bit, but a bit more of the quince paste would have been better.
I love that this place welcomes music lovers and provides a wonderful venue for local and visiting musicians. Although the dominant music is jazz, there are many different performers here playing soul, swing, blues, groove, classics, and various tributes to ground-breaking artists. It’s a fabulous, fun night out and it’s right here in Perth, six nights a week.
Over 40s, come on in and make yourselves at home 🙂