The tom toms were beating across town on Monday alerting the Republican tribe that an astonishing confluence of opposing political forces was set to occur in the early evening at Houston's swankiest eatery.
Sen. Ted Cruz had reservations in the intimate wine library at his favorite haunt, Tony's. Donald Trump Jr. had plans for a chichi fundraising dinner at the same hour in Tony's Sam Remo Room, the doors to the two venues only steps apart.
Political insiders chortled over the possible food fight and the fireworks that could erupt when the two forces collided. Alas, the eagerly anticipated floor fight in Tony's went the way of Cruz' presidential aspirations, doused before the dinner bell.
"This town is too small," lamented Tony's major domo Scott Sulma, confirming that the Cruz party canceled its reservation Monday afternoon.
An eagle-eyed CultureMap reader spotted Cruz and his party dining in a quiet corner at State of Grace.
Tony's was nonetheless hopping Monday night with 90 Trump fans turning out to support the young Donald as he passed the hat. In the wine room, Paul Somerville hosted 30 guests for a surprise birthday party for his wife, Kristina, in the main dining room the tables were filled, and the bar was elbow to elbow. A handful of guests were included in both events such as Joanne King Herring, who flitted between the Somerville and Trump parties.
"It was electric," Sulma said. "It's one of those nights that happens only at Tony's."
In a particularly friendly mood, Trump Jr. made a visit to the wine room where Republican stalwart Paul Somerville and friends celebrated. The presidential candidate's son took Kristina's hand and announced "We're going to make birthdays great again." Applause, applause from the birthday crowd.
While there was a significant contingent from Dallas at the Trump event, Houstonians in the mix included Jim Robertson, Chris Pappas, Amy and Jim Lee, Scott Caven, Jim Dannenbaum, Lacy Baird, and Ollabelle and Gary Hall.
Trump supporters dined on a selection of butternut squash pasta, corn raviolini, the popular Di Campo salad, Snapper Sheridan, truffled beef medallions, chicken Francese and for dessert Tony's famed Grand Marnier souffle.