September 13, 2008
It was a nice day in Girdwood, Alaska. The sun was out and a cool breeze tickled the trees as the staff at the Double Musky Inn were preparing for a busy day where travelers from all would stop by for a hearty meal and share their journeys thus far. Then a tall man walked in with his fianc asked for a table, "three people in our party under the name Ford". That gentleman is no other than Harrison Ford - Mr. Indiana Jones in the flesh - stopping by at the popular and world known Double Musky Inn restaurant tucked away on Crow Creek Road.
The Double Musky Inn in Girdwood, Alaska, is a New Orleans-style restaurant owned by the Persons Family. Jill Cordes, hostess of the "Best Of" series for the Food Network, described the Double Musky in Girdwood as the top place for steaks in the USA and more specifically named the French Pepper Steak as the best. So my choice of entre for the evening was the signature dish - the French Pepper Steak - this dish is 16-20 oz. New York Steak, crusty with cracked pepper and covered with a spicy burgundy sauce.
Having learned Harrison Ford had been there only a few weeks earlier, and being urged by my wife that the Double Musky Inn is a world renowned restaurant, we made a special detour during our Alaska vacation to the town of Girdwood to stop at the Double Musky for dinner. I introduced myself to owner and manager Justin Persons ahead of dinner and asked him if he would grant me a short interview as I would be very interested asking a few questions about Mr. Ford's visit so that I may share his experience with the community on EyeGossip. Justin assured me he would be happy to speak with me at my convenience. I was immediately impressed with this young man - in his late 20's - who was very cordial, yet managed the evening with great diligence and confidence to ensure his staff sought the very best service for the restaurants numerous patrons.
Harrison Ford came in on a Wednesday with fianc Calista and son to the Double Musky Inn. It was the night of his 66th birth date (d.o.b. July 13, 1942) and being a wine connoisseur, he brought with him a bottle of 1997 Ducru-Beaucaillou, a Bordeaux wine. Ahead of Mr. Ford's visit that evening, Justin Persons received a phone call from a very hyper concierge at Alyeska Resort who informed him a "very special guest" will be arriving at your restaurant for dinner." The concierge repeated himself several times and then said, "this is not a joke." Justin Persons casually thanked the concierge for the call, assured him that Mr. Ford would have a wonderful evening at the restaurant, and prepared his staff for a busy night at the Double Musky Inn.
Harrison and Calista arrived around 7:30pm that evening and were seated in a booth table (pictured below) that would ensure the couple would have a more private area where they would not be bothered. Being a wine connoisseur, Harrison brought with him a 1997, Ducru-Beaucaillou red Bordeaux bottle of wine. Though Harrison did not provide specific information on his travels in Alaska, but having realized the vast selection of wines at the Double Musky Inn which included a bottle similar to the one he brought, he told Justin he did not expect a restaurant in Alaska to have such a vast selection, and casually apologized by saying he would have left the bottle at the hotel.
In the movie American Graffiti, Harrison Ford played character Bob Falfa who drives a 1955 Chevy Bel Air. While that may not be on the forefront of everyone's minds when thinking of the movie, Justin Persons knows it all too well since he drives a 1957 Chevy Bel Air. And so, the young owner and manager of the Double Musky Inn politely asked Harrison if after dinner he would allow a couple of minutes to take a picture with Justin by his 1957 Chevy. Harrison Ford agreed.
Harrison and Calista both had the Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya and after their meal shared a desert. Harrison and Justin went to Justin's 1957 Chevy to take a picture. They were joined by the staff of the Double Musky Inn who completely overshadowed the car. Harrison turned around and said, "you can't see the car," and everyone broke out in laughter as the star joked about reason he and Justin were outside taking a picture with the same car he drove in American Graffiti.
While his latest movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, grossed over $300 million dollars this past summer, Harrison Ford enjoyed a hearty meal at the Double Musky Inn where he tipped the waiter a generous tip, allowed Justin Persons to take a picture of him commemorating the evening, shook Persons hand to thank him for a wonderful dinner, then continued his Alaskan adventure with his family.