How ‘The Menu’ got the horrors of high-end fine dining right
A few months back, an acquaintance introduced me to a French restaurant of which I’d never heard before. Our first date on this adventure had me ordering the two-course dinner menu and he’d ordered a dish of soup (with two sides). I was about to order a salad, when he said “The Salad.” I looked at him blankly. “Oh,” I said. “What’s the salad?” “The salad,” he replied, “it is not on the menu.” “Well,” I said, “what is it?” We laughed, and he said “The Salad.” And he ordered that salad. We ordered dessert and he ordered the dessert he’d prepared. I told him about the salad I’d never heard of, and he said “Oh, I know what it is. It is not on the menu.” And he ordered it.
Last week, at another restaurant, I ordered an appetizer of beef carpaccio, followed by another of grilled shrimp. I told my server the specials—I thought he’d tell me “The Meatloaf” and “The Oyster” but he didn’t. Instead he explained to me “The Pork and The Shrimp.” I looked at him blankly and said “Pork and shrimp?” And he said “The Pork and The Shrimp.” After I ordered the second course, he walked over to me, apologized and said “The Carpsaccio.” I said, “Where?” and he said “The Pork and The Shrimp.” I told him it wasn’t the Carpsaccio. I still don’t think he was even