Meanwhile, from the sublime to the ridiculous:
dinner at Daniel the other night, I had the loin of rabbit and an amazing chocolate dessert:
Oops, wrong rabbits!
|roasted loin of rabbit with vegetables|
|I'm wanting to call this loin of chocolate|
but that's really not necessary
Seated next to us was a sweaty back-packer in hiking clothes. I personally think that it's a mark of a classy restaurant that everyone is treated alike, served with helpful courtesy, and helped to make good choices (even if this last means avoiding local specialties like steamed calf's head)..
Whatever you order, a meal at Daniel starts with two freebies, then your first course arrives. I suspected the young man would not return, having had his freebies and first course.
I was wrong, he returned, and explained that although he still felt that an "attack" was impending, he would like to continue the unbelievably wonderful meal.
While waiting for the impending next course, I noticed that he was fumbling in his backpack.
The chat continued until the next course arrived. He explained to the Maître d' that he was not French but was Canadian (like a Frenchman couldn't tell), from central Canada not Quebec, that he came from a well-to-do (bien aisée) family who didn't understand his devotion to fine cuisine, that after New York he hoped to go to France where he would seek to be apprenticed to a wine grower, etc, etc, yadda, yadda, yadda, or patati, patata as you wish.
His two next courses arrived. After the fish course, he mentioned to the anxious server that he had brought not one but two Epipens with him, so they were not to worry, and bring on the meat.
Here is where I explain that someone close to me, not a relative, carries an Epipen. From her, I learned this. First, if you are having an anaphylactic reaction, the Epipen does not cure you. It keeps you breathing until the ambulance arrives and gets you to the ER. Moreover, if you feel an attack coming on from a food allergy, you don't sit around and make chit-chat in Franglais. If you feel you should wait to see if things are going to get worse (not a good idea), you do said waiting in the ER after having put ER staff on notice. Finally, nobody carries an unwrapped Epipen. Once used, they must be disposed of.
So as the meat course arrived, our hero placed an unwrapped syringe that might have been an Epipen -or a small turkey baster - on his lap, pointing away from me, and dug in. The staff watched anxiously as he slurped up the dish.
|Not our fellow diner, |
but a random photo of someone
who sort of looks like him.
The Maître d' came back and explained that there would be no charge. He protested, to no avail. The Maître d' was immovable. The staff in the lounge lined up to bid him au revoir and he left.
I think this is at best what my cousin's late grandmother-in-law would call a mangia-francu - dialect for freeloader - at work, and at worst an ongoing scam. Or escroquerie or arnaque, as the French might say. Or bajour, as others might say. I would love to know if Daniel's Maître d' called his counterpart at, say, Jean-Georges. Probably not. I do hope someone, somewhere, has his picture up in the kitchen.
So anyway, the next day, we drove out to the beach, where life is sometimes less complicated.