I’m going to have to put the Vietnam-related posts on hold because I FUCKING WENT TO PER SE FOR DINNER TONIGHT HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!At the moment, I am incredibly drunk, but I am writing this post now while my memory is fresh so that you can read my drunken ramblings. While normally one has to make reservations far in advance, my mom lucked out on OpenTable.com and discovered an open reservation for 9:45pm tonight. She gave me this wild look and asked, “Are you game, Vy? ARE YOU GAME??” On the way there, it felt like I was going to like, the fucking prom. It felt like one of those monumental benchmarks of adulthood, like getting a driver’s license, but much, much more hoity toity.
At the restaurant, it felt like, I don’t know, like we had snuck into someplace where we weren’t allowed to be. The dining room was full of WASPs in tacky evening wear and I was wearing a frighteningly multicolored sweatervest. We ordered cocktails and waited for Keller’s first attack. By my third sip, I was wasted.
First, gougeres! The little fuckers were like horribly savory Cocoa Puffs; they melted in my mouth wonderfully. Cheese balls never fail to impress. NEVER!!
Following that were these crazy salmon ice cream cones which were just salmon tartare scooped on top of a dhosa-like sesame seed cone. Those were pretty good; they really reminded me of frostbitten Norway for some reason.
Keller’s signature oysters and pearls, a bang-up-the-ass fiesta of caviar, pearl tapioca and Malpeque oysters, was ridiculous, in the way that dropping LSD at the Cirque du Soleil is ridiculous. (Especially Varekai, holy shit.) As I spooned it, bit-by-bit, into my mouth, I couldn’t say anything. I just sat there, going quietly insane.
Okay, this is getting really hard. They kept plying me with wine and now I’m feeling it quite acutely. If you want to see more photos, look here, alright? So I was telling our waiter, who was a stand-up chap, that I was also a waiter back in Iowa, and my mom followed that up by letting him know that I bullshit a lot on the job. For example, she told him, whenever customers ask me to recommend wines to go with their meals, I make shit up. And somehow, they’re satisfied when I ask them about it later! So as our waiter pours my next glass of wine, he spins this crazy tale about how it’s made from grapes grown by a volcano in Italy, and that it’s the oldest sort of wine in the world. And apparently it was mentioned in The Odyssey in relation to a cyclops. So I said, “Dude, the beautiful thing is that you could have made all of that up and I’d have no idea.”
As dinner wore on, I got drunker and drunker and drunker; and subsequently, exponentially more profane. When our waiter unveiled the ultimate, 15th course, I blurted, “JESUS CHRIST!” He looked behind him and he and the other server laughed as if they were suddenly confronted with a 5-year old who has pooped itself. Then I started telling everyone stories about how everyone in the restaurant business smokes weed and/or crack. As we left the restaurant, I noticed that I had innumerable stains of strawberry consomme on my shirt. Distracted, I studied them thoroughly and almost tripped down the stairs at motherfucking Per Se.