Sometimes I don't eat with the honoring I prefer, so I decided this morning that I will set a rock by my place each meal to remind me there is another way to live and be. I can be with the fire inside, the slow jostling, the place for each atom to rest and air.
My dentist and I shared wonderful dining experiences today. I realized that now that my stomach is settled I can share what we were served at One Market Restaurant in the city. It is a once or twice in a lifetime experience, and I realize the chef's creations need honoring. This menu honors that night, the seasons of that evening. I was the frame for the evening of a wonderful painting, so hold onto your stomach. Here goes.
We were first served a warmed oyster on a huge bed of salt. Each oyster shell was amazing. I wish now I had brought them home because the shells were so beautiful and each one was unique. The oyster was so delicious and though deeply textured, slid right down, and I thought, "I am full. This is enough."
Next we enjoyed a HAND-PICKED CRAB AND ASIAN PEAR SALAD. It was served with mint and organic yogurt. It was incredibly delicious and I was thinking "Yum, and now, I am complete. This is just enough, and so healthy too. My body-mind has all it needs."
Then, arrived the TAMARIND-GLAZED WILD SHRIMP with spaghetti squash, pumpkin seed oil, hon shemiji mushrooms, basil. I think it might be one of the most delicous things I have ever tasted, and I love saying "hon shemiji." The syllables remind me of a song from Mary Poppins, "chim chim eree."
Then came the WILD NETTLE CANNELONI with ricotta cheese, in spring garlic emulsion.. Steve told the story of when I was with two friends in Point Reyes and we decided to take a shortcut which led us through patches of stinging nettles, wild blackberries and poison oak. I was literally vibrating when I got home, and had been acupunctured almost to death. I thought of how the native peoples ate nettles in the spring to cleanse, and so clearly this meal was my spring healing path. The emulsion was foamy and exciting.
Then, we had PAN SEARED ALASKAN HALIBUT with asparagus, bone marrow, red wine-shallot reduction. I am starting to lose memory now, though I do remember the chef who appeared with each course to be sure we were satisfied, and that one of the women with us asked each time if she could take him home with her. I could tell he wanted to be valued for his cooking and not his looks, and thought how it would be received if it had been reversed and he had been female and my friend a male. Interesting times.
Next came ROASTED LIBERTY FARMS DUCK BREAST with endive, duck leg confit, dried cherry vinaigrette. My son Jeff, who is quite the chef, asked me what I thought of that. I don't know. I was a blur.
They gave us a tour of the wine cellar and kitchen at this point so I must have revived because I do remember the GRILLED AMERICAN KOBE NEW YORK STEAK AND BEEF CHEEK with celery root risotto, horseradish sauce verte. I paid particular attention to the cheek because Jeff loves salmon cheeks and says most people toss them away, and this was my first time eating cheek, though I could say, but I won't, so, therefore. Well. Breathe!! Perhaps you understand why I hesitated to share this, but now many of you are helping me see I was a participant in art.
Two of our party were outfitted in white chef's outfits and helped the pastry chef complete our many desserts of which all I remember is a lemon meringue tart, a creme brulee, a chocolate creme brulee and an amazing assortment of other dainties that very quickly disappeared. What can I say? Once in a lifetime!! And I give thanks for my once and that my stomach has begun to recover and look up with a smile to see what's coming now.