Novella Royale: golden curls for a golden girl
The story goes that when Churchill’s advisors told him that the Nazis had leveled the city of Coventry, he said, “Well, let’s have lunch. Everything looks better after lunch.” If there is a crisis to be faced in midlife, go out and eat the best food and drink the best wine you can, after which, believe me, everything will look better. Never mind the chef who rewriteshis entire menu once a week, and avoid dishes like sea urchins in lemongrass foam which bear a striking resemblance to the pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What you need is a restaurant that prepares one dish to brilliant perfection. Below are those dishes and the restaurants that have mastered them. Keep the list handy, and make it a point to eat this well for the second half of your life.
; cooked quickly in English butter and deftly deboned by a skilled waiter atthe Grill Room at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Its meat is as white as Dover beach, and the sizzling butter seals in its nice, fatty flavor. Best when accompanied by pommes souffle and a cold bottle of Corton Charlemagne. Park Lane; 011 44 20 76 29 8888.
UOVO IN RAVIOLOatSan Domenico, New York’s best Italian restaurant. When you cut into this enormous ravioli, a barely cooked eggyolkgushes forth and flows into a clarif ied butter sauce with generous shavings of outrageously expensive, highly aromatic white truffles. After that and a glass ortwo of Bar baresco, you may have to be carried outofthe restaurant mumbling. 240 Central Park South; 212 265 5959.
ROAST LAMB at Chez Georges in Paris. Beyond its perfectly prepared lamb, which is pink, succulent, lightly seared, and as tender as Elizabeth Hurley’s thigh, the restaurant has a very amiable attitude toward American guests. 1 Rue du Mail; 011 33 1 42 60 0711.
at Milan’s Alfredo Gran San Bernardo. Banish all thoughts of everlasting anything more delicious than this plump veal chop, flattened into a thin circle, lightly battered with egg and bread crumbs, and gently sauteed in butter and served with creamy, saffron yellow risotto sprinkled with Parmesan. 14 Via G.A Borgese; 011 39 02 331 9000.
SPICY CHICKEN SOUP at Mary Trevino’s El Mirador in San Antonio.
When I’ve knocked back one too many tequilas the night before in some cantina, I join the line out the door to receive the Holy Communion of soups, teeming with chunks of chicken, chili peppers, and cilantro. The steam clears your head, the tortillas are warm, and the coffee is strong. You are a good person again. 722 South St. Mary’s Street; 210 225 9444.
THE OUTRAGEOUS PECAN TROUT at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Proof that a dish can never be too rich in this city, speckled trout is rolled in ground pecans and sauteed in butter, then smothered with jumbo lump crab and placed atop a creamed com salsa, it’s so decadent that it should have been one of the shalt nots. 1403 Washington Avenue; 504 899 8221.
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