There's no suit cut surgically sharp enough to hide the weight I've gained the past few days, but neither is there a vision of myself in the mirror with beauty that matches the pleasure of savoring the unctuous goodness of the holidays' delights. Let me share with you photographs of what I had eaten, as well as an excerpt--two stanzas of a piece I'm working on: "Please Be Fat with Me". Call this my (likely temporary) antithesis to Kate Moss' notorious proverb.
"My dearest, please be fat with me
Come join me in my eating spree
Bone marrow doused and dipped in lard
Truffles creamed, smothered, roast pig charred."
Pig foot “Milanese” with rice beans and arugula at Babbo was the essence of dark, fried pig, in crumbs, compacted, and lightly seasoned with shards of salt.
Osso buco, after the fall
Rock shrimp with butternut squash, sage, and creamy artisanal polenta at Il Pesce, Eataly. Rock shrimp seems to be having a moment, for good reason. It's as if they genetically modified regular shrimp to have the soft, fatty bite of Asian crystal prawns and the robust, shrimpy flavor of tiger prawns.
The sea urchin roe in Eataly's soft-scrambled farmhouse eggs with tarragon was almost like a hyperbolic extension of the eggs: they seemed to be part of the scrambled eggs, only much richer and umami-laden.
The white chocolate-dipped red velvet twinkie at Lulu's just is.
Morimoto's toro tartare with caviar and fresh wasabi is pure theatre: scrape the fatty tuna off the plank with the metal paddles provided, dip in dashi, run through the stripes of wasabi, creme fraiche, chives, popped rice, avocado and the like, and pop in your mouth. Nibble on the sweet mini-plum when done.
rock shrimp again, this time tempura with spicy "Kochujan" and wasabi aioli
the most succulent spicy king crab broiled on the half-shell
Cut into the pillowy sea bass with miso sauce and avocado tempura and the world and your mouth starts moving like the river grass in The Little Mermaid's "Kiss the Girl".
RJ's home-made-from-scratch cornbread stuffing
and my Kung Pao shrimp spaghetti with an extra pound of shrimp.
the tastiest jalapeno blue cornbread at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill
and to ring in the new year, chicken rings and fried cheese at White Castle.
"I ask of you to hold my hand
When meat meets tongue strand by strand,
I moan, my spit glands go a-throbbing
In my mouth, they gush, ejaculating."
photographs by Mikee Tuason