Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Demand my Rights ... Please

SALT AND PEPPER The other night at Cafe Noir I asked for salt. Cafe Noir is a middle-of-the-road kind of place (125 North Main St, Providence, but more about it later) so I am a little surprised that they won't trust me with the goods. At a hip downtown place in NYC last spring I thought the chef might appear with a carving knife if I asked, but no, salt and pepper came without incident. It wasn't like I wanted to add a coating that would do a Portuguese cod proud; I just wanted the salt for one little thing. At Cafe Noir the poached egg on the frisee salad was naked. I defend my stance. The egg needed salt, pepper too. I've seen Big Night (1996, with an excellent Stanley Tucci) - I know a good chef wants to control the experience (best scene: Tucci trying to restrain the chef, Tony Shalhoub, from excitedly telling a patron her ordering sins) but sometimes a chef 1) forgets to adjust seasonings or, 2) is wrong. Just put the salt and pepper on the table please.

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