Friday, May 18, 2012

My Perfect Restaurant

The space has lots of rooms, like a house, but a huge first floor of a house, and there are lots of windows in every room, with carved old frames. The lighting is gold saturated, with little accent lights hidden in plants or on mantelpieces, in pinks and blues and greens, skulls with shiny bright eyes and plastic lit up lambs being harrassed by small Aryan masters. The corners are darker, and the walls are covered in different curling peeling swathes of wallpaper, gilt ornate 60s sort of stuff, whole walls of forest wallpaper, silver paisleys, green curlicues, dark red stripes. The ceilings are high, and painted in ancient world maps with sea monsters and dragons marked like Xs. Along the recessed black lighted edges of the ceiling are constellations painted in glow-in-the-dark paint, barely visible, they spill like green diamonds into the edges of the ceiling and keep the cornices spiderweb free. Piped into every room, all the time, regardless of the weather, is a soundtrack of rain, with the occasional clap of thunder or lightning. Over the rain, they play late 90s indie rock and hip hop. The dining room tables are a hodge podge of different heavy woods and styles, the chairs are all worn leather swivel armchairs, with brass rivets in their arms.

 The music is louder in the bar area, which is located behind a heavy door in the back of the house. Opening the door to get in makes it feel like you have left and gone to another place, it swings heavy shut behind you with a loud whoomp!  The bar walls are covered in wood panels and photographs that patrons have stuck up on the walls, framed or not. Just at seat level, all around the room, is a ring of scratched graffiti into the wood, Andy was Here, Lila is a...the floor is black and white tile. Several green shaded hanging lights are above the bar, and around the corners are ornate glass turkish hanging lights, around black steel resin patio tables. The back of the bar is a plate glass window that can be opened up into the backyard, which has another small dirty wooden pavilion, with a fire pit to keep away spiders, and a frog pond that gurgles in the farthest corner. Around the pond are tiny purple lights stuck in the ground among the white night blooms. The bar serves cocktails inspired by the favorite drinks of famous people - Marilyns, Hemingways, Roosevelts, Christies. It takes them 15 minutes to mix a drink, and they do it secretly in the back room. Perhaps Roosevelt himself is making your Old Fashioned. There is one cat in the garden and it hates women.

The menu for the restaurant is all comfort food: glazed beef stew with mashed potatoes and salty soft carrots, white sauced macaroni and cheese, spicy paprikash with crunchy fried latkes on the side, delicate pastas with nonexistent gauze like sauces, tempura fried chicken, salsa covered taquitos. It changes every day based off the market that morning, or that's what they say, but who knows the secret day life of the kitchen. The portions are not huge, they are portion sized. The wine decanters are huge, and made of heavy leaded crystal. You could kill a man with one. The silver coffee pots you can order with dessert are huge. The espresso machine whirs away  making you feel fifteen again. The dessert menu is not comfort food, it's as crazy or weird as the chef can come up with that day - jabanero mentholated ice creams, fennel flavored cakes, lemon brittles, mexican popsicles flavored with milk and cinnamon.

 Dress code is non-existent. All the employees wear their own clothes. Hours are lunch through late night dinner, Sunday through Friday.

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