Paris: Take that Le Cinq!

I am not the sort of gent who is ready to fork over €100 for lunch. I might do it for dinner, once in a blue moon … if guaranteed charming companionship.

Am I missing anything?  Based on Jay Rayner’s review of lunch at the renowned Le Cinq, perhaps not!

Jay praises a few pastry items. And then …

Other things are the stuff of therapy. The canapé we are instructed to eat first is a transparent ball on a spoon. It looks like a Barbie-sized silicone breast implant, and is a “spherification”, a gel globe using a technique perfected by Ferran Adrià at El Bulli about 20 years ago. This one pops in our mouth to release stale air with a tinge of ginger. My companion winces. “It’s like eating a condom that’s been left lying about in a dusty greengrocer’s,” she says

I will not quote more of Jay’s piece here, though it is larded with colorful images that will no doubt, set the head chef’s hair on fire. I do recommend it if you are in the mood for a send up.

Of course, all of this goes beyond horrendous because of the price Jay paid for the alleged pretense.  But I would not go so far as Zack Beauchamp from Vox in condemning such pleasures

The title of his piece is “Nothing will make you happier than this scathing review of a snooty Paris restaurant”.  Already, I feel the gloating. He starts off this way

There’s a particular kind of satisfaction to be had in skewering the pleasures of the global super-rich. It’s not just that their stuff is expensive, or stuffy, or morally reprehensible — though it often is that. It’s that it’s often terrible, and we’re all supposed to act like it isn’t because the rich people say so. (Think golf, an agonizingly slow walk that we all pretend is a sport so bankers can play at being athletes.)

Notice the word “often”, in the phrase “often terrible”. I would suggest that “occasionally terrible” is a more accurate description.  Often terrible would more aptly describe dining out with my father when he was in a hurry to get home to watch a baseball game. And when a meal is terrible and pricey, of course, we mere mortals are deeply offended, even if we don’t have to pay the bill.

While I am at it, I will admit to having enjoyed a few rounds of the slow walk in my time, and not just for the fresh air. The pleasure of whisking a ball onto the green is balanced by the frustration of seeing what should have been a perfect tee shot veering off into the woods.  A metaphor for life?


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