FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE – Our resident gourmand, Ravi Nussbaum, went globetrotting to sample famed and rare delicacies from a castle is the Alsace province, known to be cursed and hidden from sight. “Typically,” said Ravi, “The only souls who manage to find the place are local peasants and their marriageable daughters, only hoping to escape the wolves and find warmth, but I snagged a reservation on OpenTable. The service was great; I was greeted and seated immediately by the maître‘d, a walking singing candelabra. I only wish I could say the same for the food.” Ravi winced at the memory of his less-than-stellar meal.
Firstly, the menu laid out for the evening was frightfully old fashioned and out of season. “The enchanted cooking implements trotted out a sub-par, by-the-numbers menu of winter dishes,” stated Ravi, as a coat rack leaned over to adjust his napkin, “never mind that we’re in a summer heat wave. They’ve opted for hot tea, pudding en flambé and kept a roaring fire at the hearth. I expect more from such experienced pots and whisks.”
Hors d’oeuvre came and went, and while Ravi was impressed with the flavor and plating for each, he took umbrage with the waitstaff for their lack of knowledge on each bite-sized morsel. “I asked them about the chicken liver pate, but they kept referring to it as ‘The Grey Stuff,’” Ravi said, “It was delicious, just as the dishes said, but what if I had been a vegetarian? Or had a food allergy, hmm?”
Ravi was a tad more unforgiving of the main course, a beef ragout paired with a cheese soufflé, and sent both of them away to rejoin the parade of tureens and china platters after a mere forkful. “They were both oversalted, and kept in cold storage long past their freshness dates,” said Ravi, who turned down a cup of hot tea after noticing a spot on the serving pot and a chip in his tea cup.
The enchanted castle inhabitants welcome even middling reviews of their service in hopes of attracting new business. They are currently hiring not just kitchen staff, but specifically ladies to court their recluse monarch, a prince who they stressed, sports no ailments, curses or disfigurements. “He’s got a great personality,” assured the candelabra, “and is toilet trained, we saw to that.”