There is a restaurant review by Pete Wells in the New York Times Dining Section dated May 23, 2012. It is a review of the highly regarded and very expensive seafood restaurant, Le Bernardin. I love food, and I don’t mean to pick on either Mr. Wells or Le Bernardin. I am sure it is great, and as a once in a lifetime treat or celebration perhaps there is justification. It also exists for those with expense accounts, or who have the financial ability to ignore the price.
What struck me as somewhat funny when I read the article was the following:
“A few are flat-out luxurious, like a small boulder of caviar nested inside a heap of sea urchin on a carpet of little gnocchi. I blinked my eyes a few times at the $70 supplement on top of the $125 set price for four courses at dinner. Then I decided not to worry, because a chance like this might not come along again. A year from now the sea urchin and caviar, along with almost everything else on a menu of nearly 40 items, may have made way for a new crop of thrills.”
Then again a year from now Mr. Wells might not be a reviewer for the NY Times on an expense account and actually may have to pay the freight at the restaurant. Clearly, Mr. Wells needs to do this for his job and he recognizes the extraordinary costs of eating at this restaurant. Nonetheless, I could not help thinking about my post about UNICEF’s Tap Project, which raises money so that children could have water to drink. If $1 provides a child with 40 days of clean drinking water, then the $70 supplement would have provided 2800 days of clean drinking water: over 7 and half years in just a few bites. My mouth gets dry, not watery just thinking about it.
Everyone should enjoy themselves and can splurge. I am sure Le Bernardin does a lot of good social work, so maybe they can contribute to a good cause the profit that they make on this food item.
I would also like to know if Mr. Wells could recommend a good carpet cleaner for the “carpet of little gnocchi”. They are so hard to find these days. Neither food, nor food reviews, need to be so precious.