A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Crème Brûlée

I like culture as well as the next person (actually, probably alotalotalot more than the next person), but I'd be lying if I said the highlight of my recent night at the opera was anything other than the dessert I had at O'Neals' before the performance.

O'Neals' has come by its good reputation honestly. It's been a fixture in the Lincoln Center neighborhood since 1964--almost as long as Lincoln Center itself. Michael O'Neal's motto is "good food at a fair price," and that is indeed what he serves. Yummy stuff like French toast stuffed with brie for brunch, steamed dumplings late at night, or a grilled Black Angus sirloin with Maytag blue cheese mashed potatoes for dinner. (Well, okay, as a vegetarian I'm not drooling over the sirloin, but most people would be.) Last, but certainly not least, the service is good, and the staff can get you in and out in time for your show, no problem.

I had the all-too-infrequent opportunity to choose from among several non-meat dishes: interesting salads, a curry, an unboring pasta. Sometimes I make a meal from three sides; O'Neals' not only sounded delicious, but "Combination of three as entrée" was actually listed as a menu item. Eeny, meeny, miney, mo...which to choose? Dessert, though, was a no-brainer.

Crème brûlée has been my favorite dessert for as long as I can remember. Rich, smooth custard...brittle sugar crust: an inspired combination. O'Neals' was no disappointment when it came. Just as I was savoring a spoonful, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the lady at the next table, back-to-back with me. I noticed you ordered the crème brûlée, she said. How is it?

Scrumptious, I was able to reply. And I'm somewhat of an expert on the subject, I told her. Before I was done with my portion, she was enjoying hers.

I wonder where my next crème brûlée will be? If I'm still blogging, I'll honor it with its own entry, too.

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