Yes, yes, your new restaurant, L’escargot Paresseux (or The Lazy Snail in American) has five stars on Yelp. But is it a former grist mill on a picturesque river?
Not only is your dining establishment not a former grist mill on a picturesque river, but there’s also a complete lack of cast-iron historical wall plaques.
How can I wait to be seated without historical plaques to read? How can I enjoy my meal without knowing the full story of the centuries of human suffering that resulted in this entire building being rebuilt at enormous expense entirely from bamboo that was ripped from the paws of baby pandas so that people can eat overly complicated, unsatisfying, and outrageously priced food?
How am I supposed to enjoy your poached Peruvian quail’s egg nestled in arugula spaghetti garnished with fried Brood X nymphs if I don’t know that just beneath my feet, several generations of donkeys lived short, brutal lives walking in circles to grind the villagers’ flour?
How can I possibly deliver a coup de grâce to the live octopus which is the centerpiece of your dish Putain en Direct Poulpe (or Live Fucking Octopus in American), unless I can gaze thoughtfully at the burbling waters while I chew, and contemplate the giant millstones, some weighing as much as a ton, that were quarried and laboriously brought to this location on the backs of peasants who survived on whatever leaves they could find that weren’t completely covered in bird shit?
How will I benefit from your mid-course nasal cannula of 100% pure l’oxygène (or oxygen in American) and palate-cleansing glass of penguin saliva if I don’t know that over 100 workers were hideously mangled in the jaws of the giant paddle wheels that once churned, appropriately enough, just across from handicapped parking?
I’m sorry, Jeremy, that you’ve spent the last ten years of your life studying under the father of molecular gastronomy, Ferran Adrià, only to fail so miserably in the execution of your dream by forgetting to open L’escargot Paresseux in a former grist mill on a picturesque river.
Really, this is something they teach in How to Run a Pretentious Restaurant 101. Maybe you were busy washing your man bun that day.
I applaud the fact that your waitstaff speak only Swiss with their noses wrinkled in disgust at the diners’ very existence, but it’s just not enough to make me forget that I’m not dining in a former grist mill on a picturesque river.
And a final word about your so-called “gift shop.” Call me a cretin, but at least my second-favorite place to eat, Cracker Barrel, knows what people really want, and that’s pancake mix and stick candy. ❏