Birthday feasting with Tom and Mike. We went to Eola at Dupont Circle. Mike, who is an editor and ever alert for a typo, managed to overcome his lurking suspicion that the restaurant’s name should really be Ebola. “Perhaps the sign writer was in the grip of a flesh-eating virus and mistakenly omitted the B?”
Eola was offering a five course offal menu in addition to their everyday five-course feast. I love offal but even I slightly blanched at the idea of five courses of unmentionables. The menu warned “no substitutions” but Mike and I came to a mix and match deal.
The first course is chosen by the chef and is an amusing selection of amuse bouches. There was pork belly; there was beef tartare and mustard aioli; a little strip of something on compressed water melon with a mint leaf; devilled quails egg.
For my appetizer, I had corn custard served with pork belly and Mike had rabbit frito misto. The custard made me long to be an invalid. ” I can’t manage much–perhaps just a little corn custard” Tom, I think had rabbit rillettes but my eyes aren’t what they once were, so I could have that wrong.
Next, I had semolina spaghetti with peppers, parmesan and (allegedly) lamb’s liver. The waitress explained that the liver was finely grated over the top of the dish. I couldn’t taste it, but there was no need for a Hannibal Lecter meltdown because I was confident many other tantalizing organs would soon be on their way. Mike had some very rare beef and Tom had something involving sardines but my enthusiasm for the Dolcetto, combined with the distance and dim lighting, mean I couldn’t tell you exactly what.
The confit of pork jowl was served. Crackling with a satisfying underskirt. I was in heaven. No idea what anyone else was eating.
For dessert (“It’s included. Silly not to”) we ordered one of everything. Cobbler with buttermilk icecream. An exquisite little lemon meringue pie. Chocolate pound cake with black pepper icecream. We waddled home where I forced down a ginger liqueur to aid digestion and slept and slept and slept.
In the bright light of the next morning, it occured to me that perhaps Tom and Mike go all out on my birthday because, at this rate of going, they think it is unlikely I will have many more. Never mind. All worth it.