Thursday, June 26, 2014

Our Lunch at the Chateau Marmont

The four of us chose a table on the spacious, tented patio and waited for service which was not slow in coming. 

We asked for water and the bus asked, "Sparkling or flat?" and I said, "Flat" while the rest of them were sorting out what that meant.  In France, one says "Robinette" which means you want tap water.  Sparkling is a gyp.

The menu tips a fedora to several classic English food items - the strawberry Eton Mess (last encountered in the Dales,) the sticky treacle pudding and the Sir Kensington Ketchup said to date back to Catherine the Great who requested it at a dinner.  Kensington went out into the kitchen and made it for her.

Richie ordered a Stone IPA ($8) and I a Bloody Mary ($18.)  Charlie and Rosalind stuck to water.

Richie's starter was a crab and avocado concoction, neatly formed into a cube.  For this type of presentation, the chef takes a 3 in. length of PVC pipe, crams in the contents and ever-so-carefully eases the pipe off.  Viola!  I haven't seen this presentation since the 1980s, I think it was. 

All three of them ordered the house version of a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich ($18 each) and Richie later told me that if the meat in all three sandwiches had been used in one, it would have been a great deal more "steak-y."  I got the BLT with avocado, hold the L please ($16)  All four of the sandwiches came with shoestring fries.  Richie poached some of mine; his hadn't been in the fryer long enough.

In for a penny, in for a pound, we ordered dessert.  Charlie and Rosalind split a hot fudge sundae garnished with chunks of brownie ($11.)  Richie had one to himself and I got the sticky treacle pudding ($11)  It was exactly the way one should be - with a dig-through-it shell, and a date cake interior, sitting in a puddle of butterscotch.

The tab came to $159.14 (my treat) and the tab also had a sliding scale of gratuities printed on it - just in case you somehow forgot - running from 20%.  I chose 20% or $31.83 and Charlie shrugged and laid down $32 for it.

Looking back, what I remember is hotel food and high prices.  One Bloody Mary $18?  Where was the bottle of vodka and another can of tomato juice? 

Rosalind rationalized that it was an attraction and if we'd had to pay admission and then had a cheaper lunch, it would still be that expensive.. .

We've been, we don't have to go back is my take. 

No comments: