Friday, May 09, 2008

anchor & hope

Over a lovely lunch at shiny new Anchor & Hope (shared Ceviche with Lime & Coconut, butter-slathered Lobster Rolls with Old Bay Spiced Potato Chips) I had a restorative conversation with friends. We talked about Japanese baths, and community baths in general, L complaining strongly that Kabuki does it all wrong by enforcing silence. I shared my adoration for Cathedrals of the Flesh, a dead-on perfect gift from E. Doug and Steven stopped by the table, talking acoustics with our party.

One of us is headed to Paris, so I recounted my fall visit with E to the worn hammam at the mosque there, and the intense experience of being forcefully gommaged. It is indeed like being licked by a cat's tongue...a hand-sized one.

While in Paris, I 'borrowed' a lovely tiny guide to historic restaurants, Historic Restaurants of Paris. It was filled with gems and lovely turns of phrase. When a turn in the Jardin du Luxembourg slid into bolting from a downpour, we ducked out of the rain and into
Restaurant POLIDOR (41, rue Monsieur Le Prince, 75006 Paris). The banned napkin storage cabinet was indeed there, as was the Turkish toilet, in much too small of a room. We started out lunch alone, and by the time we paid the check the many communal tables were packed cozily with soggy refugees from the deluge. I often think of E's fragrant chicken with morels in cream sauce. Very often.

The fresh chips were so melt-in-my-mouth salty good that I took the unfinished remainder back to the boys at the office. As I walked the two blocks back to finish a stressful day, I noticed Anchor & Hope's hot mermaid (above) tastefully embossed on their paper takeout box. Well done.

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