a few weeks ago, my yoga client, who has become my friend, took me to dinner across the street from her house at Cafe Boulud. www.danielnyc.com
i am no stranger to fabulous restaurants, but there was something wonderfully different about cafe boulud. it strikes just the right note of not too stuffy, not too relaxed.
i think it was the understated elegance of the whole experience, which, when done right, can be, in my opinion, the epitome of our human etiquette and natural poise.
what i mean by that, is that we can really do an amazing job of expressing ourselves from a high place. we can clean up, and comb our hair, and put on a nice crisp outfit, and walk with good posture, and sit up straight at the table that reflects a certain natural beauty and dignity that we all possess but often forget about.
when i entered the restaurant, i was first struck by the space itself and the atmosphere in the space. The ceiling is low, and the lighting, which is diffused, is not coming from any one source so it feels like you are stepping into a living room. there is no music playing, just the hushed conversations of the diners. there is absolutely no clanking of kitchen sounds.
the next thing i was struck by is the utter smoothness of everything that occurs in the physical realm. from the coat check, to the chair being pulled out, to the way the waiter replaced the silverware, poured the champagne, presented the menus, removed the menus, and then at the end, the Madeleine’s that we asked to take home, were magically in a bag with our coats in the coat room. no one rushed, but they didn’t belabor things either.
the food was out of this world delicious. just the right amount. that’s why the french are normal weight and we are fat.
the presentation of the food was neat and clean on the level of OCD neat. each plate looked like a sculpture or a painting.
i fell in love with our waiter just from the way he moved in space in his dark suit and the way he reached in and removed a knife or presented a new fork onto the table. his physicality was very sexy and smooth with a light touch. i tried not to stare at him, but i could barely take my eyes off him just because of the way he moved.
it was an experience of how human beings can really express themselves very artfully.
sitting down for an elegant, bourgeois meal once a year can remind one of all the highest elements of humanity; dignity, decorum, elegance, taste, pleasure, movement, color, beauty, service, and communion around food.