A question that I’m constantly asked by people who know that I spent more than five years as The Times’s restaurant critic is what my most memorable meal was. It’s impossible to single one out. But a dozen or so experiences indeed eclipsed the others, and they included an evening at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, a Manhattan restaurant that has since closed. I recall the night so vividly because it was such an insanely over-the-top paean to the farthest reaches of fatty excess.
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