I have a confession that for some reason comes a surprise to the audiences I speak to, (not my friends and family who know this well!). I am a massive 'foodie'. I love, love, love to eat, and to eat well. I can get ridiculously excited about the prospect of good food, and like many other Jews, call food 'beautiful'. As in: "That was a beautiful piece of fish!" (Wasn't that on some Seinfeld episode ? Maybe a Jackie Mason show.)
I am not sure why this comes as a surprise to the audiences at my seminars or lectures. Perhaps since I wrote a book on kids and healthy eating habits, they think I am coming armed with strict rules against sugar or junk food.
To combat that notion, when they ask me what I might like to eat while lecturing, I ask to have plenty of Twizzlers on hand, my favorite candy.
Basically, I wrote my book and have spent the last 20 years of my practice trying to help people combat their guilt, negative attitudes and all kinds of ideas that promote unhealthy eating. It doesn't take rocket science to understand why Weight Watchers tends to be the most successful program to help people lose and maintain weight loss. It helps people basically learn how much they can eat of what they like. Emphasis here on the idea of what they like.
Restriction and deprivation never works. Short term, but never long term.
But enough of my diatribe and no, I am not working for Weight Watchers. All this simply to express my passion for food, and when I find a dish I call "Utter Perfection", I just have to tell you about it.
This past weekend I spent with my 3 best friends from high school, doing our annual reunion thing. I gotta tell you that this year, one of the big draws, aside from the girlfest we have all weekend, were the meatballs that were calling my name. Last year, during my visit, I made the mistake of not listening to my friend Deb when she recommended the meatballs at the restaurant we always go to on the opening night of our reunion weekend. As I had said, "How good can meatballs be?"
Well, too bad for me, because I landed up with the biggest case of 'food envy' to date. I was offered bites, but you know how it is when your friend has the dish you suddenly prefer, no matter how much they offer? You are simply left wanting.
So this year, I was prepared. Despite the initial temptation to order different things to have 'tastes', we agreed: "No sharing!"
These things can be tricky though when the expectations are high. When you have spent a year wistfully thinking of meatballs, never quite finding them made in any other restaurant in quite the same way. Hoping upon hope that they will live up to your dreams.
Well, people, this is why I am writing my "Ode to Meatballs." The dish went beyond my 'trying-to-not-have-but-you-can't-help-it,' expectations. Not only were the meatballs beyond mouth savoring, (this is why I am not a food critic and simply aspire to be the friend of a food critic; they can actually write about food!), they were stupendous!
I noticed the other aspects of the dish, which was, all put together: "PERFECT EXACTLINESS". Now I know I am making up words here, but perfection doesn't quite cut it. It is the combination of flavors and textures: the crunch of the perfectly toasted orecchiette coupled with the savor of the kale and mushrooms (not sure what kind; shitake?) in the broth, along with the meatballs, (made of pork veal), that taste exactly what you hope for. What can I say? This dish nails it. The tastes combined put me in 'foodie' heaven.
So if you happen to be in the Boston area and want to know where to eat, hightail it to this place: Rendezvous, at 502 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA
And please, if there are any food critics out there that need tasters to join them and eat a lot, please do not hesitate to contact me at www.donnafish.com