The game was 13-3. My son Myles was upbeat about it, though. His team is used to getting pounded by bigger, more experienced teams. They take their victories where they can find them, and at one point they had it tied up. Which considering that the other team’s pitcher looks like he’s 25, isn’t bad for 11-year-olds. (Then they pretty much blew it in one series of bungles, but hey, at one point they had it tied up.)
“How many more innings?” I asked.
“We can go after my next time at bat,” Myles said. Baseball is one thing, but we don’t let it get in the way of a new restaurant.
My younger son and my wife were out of town together on his 2nd grade camping trip. That left Myles and me to fend for ourselves, and one of the things I decided we were going to do was try a nice restaurant and try to teach Myles better table manners, without his brother’s influence at table dragging him back to kid antics and behavior. Surprisingly, he was game for this, and didn’t find it an annoying adult imposition on his lifestyle.
I chose LM, which I’ve wanted to try for a while. Partly because of their $22 prix fixe menu, but as soon as we got there, I could see that it had things that wouldn’t fly with Myles. So he ordered what he wanted: which turned out to be roasted duck breast, and a salad with blue cheese and pears. I ordered a fresh pea soup with mint and creme fraiche and monkfish with littleneck clams in a greenish broth.
“So what do fancy people do when they’re waiting for their food?” he asked.
“They talk,” I said. So we talked about stuff. Like his baseball team. I don’t think we got onto the other popular subjects of the moment, his current hero, the Zulu warrior Shaka, or World War II, which I seem to be explaining different aspects of all the time. (We had a good discussion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and whether or not using the atomic bomb was unavoidable given Japan’s militarism, the other day. But I’m glad we didn’t get into that over French food.)
The salad came. He tried the blue cheese (St. Agur), didn’t like it. Still, he tried it, and he ate the rest of the salad fine. I loved the pea soup, I don’t know where spring peas are coming from yet but this was pure spring in a bowl. The entrees came and he was very happy with his duck, less interested in the roasted turnips alongside it. The monkfish was very simple, very light, nicely done. It didn’t wow me (like my sturgeon at Blackbird a few nights later) but this isn’t so much a wow place as a very French, do it exactly right like it should be done place. For one of those, it’s very good.
Myles tasted my monkfish, and one of the littleneck clams. “So that’s three new things I tried tonight,” he said, proudly. At his age you keep a lot of lists like that in your head.
I was proud of him, he behaved well, he was adventurous. So we ordered dessert, but I don’t think they’re made in-house. I could be wrong on that, but they seemed sturdy and very precise, like the stuff from a place like Rolf’s Patisserie, which always looks to me like it’s built first to survive the trucking around town. Not delicate like its only travel is from an oven to a rack. Still, they tasted good enough. He’s not picky, like me, when sweet stuff arrives at the end of a meal. Yet. [UPDATE: Michael Nagrant says they come from Vanille Patisserie.]
We were walking back to the car. He was proud of having gotten to do something his brother hasn’t. He was proud of being 11 and old enough to do stuff like this. “I like that you take me to interesting places like French restaurants,” he said.
“I like that you want to go,” I said.