The scent of beer mixed with kerosene, dulling its unpleasant edge. Sweat glistened on their wiry chests, the glow from their torches making prisms of the tiny beads. A friend thumped a drum, and the gathered tourists bobbed their heads unwittingly as one. The spinning flames illuminated the faces of the dancers like a strobe light, an instant switch between absolute concentration and absolute darkness.
The dreadlocked dancers grew bolder with each flash, and the crowd more bloodthirsty. The appeal of flirting with fire is not in the beauty of the blaze, but in the danger of the dance. When the onlookers realized that the performers were too practiced to be in peril, they grew listless. Disappointed, even, though they would never admit it aloud.
Again as one, the beast moved down the street, silently hoping that another performer would quench its thirst.
Gilt City is offering a “tasting menu” at Butter in Manhattan. It includes salad, shrimp, and peaches. That’s it.
Now, Throughout history, if you ordered an appetizer, an entree and a dessert, it was called a meal. But now, Groupon, Gilt City and other deal sites are telling us we’ve been wrong all along. We’ve been ordering tasting menus our whole lives. The day your mother served Gino’s Pizza rolls, then a salisbury steak, then a frozen Ralph’s Ice, that was the day you had your first tasting menu. Hope you enjoyed it. Don’t bother offending your significant other with an invite to Thomas Keller’s Per Se, because you already got your tasting menu fix the night before from a microwaved three-compartment Hungry Man. And Lunchables with cheese, pepperoni, water and dough? Well that must be a [expletive omitted] Kyoto Kaiseki fest.