August 1, 2006…With nearly 200 other lucky folks, I heard Leon Panetta speak at Graves 601 today. He gave a great speech, but that’s not the story. The story is Beige Lunch.
We were served a 100% Beige Lunch: beige-not-golden-roasted free range chicken (excellent — I wanted to hug the chicken), beautifully thin-sliced potatoes baked in a slurry of yummy butter, and a pile of perfectly sauteed mushrooms. All beige. Not one single sprig or leaf of parsley. Beige. Beige. Beige.
After lunch, I politely inquired about this beige-ness — it might, after all, have been a kitchen crisis in which the dog ate the parsley or the produce buyer was kidnapped by space aliens. A friendly server who admitted that she was inordinately fond of beige herself, said, yes, the food was beige on purpose. The hotel has a minimalist style that flows all the way through to the food. She did say that if I were to hold an event, that I could ask for green vegetables and parsley sprinkles and she hinted that the chef would comply.
I also asked if there were a pink lunch or some other color or non-color of monochrome lunch. She thought not.
In any event, it was a free (many thanks to sponsor Fleishmann-Hillard), so I’m not complaining.