Big TV nights…what’s a restaurant owner to do? I’ll tell you the last thing you want to do. Stand in your empty place sobbing with your head on the bar. There are a couple of nights a year when you are pretty much guaranteed to be hosting a bowling alley rather than a bustling “eatery”. Those would be, the night of The Academy Awards and THE UPCOMING ELECTION NIGHT.
So I decided to close the Angeli Caffe on November 4th for in-house dining, but take-out? Hold onto that phone! It’s sure to be a night of fingerbiting, sighing, barely held in panic attacks and a lot of swearing at the television. It’s a night that caps off a couple months of the most intensely escalating high anxiety most of us have ever experienced not brought on by ourselves. The solution to get us through the night? LET’S EAT!
This isn’t the night to savor a slow meal of a perfectly balanced plate of meat/fish/veggie entrée accompanied by two veg and a starch. No, I think this night calls for hours of guilt free grazing. Think crunchy, salty, (fatty?) bites. Cheese boards with your favorite crackers you never let yourself have. Full fat cheeses that seem like strangers to your home.
Little plates of deep fried goodies… Eggplant croquettes… Calamari… Hot wings… (not from Angeli, but go ahead). A big bowl of crunchy salad (you have to have something green)… maybe a Caesar, maybe iceberg tossed with Bob’s Roquefort dressing. No faces please. This is the night to embrace the guilty pleasure.
As we “socialists” face off against “fascists” at least we can eat well. And if you imbibe? Maybe it’s a night for a punch bowl or pitcher of low wattage cocktails that take the edge off without pushing us under. Or buy those high end beers you’ve been dreaming about. Mmmmmm.
Ready for dessert? Rice Crispy treats. A bowl of popcorn mixed with raisins, chocolate chips and roasted peanuts. As a nightcap maybe an ice cream buffet. Yummmmm. Hopefully we’ll know who our next president is before we turn in for the night. After we take that Zantac, that is.
Make Homer Simpson proud.
Let’s hope we all don’t end up sobbing with our heads on the bar.
Evan Kleiman is chef owner of Angeli Caffe, co-author of the classic cookbooks Cucina Fresca, Pasta Fresca and Cucina Rustica and host of Good Food, a radio show which airs on KCRW 89.9fm in Southern California. Good Food Website