Much as I love food, I’m here to tell you food at times can be revolting. Naturally opinions on what is and isn’t stomach-turning vary with the individual. One of the best Indian dishes I ever ate was a lamb-brain curry at the late, great Nirvana on Central Park South. On the other hand, the nama-senmai (translation: “raw third stomach“) on the menu at the now-defunct Takashi on Hudson Street was a bridge too far, though I’m sure the dish was manna to homesick clients of the Japanese restaurant. But, like them or not, these dishes are endemic to specific cultures, and their capacity to be off-putting to Americans may be a matter of culture shock.
Restaurants that go out of their way to discomfit the unsuspecting eater are another story, especially when the prices they charge are stratospheric. I’m thinking here of the citrusy foam palate cleanser served to food blogger Geraldine DeRuiter at the Michelin-starred restaurant Bros., in Lecce, Italy. DeRuiter, who is better known to foodies as “The Everywhereist,” explains that the unique vessel into which the foam is squirted tableside is a plaster cast of the chef’s mouth. Diners are instructed to consume the course (which is served sans spoon) by licking the foam out of the chef’s mouth with one’s tongue.
If the thought of wet-kissing your palate cleanser isn’t enough to discourage a visit to the restaurant, the photo that DeRuiter provides should be.
The dish looks for all the world like a person foaming at the mouth. The drop of drool or spittle leaking from one corner really seals the deal.
The privilege of dining on 7 or 12 more similar courses will set you back $150 or $225 respectively.