Early on in the pandemic, my family coped with our isolation by creating a family newsletter to share with grandparents and friends. I had entirely forgot about the newsletter. Such a strange time. All of this.
But one night last week during dinner I was reminded of a restaurant review I wrote for the family newsletter in May 2022. I found it, re-read it, and decided it was worthy of a reissue this morning, because why not? Enjoy.
Restaurant Review: La Eatreé por la Blue Koi
In these uncertain times, my tummy was most certainly growling Monday night. We are required to stay home and not eat at restaurants, but Lord help me, I could not prevent a special date night from happening at Kansas City’s newest-yet-immediately-defunct restaurant, La Eatreé por la Blue Koi. A 10-year-old Frenchman named Garçon created his new eating establishment smack dab in the middle of my dining room. He invited my bride and me to enjoy a romantic evening of takeout Blue Koi Chinese food re-plattered, garnished, and presented to us as if French.
I arrived for our reservation promptly at 5:00 because I was already there. My wife asked me to go ahead, she would just meet me there, due to the fact that she was still in the shower upstairs, and solo expeditions to the bathroom have become some of the only alone time we get right now. I was greeted by Garçon, the maître d’. Do not be confused: Garçon is the name of the French restaurant owner, and it is also the name of the Chinese-born French-speaking seven-year-old maître d’. This Garçon greeted me and offered me a whiskey, which I did not refuse. I stood with this Garçon in the lobby, sipping my whiskey and hearing all about his envious yet confusing life story.
My wife arrived, making a grand entrance down the long staircase at the restaurant’s lobby. If you ever have the chance to dine La Eatreé, which you won’t, be sure to take advantage of this great photo opportunity with your dining party. Nothing says romance like getting dressed in fancy clothes and standing on your own staircase pretending this is normal. Garçon and Garçon showed us to our table set exquisitely with two place settings at opposite ends of a long table. In the middle of the table votive candles were arranged in the shape of a heart with the Book of Common Prayer set in the middle. While Garçon the maître d’ warmed the takeout dishes in the microwave, Garçon the owner lit the candles and led us in the Prayer for Families, found on page 828 in the BCP, which we could understand despite the thick French accent.
Garçon served appetizers of pork dumplings and eggplant pockets with garlic sauce while the other Garçon poured generous glasses of Pinot Noir. Suddenly, a young ballerina appeared and began dancing near our table. We enjoyed her captivating performance set to the Mendhelsson string quartet playing somewhat too loudly in the background. The performance was cut short when the ballerina danced over to the freezer, pulled out ice cream, and began serving dessert prematurely. She was promptly fired by Garçon and Garçon.
Garçon and Garçon served the main course. In short, it was delish, comforting, and not remotely French in taste. Readers should be mindful that Chinese comfort food served under the guise of French cuisine should not be considered “fusion,” as this restaurant’s approach more closely fits in the category of cultural appropriation. Yet when being served by Garçon and Garçon, one is encouraged to cast off the burden of critical thinking and instead enjoy the fantasy offered by one innovative restaurateur and his sidekick, as well as the recently unemployed ballerina. If the economy re-opens, please consider investing in La Eatreé por la Blue Koi so that they might re-open; their current patrons have encouraged them to seek a new location as soon as they are able, possibly at the home of grandparents. Bon Appétit!
What I’m currently listening to: Sylvan Esso, Joseph, Joy Oladukan
What I’m currently reading: Lydia Davis’ Essays, Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style, Rick Rubin’s The Creative Act: A Way of Being
Charming! I was cleaning out my desk the other day and found that comic strip that you and your son drew and delivered to my front porch one day during the pandemic. It made me happy.
I think this was a good review to remember. What a smile it brought to my face. Actually a number of smiles.